Friday, August 16, 2013

Quick Takes Friday

1.   Family!

 I got to see my mom this week!  So writing was light, as  it should be. 
Of course, we didn't think to take a picture until it was time to go.  But time with Mom always zooms.  We had to snatch visits in between laundry, serving meals, convincing the daughter with a broken arm she couldn't do tricycle races down the hill, hyperventilating about school being 10 days away, teaching a 15 year old about makeup, getting haircuts, ordering some books for high schoolers, finding books lost during summer, insisting that yes, you all have to start getting back to bed at civilized hours and supporting a 20 year old through his temporary job at the fair that runs 7:30 am to 12 midnight. We did rebel a bit and leave the teens in charge to get lunch out. 

2.  Book Launching:

First, I've learned a few things.  Don't watch the Amazon ranking too much, it will drive you nuts. One minute you're ranked 28th in Alternative History (highest ranking I received that I know about) and the next, you're unranked and 118,677 overall. 

  Just write, revise, review and promote.  Most authors want reviews and will thus do swaps, but there's a thing about reviews, don't agree to one you wouldn't want. I had to back down from a book I wouldn't/couldn't read.  Not a fun moment, a rookie mistake.  Still looking for reviewers for Helen and hoping some readers will rank her on Amazon.  

3.  Speaking of Reviews:  Creative Minority Report  did a review of my book yesterday, but I'd already posted twice and didn't want it to get lost in the shuffle.  Every review is a gift of real time and effort and I want to properly acknowledge anyone who takes the time to write one. Here's the link to my longtime blogging friend, Matt Archbold.  Thank you.

4.  School Supplies

I've bought crayons and three ring binders long enough to wonder how far to the moon I could get stacking all of them end to end.  People have asked how do you do it?  I make a spread sheet.  Then I go to the store. Then I get frustrated at some point or off list or can't find what's on the list or forgot where I was on the list, buy too much, go home, sort and make two more trips to get it all done.  That's how I roll. 

5.  She Who Must Not Be Trimmed

This week, my daughter took her senior portrait for high school.  I got a bit misty when I saw her.  I also made her get 2 1/2 inches cut --truthfully, I wanted 5.  I asked for 3.  2 1/2 was the compromise. I think she altered it to 2 when they went back to get her hair washed.  She's still annoyed.  I live in fear of searching for a graduation gown.   When does this get easy?  It does get easy right?  At some point?  Stop that laughing.  I hear you.

6.  What An I Reading?

Right now, I'm really enjoying Stephen King's On Writing.  In addition to fleshing out things I've heard over the years about the craft, (no adverbs, head hopping, passive voice), he's quite funny in detailing the story arc of his own life in episodic fashion. 

7.  What am I Writing?

Well, I'm working on learning how to use Scrivener while drafting The Book of Penelope.  She's revealing herself slowly (very Penelope like) and I'm collecting supplemental material.   One of the things I've collected is Proverbs 31.

The Wife of Noble Character
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
This is Penelope in a nutshell, her actions reveal her character, not her words. Penelope is a woman of few words, which makes crafting her so that the reader can know her, difficult.  How do you convey a contemplative spirit without telling? Telling in a story is dull dull dull and a writing no-no!   
I'm researching weddings of the time, so I can create the three day feast that normally took place and was set in three places, the home of the woman, then a separate place, sacred, and then the home of the man.  It should also reveal something about Penelope and Odysseus, as all weddings do reveal not merely  something about the individual actors involved, but about their relationship in specific.  That's a fun bit of writing I get to do, and I have no idea how to do it yet. 


Author Elaina Portugal said...

I love your style! Your blog always makes me smile. I especially love your post of Proverbs here.
Good luck with Penelope!

Deanna said...

#5: It was easy for a time but now it is hard again. I don't think it will ever be easy all the time.

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