wayfaringwordhack: (art: palmier)
Sprout is invited to a birthday party tomorrow.  I told her it would be nice if she made the girl a card, and we would get her a gift.

Sprout's excited response is to give the girl something she has made, rather than buy something.  Which, of course, I totally love and agree with. The problem is that I'm not sure the receiver will be as pleased, used to, as she is, getting store-bought, "fancy" gifts.  I don't want Sprout to be hurt if there is a lack of appreciation, and I don't want the other girl to feel disappointed.

One solution would be to buy something to give in addition to what Sprout makes, but that invalidates, in my mind, what Sprout wants to do and teaches that only bought things have value.

Thoughts?
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: food for thought)
In a recent entry, I bemoaned the rigidity of my writing brain. I talked about using a different POV to convey info, but I wasn't clear because I don't want to bore people with specifics. What I meant to say was this:

Ramble, ramble, thoughts a-bramble )

Any thoughts?
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: scrabble - novel)
So, snippet.  Yes, I got a bit of writing done while we were gone.

It was so nice to creep out of bed at dawn, walk through the muggy fog* to a secluded spot and just think words and story. One morning I sat beneath eucalyptus trees, with all sorts of birds disappearing into the thick haze around me. The next day, Junebug woke up early, so I took him with me by the pool and wrote under date palms, heavy with fruit, while he pranced around with his shorts on his head. The last day I retreated to a worker's shelter in an olive grove.


(sorry for the crap photo; took it with my laptop)
Every time we go to Anafora, J says the kids and I should live full-time there, and for such lovely mornings, I would almost consider it.

Anyhow, a snippet to prove I didn't just go lounge around in the pool and sit under date palms sipping fresh juices:



Elamie nodded once. “Precisely. Iasrees have a gift, but not a gift free of cost. Not a gift that can be used without learning and application. The bite of a sresree may confer upon us the power of extraordinary song, but it does not give the ability to master the elements. Control is not innate. It must be aquired.”


Lelo clenched her fists in her lap. That, that was what Elamie had said? The same thing she said at least ten times per class, every class?  “About time you teach us mastery, then,” she muttered under her breath.  “Start simple, something like waking earthstars, and work your way to simili creation.”




Looking at this out of context makes it seem very heavy on the invented word side, but this is something like chapter 5 of the book, so the reader should either know or have a good inkling by now of what these words mean.

And I also had a great** idea of giving some parts of a scene to another POV character. This will give me a chance to show things from a fresh perspective, hopefully adding to the reader's understanding of both the characters and the world. My brain is truly and finally tiptoeing into Storyworld.

___________________
* Anafora is on the desert road to Alexandria and not that close to the river or the greenness of the delta, but misty mornings are not rare.

** This was also sort of a "d'oh!" thought, something that could have occurred to me a loooooong time ago. That just doesn't seem to be the way my brain works, though. It's very hard for me to move beyond an initial way of seeing things. And I don't like that. It is a very rigid and frustration-making way to be. I wonder if I could do some kind of exercises to loosen up the mind and teach it to shuffle things and try out possibilities before latching so strongly on to one. Anyone have any ideas?
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: scrabble - novel)
I've been fighting insomnia* for the last hour, to no avail. So instead of tossing and turning in frustration, let me ask you a question, O Great Hivemind of Fellow Writers!

When you've left a project fallow for an extended amount of time, how do you get back into it?

Do you dive in right where you left off, with no priming of the pump, working purely from memory with what and where you think you need to go?

Do you reread the prose you wrote and pick it up from there? All of it or just a scene or two?

Do you peruse notes and outlines first to get the juices flowing?

Something else entirely?

On another writing-related note, do those of you who are known for (or personally feel you have the knack of) writing relatable characters put yourselves in the characters' skin when writing? Do you visualize yourself as the character interacting with the story world? Can you put your finger on what you do?

This sort of roleplaying does not come naturally to me, and I constantly find myself distracted and pulled out of the "game" by my own wandering thoughts, leading me to the conclusion that this technique "just isn't me." I'd like to persist, though, and try to master it because I WANT to write characters that readers love to love and love to hate. Such roleplaying might be a good way to accomplish that.

I also wonder if I have a hard time doing it because I lack empathy on some level. Before I lead you to think I'm some kind of heartless monster, let me clarify by saying that I do feel for others and am able to understand their feelings. But it is easier when their situation is not connected to mine. When I'm involved, I'm too often concerned with and overwhelmed by Self. I usually have to have some distance before I can see the other side's point/feelings in a confrontation. especially when I myself have strong feelings or a sense of rightness. Are those of you who are better character writers, so to speak, more immediately empathic, perhaps?

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

And perhaps I should not be permitted to make blog posts when I'm sleep deprived. :P


____________
*This is the resulf of discomfort--it's too hot--but also of writing. When my brain starts playing with words, sleep becomes elusive...
wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)




Here is the hooded jacket on the mini model, who is not so mini any more:




I didn't (haven't) put a pompom on the hood yet because I was pretty fed up and wanted to call it done. What do you think?  Should I add one? If I do, it will be the color of the blue buttons.

wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
Is anyone on my flist a crocheter?  I started making a hooded jacket for Junebug (before Christmas) but petered out on in because of (to me and obviously a lot of other people, judging from the comments) unclear instructions.  I need help understanding something and would appreciate it so much if someone could make sense of it for me.

The excerpted instructions are as follows:

Shoulder:
Place a marker 9:11:13:15:17:19 sts in from armhole edge to mark inner edge of shoulder seam leaving 14:15:16:17:18:19 sts unworked at front opening edge.


Here is what I have so far, to which I should apply the above instrustions:

hooded jacket copy

Where do I start counting from? In which direction? Any ideas?
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
I tried to comment on a post and got a message that I have been banned from doing so.  This is surprising considering that I'm a friend of this person and have no idea why I would have been banned (without being unfriended).

Has anyone else gotten similar messages when trying to comment?

FWIW, if you have received such a message from me, there is something strange going on because I have not banned anyone...
wayfaringwordhack: (art: woman reading)
Has anyone on my flist read anything by Wendell Berry?  I want to order a book or two of his but don't really know where to start... I'll probably get a book of poems, but I'm unsure whether or not I want to get a novel, too, or an essay anthology.

And while we're talking books, anyone have a good read they feel like recommending?  I'm open to anything. 
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
Too tired and icky to do a snippet. It is only 8:20, but I'm on my way to bed. The ick is still kicking my tail, as well as the Sprout's but she had the added joy of an earache today.

Maybe I'll have the energy tomorrow.

Tell me about your creative thoughts or deeds this past week to encourage me, if you want. :)
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
I haven't been getting comment notifications all day. Is anyone else having this problem?

ETA: I just found them all in my spam folder.

ETA2: I just found a message that is a month old, and apparently those over a month are deleted. Who knows what I missed. If you have been waiting for me to get back to you about something, please comment here or send me a message. :-/
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
Did you know that Tuesday, February 26th, is a holiday? It is; it's Tell a Fairy Tale Day.

I'm thinking of coming up with an original tale and posting it. There are only a couple of days left, so I won't do anything long or elaborate. Nevertheless, as a lover of fairy tales, I think I should do something to mark the occasion.

Anyone want to play along?  Write something original or put a spin on an old tale?
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: scrabble - novel)
ETA: I changed some stuff in an attempt to make things clearer for [livejournal.com profile] frigg and to address some stuff brought up in [livejournal.com profile] khiemtran's comment to my previous post.

Thanks, everyone, who responded to my snippet yesterday. (I love that you drew an image, [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume, and that you took the time to find made one, too [livejournal.com profile] mindseas! You gals rock!) I think I kind of shot myself in the foot by not posting the paragraphs that go with the one about the gate.  If I may bother you again, here they are, with the previously posted paragraph in its place:

All hail the King! )


Thanks again for reading and thanks for the get better wishes. I think I'm on the mend now.
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: food for thought)
I'm posting with a "request" this time, rather than just showing a snippet. If you read, I'd like to know: Does this make sense? I've fiddled and fiddled with this paragraph, trying not to be too descriptive while still drawing a clear picture for the reader. It is the "clear" I'm worried about.



snippet )

wayfaringwordhack: (writing: scrabble - novel)
I was going to share a watercolor painting I worked on this week, but I didn't get around to taking a photo.

Instead I will speak of my writing progress. I decided to reread volume one of Witherwilds. I'm happy to say that I was quite into it at the end of the story (maybe from a little before the 2/3 mark),. The downside of that, of course, is I have a lot of work to do on the opening. If the story, which I obviously like and feel is worth writing, did not engage my interest enough to be impossible to put down, it will not engage a uninvested reader.

At this point, I'm trying to decide if I should go back to the beginning and fix book one or charge on with bk 2. I have a scene that I know needs inserting at the start of bk 2, and I could do that now. But I also have a list of things and a stack of cards detailing changes that need to be made in bk 1.  I know even more things will need changing by the time I get to the end of the trilogy, so the practical part of me says to write on and make changes at the end of having draft one. I don't *think* I have anything in the current list of changes that derails the plot, so I *can* keep on writing. I just don't know if I should. *sigh*

Hmmm. This is less of a snippet and more a glimpse into the brain of a troubled writer.

Anyone what to share what they would do if they were in my writing boots? :P
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: scrabble - novel)
As you know, LJBobs, we are in the middle of packing for Egypt.

The other day, I was handling a tin box that contains slips of paper Julien I used to use as prompts for our "creative endeavor of the week." Sadly, we fell out of the habit but have decided to pick it back up in Egypt, so the box is coming with us. Anyhow, I dropped the box and out fell some clippings of words from magazines:


word play
If I asked you to play with these words, what would you give me? A sentence, a lyric, a stanza, something else?

And in other found-word news:
Julien's father gave us three trunks to ship our belongings in, and at the bottom of one of them* was this "souvenir" from a girl's communion, which asks Jesus to bless those who came to her communion. It dates from 19 June 1960, which does not seem that far in the past, at least not to me, not until I stop to think it was over 50 years ago.
communion


______________
* J's dad, P, is kinda sorta in the antique/junk-shop business (he has retired from it, but has the bug and can't stop looking for good deals :P ), and he got all of these trunks to resell. The one with the communion card in it is an army-issue trunk which belonged to one of P's superior officers from his army service days. One of P's friends called him not too long ago and offered him "some stuff from an old army guy who lived in X." P had not been in contact with this officer since his service, but he knew where he lived. Sure enough, when the chests and other affairs arrived in his shop, they were from his superior from his "ancient" past. The funny thing is that P did not do his army service in the region around his home, but in another part of France, but both he and the officer ended up back in the same area.
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: book)
In case you forgot or didn't see it buried at the end of my long writing update post, tomorrow I'm going to be posting a snippet from my WIP, as is my friend [livejournal.com profile] frigg, who's journal is locked (:P) It'd be cool if you'd join us by posting a glimpse of your current creative endeavor, be it writing, painting, or a photograph of your project to mosaic all the trees in your garden, whatever...

The point is to inspire and be inspired enough to keep up your creative momentum.  If you are interested, just post in your blog with the subject Snippet Sunday.  
wayfaringwordhack: (art: shroom sweet shroom)

This is not a New Year's post; that will come later.

This is a writer dreaming about a project she has had in mind for several years now, a dream she wonders if she should try to make come true. You can help me fuel the fire by participating in an informal poll:

Say my husband and I bought a property in southern France, near the Pyrenees Mountains and we renovated it so that I could host retreats, workshops, etc for artists, writers, and people interested in learning French cuisine. If money were not an issue (obviously at this stage in the dream I have no concrete idea of how costly this would be*), would staying at such a place interest you?  What kind of services and experience would you be looking for?

ETA: To clarify, J and I aren't ready to hang up our traveling shoes just yet, so this is a project, if undertaken, that will NOT be ready in the immediate future.  We're probably looking at at least 5 years down the line--lots of time to squirrel away some savings. ;) 

And if you want to link to this and get your other writer friends to participate, I'd appreciate it.
_____________

* I would have to be able to pay the mortgage on the place and not run myself into debt with food, paying teachers, etc., but my goal with this scheme is not to make scads of money, rather it is to bring creative types to me. I want to be a part of inspiring others and to, in turn, be inspired. And, while I can host events for French speakers and get something out of art lessons, where the written word is concerned, I selfishly want to be able to hobnob with speakers of my native tongue.

wayfaringwordhack: (art: the reader - fragonard)
I want to give my family ideas for Christmas* gifts (actually, I'm carefully planting the seed in Julien's ear), and BOOKS are in position number one.  Does anyone have a Must Read to recommend?  I am usually a genre reader--fantasy, especially epic--but I'm willing--nay, wanting--to read other things.

So, can anyone help a reader out in time for the holidays?


_____________
* Before you pelt me with Halloween candy and declare it is too early to think about Christmas, remember that I'm in France and since any books for me will need to be ordered online from English speaking sellers, my in-laws need more time.

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