Weaving the yarn…

Folks work with crochet hooks, knitting needles, material and thread, and everything a person would think of when weaving with yarn. Sometimes we weave items for friends, for presents, for sale, or just to satisfy ourselves with a peaceful hobby.

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The project may exist as one large piece or may be many small pieces that are woven together to compliment and contrast each other. The same is true of stories. Perhaps only one story is being told. But many times there are multiple threads that work together to make a strong finished product. Perhaps that is why in days gone by stories were called yarns. I think of the well-woven stories of Mark Twain and how his characters twisted and complemented each other into a perfectly fabricated tale.

But, the part that so many crafters forget is the inspector. When goods are woven, they are inspected to make sure the stitches are even, all of the loops hold, that no elements are out of place, and that the end product will be admired by the wearer.

Stories are the same. As word crafters, we weave our tales with different backgrounds, characters, actions, dialog, and energy. But without the inspector (editor) to make sure there aren’t any dangling threads, the story might unravel and leave the reader confused or unsatisfied.

Never doubt the fact that every author needs an editor who can trim away excess material, pull and tuck here and there for a perfect fit, and make sure all of the loops are connected and tied up before the story is over.

Winner

Craft your words, weave your tale,
and find an editor that can make
your story the winner you want it to be!

 

 

Thanks, Intent to Win for the guest post!

A Little Goes a Long Way…

Sometimes writers believe that adding a touch of their natural speak helps the reader feel more comfortable with their words. I believe this to be true to a point.

If you read Stephen King, you can almost hear that New England accent from many of the actors in his movies. If you read Charlaine Harris, you can hear the Southern drawl of the people from Bon Temps, Louisiana. Having that speech in your mind helps the reader hear what the characters are feeling as well as what they are saying.

But a little can go a long way in the written words. When the conversation of the novel or other work is so abbreviated or drawn out that it impedes the reading of the text, that is too much. A well placed “Y’all” isn’t too bad but making the Southern (or any other) lingo so heavy that it is unreadable or understandable defeats the purpose of writing the story.

This link provides an interesting view on when the use of translators is necessary even for people who are speaking the same language:

http://brave-new-words.blogspot.com/2006/12/translators-responsibilities-when.html 

Which brings me to another point. In worldwide blogging, we often run into blogs written in the native language of the posting person rather than automatically to American or British English. There is always a button at the top of the blog which asks if you wish to translate. I’m always uncertain about using the translate button. We’ve learned from auto fill on our texts that what we meant to say is not what is sent a good portion of the time. How do we know that the translate button really works? How do we know we are reading what the posting person wrote or felt?

It is a quandary I am facing daily. For the people who often use the translate button, how well do you believe it translates what might be regional or other versions of the basic language?

I would like to know your feelings.

Photo Credit: How many languages are there in the world? Stephen R. Anderson  https://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/how-many-languages-are-there-world 

 

Editing My Teeth

There I was, once again at the mercy of my dentist. It’s not his fault; I have terrible teeth. I got the wrong tooth genes. I’ve become resigned to them. They get problems and need to be fixed.

So while I was there, having maybe had a little bit of gas, I began free-associating, and next thing I knew, I had decided my dentist was my tooth editor.

Bear with me.

They’re my teeth (Manuscript); I grew (wrote) them. I think they are a masterpiece.

I can do the basic work on them—brushing and flossing; anyone can do that. Just like most authors can do the basic line editing on their own work.

But it’s not enough. There are parts of my teeth that I can’t even see. The front looks good, the back must be fine too, right? Authors are often too close to their work to see things like awkward phrasing or missing words. They know what it’s supposed to say and their minds and just fill in with context that the reader won’t have.

My dentist, with his special tools and skills, can see problems I don’t even know to look for.

Editors have special tools and skills, like red pencils and semicolons; editors can see problems or potential problems with a manuscript that authors don’t see. Or an author might not even know could be a problem. Or how to look for these problems.

I need a specialist to find and fill holes, level things, and even just to give my teeth a much more thorough cleanup and polish than I can manage.

Authors need their editors to clean up typos and dangling modifiers, to help point out plot holes, and to generally turn an already fine manuscript into a thoroughly clean and polished masterpiece.

Authors need editors as much as editors need authors. Don’t let beautiful work end up failing for want of good polishing.

And maintain good dental health and see your dentist twice a year. 

Drabble – Photo Prompt 1

I’m a Lucky Bear! I have my own little girl.

bear

I have my own string! My girl put it on me. I get to ride around on the string, hanging close to her heart.

 

Mommy made her take me off and leave me here on the mommy bench so I wouldn’t get lost while she plays on the playground.

Once my string broke and I spent a terrible lonely night in a dark restaurant in a lost and found box. I was not a happy bear. My girl’s mommy rescued me the next day, but that one night away was hard. And scary. I could tell that my girl had been crying too. We never want to do that again. So here I lie, on the mommy bench, waiting on my lucky girl.

A drabble is a tiny piece of random writing, sometimes from a prompt, as this one is.  They can be very short or up to about a page. The prompt can be a picture or words. Or just unprompted thoughts.

Serendipity

I have been taking meditation classes, and learning about cherishing (blessing) others over self. So it’s quite fun that my daily note from the Universe said:

Haiku IdeogramThe subtle secret
to possessing all you want:
blessing all you have.

Haiku. Haiku very much. Haiku.
The Universe

And for a Bonus:

Oh, it’s hard to stop.

From writing these funny lines.

I love Japanese.

I love my little enouragments from the universe. If you would like to get them too, go to http://www.tut.com/

We’re all just tired.

I am tired.

Not sleepy; I get plenty of sleep. Not physically tired, except right after exercise, of course. Not really even stressed and mentally tired, which is what most people I talk to are. Or think they are. I think it’s not really even that.

It seems like everyone I talk to is just plain tired. They would just like to set their burdens down for a little while. A friend said, “I just want to not be responsible.” She was “joking” she quickly claimed after that, with a nervous smile, afraid and not wanting me to see the cracks in her perfect life. But I know truth when I hear it.

I think we are all heart-heavy tired. We’ve gone as long as we can as fast as we can, being as perfect as we can. And we’re doing it all alone. We can’t admit to each other that we need help. We post all the good stuff on the social media. Proof that we are leading wonderful lives. We can’t post the bad stuff without carefully sanitizing and downplaying it. And then (if we dare have a flaw) we have to endure all the cheerful, well meaning advice and prayers and guaranteed cures and simple fixes. It seems ungrateful to not then perk right up.

We can’t confide in a friend that we ache, with a weariness deep down in our bones.

We are exhausted. But we look around, in this fast lane, and everyone else seems to be just zooming by. They all have their own lives, their own stresses. What right have we to slow them down?

We can’t even whisper about how close to the edge we are; it’s too scary. Speaking it aloud might make it too real.

Guess what. It’s real.

This rush rush I’m perfect madness can’t continue forever.

We can’t go on, shut up in our little bubbles of required enthusiasm.

I’ll go first, make it easier for you.

I’m weak, and frail, and exhausted. I’m just a hair’s width on this side of empty. I need your company, and your honesty, and your shared insecurity. I need to feel that you understand. And I need you to need me back, to let me walk in your darkness with you. To let me see that you’re not perfect either. To just sit quietly and hold hands, and be. Not fix each other, not judge or advise. Just be.

Don’t worry, I can handle it. It’s sort of magic that way. Everything we give each other, both good and bad, creates that energy, that Life that we need to keep going, to “fill our tanks back up.”

And thanks. For just letting me say that.

Wandering, as usual

I was just reading back on my entries here. Yeah, I know, didn’t take long.

My first one said I was going to figure out a focus. Yes, I almost snorted coffee through my nose, too.

Focus is over-rated. And keeping me from writing. So, from now on, you lucky souls get my lovely, unfocused, wandering bits of sarcasm, wisdom, soul searching, and random fits of the giggles.

Fair warning.

Still Struggling

A year? A whole year and 5 months since I last posted.

I’m always composing posts in my head, and they just never make it all the way to the keyboard.

It’s intimidating to write online anymore. There’s really good stuff out there. It’s hard to stop that little (evil) voice that says, “Oh, someone else surely covered that better than you could.”

And maybe that is entirely true. But no one covered it in quite my voice. And I owe myself the respect of allowing myself to speak.

So. Resolving once more. I will not be silent here, as I am not silent other places. (Today in fact I was out voicing an opinion —backed up by facts— that will cause some trouble.  Can’t be helped. Some things shouldn’t be let go.)