Showing posts from December, 2010

The Sweetest Words

Apropos of words you overuse , what are those words or phrases you can never hear enough of? Here are a few of my favo(u)rites: * Congratulations! * Accept * Yes * Thank you * Leftover turkey Okay, your list might be slightly different. I adore turkey sandwiches, turkey soup--in fact, most things turkey. Just to be sure, I looked up "talk turkey," which has apparently shifted in meaning from "talk pleasantly" to "talk directly about difficult subjects," but regardless, yes, even that is something I prefer. As for the rest of the words, I would like to hear these words more often--and one way I can do that is to say them more often. Another way to hear more is to ensure that others have the opportunity to say them to me. That's another way of telling myself "take the risk: send writing out." Hey, that's another reason to like leftover turkey: without fail, it never says "no."

Analysis: Really? "Things"?

One thing "they" say, and by "they" I mean "someone else because I didn't make this up but I can't remember who just now," is that one way to improve your writing is to analyze it. What patterns do you fall back on? What words ("just," "okay," "only") do you overuse? But looking with analytical eyes at your own writing is tricky. In fact, revising is hard in general, especially when the hormones of creation are still pumping through your bloodstream. It's easier to revise writing I do for work because I'm less attached to it. Still, it's easier and more productive to revise after sleeping. One night of sleep is often enough for writing I do for work. Some 90 nights of sleep is required before I can see flaws in my own creations. My point is that revising is easier when you have tools. Like sleep, and/or time enough to create "new eyes." So, back to those specific "old standby" words. Fir

Questions, Questions

Recently, I've completed enough creative and work projects (which is to say, I've sent out all those manuscripts that were rejected) that I've cycled back to a story that's stymied me before. Unfortunately, it's the title story of the collection I received funding for, so bailing on it is out of the question. And truthfully, I would cycle back to this story anyway, because I really want to finish it. I like the characters, even the ones I don't like, and I mostly know what needs to happen. I know vaguely the status of things at the end. But I get stuck when I try to go from here to there. I won't even try to explain why because basically I know I just have to do it. Fingers to the keyboard and all that. But while procrastinating, I ran across a list of questions compiled by Julie Bush from many different sources. She calls it her Break In Case of Emergency file . What a great idea. The questions are, as she says, "basic drama stuff" questions--whic

Sorts, Types of

1. Out of. That's what I was last week when I got annoyed about the popularity of two adults engaged in a pointless argument . Fortunately, Wikileaks came along and engaged my snark and imitative skills . 2. Using codes. That's how people have been finding Wikileaks documents that mention Canada. It's a lot like googling yourself, which everybody does (yes, you do. Yeeees, you know you do) but nobody admits to. In terms of the Wikileaks searches, it's a little bit sad: not having much wikileaked about you is confirmation that you're a boring country. Whereas an individual who is not very google-able can be...mysterious. Above that sort of thing. An international man or women--who can even tell?--of mystery. Yeah, maybe. 3. By title. I made a playlist of Christmas songs to help keep me at my desk while I finish some stuff. I don't have a ton of Christmas music, and lots came as compilation CDs anyway, and as for the ones that didn't--well, sometimes I don'