Monday, September 28, 2015

Last Week #44 - Dialogue

At my writer's group last week, we had a prompt that I found really interesting.  Write a scene only in dialogue. To me, that meant not only the conversation between the characters, but also establishing the scene. How are they feeling? What are they doing? I tried to show that only through dialogue. This is a bit of what I came up with.

“What do I do? He’s been there all day.”

“Have you seen him? Has he come over?”

“No Anderson, he’s still at the neighbour’s.  Hold on, I’m going to put you on speaker…There.”

“Why am I on speaker?”

“I don’t want him to see me peek out of the window with a phone on my ear.”

“Are the lights in your house still off?”

“Yes, but it’s Sunday.  He has to know that I’m at home.  Where else would I be?”

“You could be out with your wonderful friend and co-worker.”

“That’s true...and I can hear you smiling.”

“Taryn, you’ve stopped returning his texts and calls, right?”


“Why do you sound so distant?”

“Sorry, I was just looking up at the grey clouds. They threaten rain, but nothing has happened.  I wonder if anything is going to happen.”

“Happen with the rain or happen with Ben?”


“You’ve just fallen over onto your couch, haven’t you?”


“Next time you meet one of you neighbour’s friends, what are you going to do?”

“Not go out with them.”

“And why is that?”

“Because they might turn out to be the smothering stalker type and when they are friends with the people next door, they can watch me come and go as much as they want.”

“That sounds as creepy and terrible as I thought it would. Why don’t you call the cop?”

“I can’t call the police because I think maybe this guys is nuts.  He hasn’t actually done anything.”

“I didn’t say cops, I said the cop.”

Trying to establish the scene using just the conversation was not easy. I think I did an okay job. I like what's there, but I think I will go back over it and put in some descriptive phrases and narration. I was inspired to make the conversation between two characters in my work-in-progress. I think it might be too light for the overall tone I am going for, but I can change that too. I wonder what this conversation will look like when I'm done with it.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Last Week #43 - Writing Practice

I sadly haven't worked that much on my WIP.  The beginning of school is always a busy time with the kids. Any free time I've been getting, I've been working on the writing course I started recently. I like the lessons so far. I'm looking forward to more in depth work though. I do like what I've written through the practice and assignments involved in each lesson. There are definitely bits that could be potential stories in the future.  It has been nice to carve our some time to connect with my creativity.

Here is a rough, unedited snippet from one of the practices I did this week:

I stopped.  I could feel the panic rising in me.  I thought this was a forest because of what I felt when I was seated, the tree and the dark outline of leaves above me.  But I couldn't see very far into the darkness.  I also couldn't remember how I got out here.  I was wearing a jacket with pockets. I began searching.  There was no mobile phone, no source of light, no wallet.  I thought about where I had been sitting, what if something fell out?  I took a step back and crouched, finding dirt, dried leaves and pine needles.

As I stood and dusted me hands off, I call out again, "Hello?" I shivered, what if I didn't want someone who was out there right now to find me? I walked around the tree trunk, but it told me nothing except that it was a big tree.

I couldn't stay there, I felt exposed to the unseen.  When I thought I was once again in the place where I started, I put my back against the trunk.  I inhaled slowly and took one step forward. I kept my arms out in front of me, slightly bent.  I toke another step. I breathed again and kept moving forward, one small step at a time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Random #60 - Cold Medicine at Night

I don't even know what the point of trying to write at post after having taken night time cold medicine (NyQuil) is.  At least I can breathe.  At least I'll be able to get to sleep tonight.  This just won't be one of my most productive evenings.

It's a little disappointing, getting a cold now.  The first week craziness of school is over.  I think I have a new routine down, with space for writing, blogging, and maybe getting some exercise, but not right now.  Now, I feel cold and hot at the same time and I just want to rest.  NyQuil and writing might produce some "interesting" stuff, if I could get myself to sit up long enough... I don't think that's going to happen.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Quote #44 - Emily Dickinson

“The dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul—BOOKS.”
—Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Random #59 - The Omnibus

How do you feel about Omnibuses?  I understand why they are created, popular trilogies (or quartets and quintets) are collected into one volume and sold at a good price. People buy, read, it's great. Sometimes they replace the individual novels.

Here is where my question really comes from: Do you read the omnibus as if it were one book? Typically, when I read series, I break them up. I like variety, I like to think and ponder. It's been a long time since I binge read a series. I can't even think of an instance. Maybe when I read Harry Potter when only the first four books were out? I haven't felt the urge to binge-read either. Recently, I read Seed to Harvest and Underwater Love (two completely different books).  Seed to Harvest is the collection of Octavia E. Butler's Patternmaster series. Underwater Love is the collection of MaryJanice Davidson's Fred the Mermaid series. In both cases, I broke up the series, reading each book, then something else, then coming back. Neither omnibus was that long, but I chose this option anyway. Patternmaster is a series of such different books, I don't know if reading them all together would have mattered.

Part of me feels ridiculous for doing this.  Am I ridiculous?  This is just how I've always read series, interspersed with other books.  The omnibuses have just made me think about my choices.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Last Week #42 - I Started A Writing Course

It is back to school time. The long weekend is coming to a close and we hope that the children have enough clothes. That means another upheaval. Changes to routine are about to occur, though it will mostly be going back to the routine we had until the end of June. There are a few little tweaks though. I am hoping that everything will find a good rhythm by the end of the week, though who knows.

To throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing, I've decided to take a writing course. Today I finished the first lesson in Sarah Selecky's Story is a State of Mind program.  I enjoyed it.  It was all about freewriting. I've mentioned the writer's group I go to, which is a freeflow group.  So it was nice to start with something I'm familiar with.  I found the practices and the assignment very interesting. I also like that the course encourages (requires) you to write away from your computer, in a notebook.  I liked the readings too. They were both sad, but had a freeflow kind of feeling to them.  I'm looking forward to more lessons and readings.  Of course, I'm interested in the writing that will come out of this.