Thursday, March 24, 2011

Writer's world.

My writing world has been interesting this month. I finished the work in progress (in the rough draft) and put it aside to gel. That's an important aspect of revision. A story needs time away from it so you can come back with fresh eyes, not only to find grammatical errors due to flying fingers as you type the story in all of your innocent eagerness, but to look at the deeper aspects. The characters. The conflict. The subplots. The Theme.

I had the good fortune of being in an online book club to discuss Barbara O'Neal's latest book, How To Bake a Perfect Life. We were talking about voice, and I have always stood in awe of Barbara's storytelling voice, and she commented that her first draft is always sparse. I was flabbergasted. I'd imagined the words and phrases in her narrative flew from brain to fingertips like the pouring of syrup on my morning pancakes. Not so. She claims that when she revises, she goes back into the story to "plump it up". She said, imagine a room that you have painted, carpeted, and put furniture into. Stand back and take it all in. Then add in all the special touches that tie it all together. Put pillows here, a vase of flowers there, a picture frame or two. Bring it to life.

Of course, the way my mind works, I immediately thought of the TV ad for Foster Farms chickens. The chickens trying to be passed off as FF chickens are "plumped up" with salt water. Then they explode. Ha ha. So even though I love Barbara's expression, I'm also aware that this "plumping" must be tasteful, and it might be better for me to keep a light hand. I'm currently working on a manuscript that I finished at the end of last year. This will be the final go round. It will either be good, or it will explode.


Sunday, March 06, 2011

A fun time

Yesterday, I went to a bridal shower. I must admit I haven't been to such an event in over thirty years. Baby showers yep, by the gazillion, but bridal, nope. I recently went to the wedding of a friend of my son. Does this mean I'm entering a new phase of my life? Hmmmm? Maybe so.

Anyway, the shower was fun. Loads of fun. The bride-to-be looked ecstatic. You know that bridal blush look, it kind of goes along with the glow of pregnancy, not that the bride is pregnant or anything, just glowing with happiness not hormones. ; ) It was fun to sit around with a bunch of women in my own age group, women who have long surpassed the bridal blush, and giggle about men, marriage, and sex. We played games, won prizes, drank champagne at noon (although I was driving so I chose diet coke), and we had a delicious catered lunch in the early spring sunshine at poolside, followed by coffee and chocolate dipped strawberries. Yum!

The bride-to-be received many lingerie items. A cream bra, with Swarovski (sp)crystals on the straps and a neat little bow in the center, was about as decadent as the strawberries. There were traditional peignoir's, silk and satin nighties, and various assorted non-lingerie gifts. I gave her a black silk pyjama set that had cropped legs on the pants, and a built in bra on the top and hot pink shoe-string straps. It was scattered with hot pink cherries. I thought it was cute and original, and can you believe it? so did one of the other guests. Ah well, great minds think alike. At least I left the tags on so she could do an exchange.

If it hadn't been for the horrendous traffic, which meant a three hour drive to and from the location, I'd have called it a perfect day. On the drive home I couldn't stop thinking about the champagne I'd missed out on, oh, and that wonderful sounding Zinfandel from Paso Robles. I stopped off and bought a bottle of my favorite Pinot noir. After two glasses, and a good movie on the tube, I forgot all about traffic, and by the time I went to bed I was feeling all young again. And I'm sure I had a good blush going too.