Tuesday, March 31, 2009
For me, the past year held numerous changes, and many of them have been recorded here.
As I accumulate quotes for the Overheard series, I am reminded how lucky I am to be surrounded by such pithy, funny and wise people.
I started my Sunday nature series to add some color to an otherwise text-dominated blog. I do not claim to be a nature photographer, and admit some pictures are more effective than others. However, I learned the importance of focusing on at least one interesting thing each week.
I cannot predict what next year will hold, but I’ll probably end up blogging about it.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
As I understand it, there are two ways to repair dropped stitches.
1) A skilled needle-person can rescue the dropped stitch in with a crochet hook.
2) The knitter can rip out the knitting back to the mistake then knit it again.
By now the analogy to revising a novel must be obvious.
First drafts may be full of dropped stitches. The loose loops can either be crocheted back into the story or the manuscript can be rewritten.
Today I read all that I have of TAoCBS. I’m searching for a crochet hook.
Click here to see how to repair a dropped stitch.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Debbie Diesen's Library Loving Challenge.
Kirby Larson's two posts about Laurie Halse Anderson. (Read them, then get back to work!)
A sweet story about why one highly published author started writing books. (Read the bio.)
Everyone has days like this.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
I read two novels, went on three bike rides, and totally ignored my WIP.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
List your protagonist’s family members. Choose one relationship to focus on.
Write a few sentences describing your protagonist.
Write a few sentences describing the family member.
What is the major source of conflict between your protagonist and the family member?
List 5 things your protagonist finds annoying about the family member. Does the family member do these things to intentionally irritate your protagonist?
List 5 things the family member finds annoying about your protagonist. Does your protagonist intend to irritate the family member?
Write a scene that displays the conflict between your protagonist and the family member. Write it from the family member’s point of view. Try to include some of the little irritating things.
List 5 things the protagonist could do to help mend the rift with the family member.
List 5 things the family member could do to help mend the rift with the protagonist.
Write a scene in which the protagonist and the family member try to make up, but end up in a worse conflict. The scene can be written from either point of view.
Why do we do it?
The goal of a useful exercise is to help the writer discover something about his or her WIP. Last night, I brought the exercise, and a glaring problem with my WIP smacked me in the face. The central conflict between the brothers in my novel is nebulous. I need to clarify it.
My exercise was more difficult than I'd intended, and we didn't finish all of the steps. Everybody wrote one scene, and most of us complained about having to think too hard.
I'll paste the exercise into another post.
Postscript: Last night I worked on my current WIP (TAoCBS), but my previous WIP (CBL) could also benefit from this exercise. And since I need to revise CBL before I send it out again, this exercise might be a good place to start.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I asked my sons if they'd noticed that when I pack their lunches,** I wrap the napkin around the drink so they have to take it out of the bag. Then I asked if they use their napkins.
Sam said he usually gives his napkin to someone who needs it more than he does.
That kid has a heart of gold, if sometimes a messy face.
*Yes, I know I haven't blogged about writing lately, but I did have a couple math-related posts. And since I write about teens, real-life teenager interactions must be related somehow.
** Yes, I know they are big enough to pack their own lunches. Yes, I know. Yes, I know.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sam pointed out that we could also celebrate Approximate Pi Day on July 22 because 22/7 is an approximation for π.
I told him that would be Inverse Pi Day. (Think visually.)
"Not in Europe," he said.
We'll see. Perhaps in July, I'll bake an approximate pie.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
What is an asymptote? Googling the word results in many links but few clear definitions. An asymptote is a line that a curve approaches, getting ever nearer, but never crossing, even if you extend the curve to infinity. Now the metaphor is obvious.
A favorite example of an asymptote is y = 1/x because it has both vertical and horizontal asymptotes. As you make x smaller and smaller, y gets larger and larger. But when x becomes zero, y is infinity. You can't plot infinity, so you never intersect the y-axis. The same is true for the x-axis, but this blog post is getting pretty nerdy, so I'll stop here.
What is the solution to an asymptotic career? Change the equation!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Sometimes the coup occurs on the first page of chapter one.
Sometimes it doesn’t.
Since my brain is not under occupation, there is plenty of room for The Voice of Doubt.
You’re not the person to write this story.
You think you can be funny? Ha!
Is this novel about something?
Yesterday was a good writing day. I started to hear the rumblings of revolution. Maybe the coup is at hand.
Monday, March 9, 2009
On Saturday, I volunteered at a Tae Kwon Do tournament, and Eric, the black belt heavy metal rock star, was a corner judge in my ring. One of the kids who was waiting to compete had inched forward onto the mat, and was in danger of getting kicked or tripping the competitors. Eric put out his foot and gently nudged the kid off the mat. He never took his eyes off the sparing match.
Eric, the black belt heavy metal rock star, can multi-task.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Right now, my WIP doesn’t have one. At least I don’t know what it will be. Thinking this was a critical flaw in my plan, I hesitated about leaping into the writing. Then I remembered how the moments of truth for other novels popped into my brain. For G&G, I’d written only a few chapters, but I was working on a synopsis for a critique group exercise. That book’s Tough Choice was really a symmetry consideration. If I started here, I had to end there. For CBL, the action involved in the Big Moment came from a Write Night exercise, but the emotional impact didn’t strike me until I actually wrote the scene in the next to last chapter.
So I trudge forward, searching for truth.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Who needs an expensive membership at a fancy health club?
I have a rake.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
2. Yesterday we saw a marsh hawk roosting on a dead tree in the back yard. I hope she and her mate will decide to nest here. (I was unable to get a photograph.)
3. Thanks to a heads up from Ruth McNally Barshaw, I found Anastasia Suen's blog, Children's Book Biz News. Wow, what a wealth of information!