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 

 

Don’t You Roll Your Eyes at Me!

Pokémon Go!

Of course I play Pokémon Go. My kids play. I want to be the cool mom. Easy equation. I knew that even if it turned out I hated the game, if they included me in anything they were doing, that I would at least enjoy the time and conversations with them about their new interest. Thus, I’ve tried a good many types of kid stuff.

The surprise is that I’m having a ball. I love this silly little time-wasting game. It means nothing, profits me nothing, doesn’t sharpen my brain or even my hand-eye coordination. I don’t care. It makes me happy.

Too many adults get caught up in the trap of “not wanting to look silly,” or tending only to the “important stuff.” That’s how we lose our flexibility, our mental genius, our creativity. And our happiness.

Ironic, since we all claim we want to be younger. Silliness is a defining characteristic of young. The ability to play, and enjoy, and be free from all those grown up constraints for a while. Nothing makes you look younger as much as thinking younger.

Playing keeps your heart young. No, not the watch-your-cholesterol heart. I mean the inner you, your soul, whatever you believe keeps you alive and youthful.

So the next time you see children or teens playing, don’t just dismiss them. Join in. Expand your imagination. Give your brain and yourself a much needed break from the heavy stuff. It will invigorate you and lift your spirits like you can’t imagine. Not to mention how awesome it feels to be the cool mom or dad.

Hold On to the Light

I went in a cave today. Those of you who know me are sitting there in either dismay or disbelief. I know. Me too. I am not a caver. In fact, caves pretty much embody all the things I hate most: cold, dark, wet, and muddy and feeling trapped. And ticks, which weren’t actually in the cave but you have to hike through to get to a cave. Somehow it just seemed really important to my husband that I get to see in real life some of the things he takes those gorgeous photos of.

Mark (the aforementioned husband) organized a hike, picnic, cave, hike and then reward ourselves with a nice restaurant kind of day. He made it sound even better by inviting all our (grown) kids along. The whole family decided it was a fab idea. The husband and the younger “child” and I met my older son and daughter-in-law near the cave. We took our sub sandwiches and drinks on a hike (longer and steeper than advertised, of course) to the cave entrance where we spread out our picnic blanket (an old shower curtain) and enjoyed the spot. That part I knew I was going to enjoy.

Then, cave time. As a compromise to my claustrophobia and general skepticism, we only went in the “twilight zone,” which is what cavers call the first part of the cave when you can still look back and see the daylight at the entrance. Even if that daylight is just barely bigger than the full moon and you had to stand close to one wall and squint to see it. But I could see it, and knew that in a disaster I could make my way back to the entrance. It kept me from being claustrophobic. Or at least not full on panic claustrophobic. Helmet lights helped it not be so dark, it wasn’t a particularly muddy cave, and there was nothing to do about the hike through the stream but grin and bear it. There really were pretties, not too very far in. Things I’d only seen in photos before. It was cool to get to touch them. Flowstone, rimstone, straws, and bright little gold flecks on the ceiling plus a small fossil or two for a bonus.

Of course, I have two new bruises and another gash on my right ankle. I took a tumble into the water before we even really got into the darkness. I was back up pretty quickly with only one side wet and I already knew my pants were going to be wet most of the way up from the wading anyway. Mark had said the water was only knee deep. Yeah, right. Some giant’s knee. However, he was very solicitous (almost overly worried in fact) and helped me not to fall anymore and gave me a dry jacket to wear. That water was cold! Frigid, icy, shocking, nearly heart-stopping cold.

However, all in all, it was worth it. Not so much to see the formations (though they were quite lovely) but for how happy it made Mark and how it made him appreciate me more.

Sherron In a cave

See that little bit of light in the back?

I could just stand it because I could still see that small little opening behind us with the sun streaming through. Sort of like a metaphor for life. As bad as it gets, if you know there is an end in sight, or a backup failsafe, you can bear it. Maybe not for very long, and maybe not with the aplomb we would like, but living through it. (Bruises, gashes, and all.)

If I can, you can too.