Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Busy is Relative by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Yesterday it took me most of the day to do a load of dishes then sweep and mop my kitchen, hall, and bathroom. Not that either is a big job. Of course, they aren’t. This isn’t a big apartment, and I do live alone. It’s just that I had to keep stopping to catch my breath and rest a minute or two. And even with all that resting, by the time I completed those tasks, I was a bit stressed; I didn’t finish my “to do” list.

Konnie didn’t finish hers either, but well, she rarely does. And she rarely does because none of her immediate family members recognize that she has more to do in her day then run people around to all their various appointments and activities. Let alone that she isn’t goofing off when she’s sitting at her computer. And I’m not even talking writing.

Konnie spends time doing online surveys, which nets her a little extra money every year, and she uses quicken to do the family finances, and all their various bank accounts are online too.

For me, I consider I have a busy day if my “to do” list has more than four items on it; Konnie would consider that a vacation. I seriously doubt her “to do” list ever has less than ten items on it. If mine had ten items on it, I’d included my shopping list. Even when I had a car, and was driving my sister-in-law around to all her appointments, my “to do” never had more than five things on it, and I considered it a hectic day if my sister-in-law had more than one appointment. (She only rarely had two appointments in a single day.)

Konnie would consider that a lazy day.

Busy is relative. What one person considers busy, another would consider lazy. Viewpoint and perspective change by who is seeing, or doing, what is going on. This is especially true in our stories.
Have you ever tried writing a scene from the POV of another character? It becomes a completely different story because that character will “view” the events in a way the original character didn’t. I actually have one scene I’ve written in two different POV’s but that’s because the main character didn’t notice some things his buddy did.

Viewpoint, and frankly attitude, changes the story. Has anyone else tried this? Written one scene from two POV’s? Do you see what I mean?


Happy writing everyone. J  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Twin Musings by Bonnie Le Hamilton

As the title of this blog states, Konnie and I are mirror twins. And as we’ve already mentioned in our posts, mirror twins are mirror opposites.

The foremost sign of mirror twins is one is a lefty and the other a righty. Well, I’m the righty. And a while back, Konnie and I got on the subject of can openers.

She doesn’t have a ton of counter space, and I thought it weird that she had an electric one (and to be honest, I don’t have an electric one because my husband never liked the possibility of not being able to open a can in a power outage). She insisted that it’s hard to open a can using a can opener designed for the predominately right-handed world.

At the time of the conversation, I had to take her word for it, but well, the last couple of weeks, I’m beginning to see her point. You see my right thumb has developed arthritis and it’s been bugging me, a lot. And she was not kidding when she said its dang near impossible for a lefty to work a can opener build for a righty.

 I’m seriously considering one of those newfangled battery powered can openers, which won’t take up my limited counter space.

I’m also thinking about how I might write a story where a character has to, at least temporarily, use the hand he isn’t used to using, for whatever reason, though I still don’t have a reason, or a character for that matter.

And as I’m writing this, I recall a scene from MASH, which Alan Alda did with his father. They were both playing doctors, and their bickering, a lot, they don’t like each other at all, then both of them are injured (one his left arm and other his right arm), and well they need to operate on an injured soldier to save his life, even though they are hurt. They end up having to do the surgery together because neither of them had the use of both hands.

That was quite a scene for me to remember it decades later.

Have any of you ever written in scene or story plot where a character has to deal with not being able to use a limb or maybe even one of their senses, at least temporarily?

Personally, I can think of a character I have with a broken leg, but that’s about the worst I’ve done. I really should try this idea. Anyone with me?


Happy writing everyone! J

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The New Racism by Konnie Enos

I recently came across an article online by Michael Cantrell about liberals and their desire to create a new tax (http://www.allenbwest.com/michaelcantrell/liberals-want-institute-insane-new-tax-white-people).
After reading what he had to say I found myself wondering at the audacity of liberals to think that such an idea could possibly help race relations.
How is signaling one group of people out based on something that is genetic and taxing them for it going to IMPROVE race relations?
Think about that for a moment.
IF your government decided your skin color meant you could afford to pay more in taxes, how are you going to feel about it? What is it going to do to these people who are living on welfare? In section 8 housing? Subsisting on WIC and SNAP benefits and just barely getting by?
Don’t tell me people fair skinned people aren’t poor. I’ve spent most of my life on welfare and living in subsidized housing. The home I live in now I got through Habitat for Humanity and is in a neighborhood that was historically a restricted poor black neighborhood.
Our finances might be better now but we still have months were the month last longer than our money does.
A tax like this is going to hurt my pocketbook.
And it’s not going to help the people with more pigmentation either.
I sincerely doubt the government would actually put this tax money to use in helping underprivileged people (clearly not since so many of them lack pigmentation).  
The goal of the liberals is to erase racism, but you can't do that by being a  racist.
Taxing people based on the amount of pigmentation they have is as bad as selling them as slaves based on the same criteria.
Just STOP judging people based on their genetics at all.
I think Michael Cantrell said it very well. I quote from his previously mentioned article:
“It’s time we acknowledge that yes, racism does exist, and yes, it’s a real problem, for EVERYONE. We should be committed to overcoming this obstacle to our unity. Doing so requires all people to begin focusing on the content of a person’s character rather than their outward appearance.
Punishing someone for their skin color is a step back, not a step forward, something that should be clear to anyone who uses the word “progress” to sum up their political philosophy.”
I’ve already posted a few times about racism and how we need to be a united country, not a divided one (my posts dated 5-20-15, 7-29-15, and 6-29-16). It’s time we as a nation started to work together and stop judging people by the amount of pigmentation they happen to have.
I’m going to end with my normal close because I hope it will help to make a better world.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Decluttering by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Decluttering is something all of us do in our lives at some point or another. Every so often, it’s necessary, not just around our homes, but also in our writing, and I know how hard that is.

The first step of downsizing is decluttering. Clutter is an enormous issue if you ask me because clutter is often the main reason we need to downsize. In my experience, clutter is why we don’t have room for everything in our homes, and clutter is the reason our manuscripts are so long.

For me, I once wrote a manuscript that was over one and thirty thousand words, which, for a romance is way over the top. And trimming the fat wasn’t easy. I had a hard time deciding what wasn’t important, and what was. It took more time to cut that thing down to acceptable size than it did to write it, which should tell you how hard of a job it was.

Though I did learn a lot from that experience and I thought I’d share some of that with you.
The first thing I learned about was not telling my readers things I’ve already shown or are about to show. Seems like a no-brainer since we’re told all the time to show not tell, but well I found that I tended to paraphrase things that I then showed. Most often when I was trying to avoid using a tag, but I now know this isn’t just telling, it’s redundant and condescending, and, when I’m on the receiving end of that kind of writing — extremely irritating.

In other terms, stating the obvious is something we should never do. So we should never say someone interrupted or was the first to mention something when we’ve already shown these things with the dialogue. Yeah, that isn’t easy to remember when we’re writing the piece in the first place since we’re not thinking about style as much was we’re thinking about content. But we have to cut this drivel out of our manuscripts as soon we start editing because it just excess padding.

I can also see, when the piece is long enough, where a writer might think it is necessary to reiterate or paraphrase things that took place earlier in the story, possibly thinking the reader either forgot or didn’t catch the significance of what happened. The problem with this tactic is that it is condescending, as Browne and King say in chapter nine of their book Self-Editing For Fiction Writers titled Once is Usually Enough.

And yeah, they’re right; it’s really off putting when a writer does this to a reader.


Happy writing everyone. J