Do you ever feel like you’re losing your marbles? Been there, done that, and occasionally I still do! Thank goodness I’m retired! It's so much easier to keep track of things.
Sometimes, I still lose things, especially when I’m under stress. In late April my mother fell and went to the hospital. She broke 3 ribs and her shoulder. Ouch! I was also taking a writing class. Double ouch! I was losing my phone and my kindle at least 3 times a day, every day...URGH!
The breaking point was the night I couldn’t find my phone. It was 11 PM, and I'd looked all over the house, repeatedly. Finally, I went to my mother’s to see if I'd left it there. I was scared I’d be arrested for breaking and entering, even though I used a key, and turned on the lights. It wasn’t there, I wasn’t arrested, and the phone was by my kitchen sink, where I’d left it when I was doing dishes…URGH!!!
My daughter's fiancee got her tiles as a birthday gift in March. She told me how wonderful they were, but I didn’t buy a set, not till that night in May. My tiles came in a set of 4, and they ARE wonderful!
This is my kindle. Now when it’s missing, I don’t look for it. Really! I click the Tile app on my phone. Then I click on the kindle icon, and it makes my kindle tile sing. I follow the song straight to my kindle. Heaven!
Have you ever lost your phone and had someone call it for you? Tile does the same thing, except you don’t need a friend with a phone. It saves me so much stress. Now I can focus on important things, like healing my mother, or reading my kindle. Life is good!
Do you see the tile in my clutch? It’s my purse tile. If I can’t find it, I click the purse on my app and follow the song.
But what if I can’t find my phone? Do you see the silver circle on the tile? Push it till it chirps. It’ makes my phone sing until I can find it. Tile is a great thing!
Have you ever lost your keys…in your purse? I hate that, pulling everything out till I find them. With tile, no need! I click on my phone or on another tile, and VOILA! Keys found! It’s so easy! And, if I leave my keys somewhere else in the house, tile will find them too.
I had a tile to spare, from May till July. I saved it for my husband, but he didn’t want it so I found the perfect place…my clutch. In the summer it’s in my purse, but when I sub, I carry it where ever I go. Why? It’s my survival bag. Inside are mints and Kleenex for my nose and throat. Last year I left it behind several times. I had to retrace my steps and look for it. This year I’ll retrace my steps, but I’ll just listen for the Tile song. Lovely!
I wasn’t going to take this class. I wasn’t. Really!
I can’t draw, unless you count stick people. Then Mira sent an email that started me thinking. It was only 3 or 4 paragraphs long. The one that pulled me in was about thinking like an illustrator. Mira is great at persuasive writing.
I’m a writer. Why do I need to think like an illustrator? Because picture books are half words, half pictures. When I started writing 10 years ago, I could have 1000 words for a picture book. Now, I get 500, or less. Less is better!
With only 500 words, every word counts. As a writer, I want to cut the ones an illustrator can draw. In the 1st draft of my dog story, the dog was a Schnoodle. I loved the word Schnoodle, and Schnoodles are cute!
But my critique group said no, that the illustrator picks the dog. When/if this story is published, and I wrote it 6 years ago about my dog, a Border Terrier, the illustrator still chooses the dog. It could be a mutt, a Great Dane or even a Chihuahua. Really!
I hear this phrase a lot…‘leave room for the illustrator.’ What does that really mean? For me, don’t use adjectives or adverbs, or use them sparingly. Let the illustrator show those words instead. When writing , verbs are your best friend. So are specific nouns. The more specific the better.
Look at these 2 sentences: The big dog ran down the street at top speed. 10 words
The dachshund raced down Main St. 6 words
The second is shorter, gives a clearer picture. Writers edit to cut words, pick better words, and to add action. If you look at the sentences above: big dog= dachshund
ran + at top speed = raced
down the street= down Main St.
If an illustrator drew a picture of that second sentence, he/she could add details that’d I’d need at least 50 words to describe, probably more. Some of the books with the lowest word counts are done by author/illustrators. I love the hat books by Jon Klassen. He tells a great story with 100 words or less. How? Using the match between words and pictures.
That match is one reason I’m taking Mira’s class, to learn to think like an illustrator. Writing shorter and better is a great thing! The other reason is that 2 guides from my picture book class, Melissa and Sandra, took the illustration class last year. They learned a lot, had fun doing it, AND they can’t draw either. Melissa and Sandra almost sold me, but the sinker…I got a discount with early registration.
So come August 20th, I’ll start Mira’s class. I’ll let you know how it goes…finger’s crossed!
Happy 4th of July...Five days early! In America we like to celebrate, but we like to celebrate on the weekend. At the lake the fireworks went off Saturday night, June 30th. It was glorious! Just look at the pictures!
The Sequoyah Marina does them every year. This is my 3rd year at the lake, but my first fireworks. Finally! Fire on the water! To music! We never found the radio station, but some sound carried across the water to us. It was OK, but the view was incredible!. First high in the sky, then reflected in the water. WOW!!!
It was getting dark when we left for the marina. It looked a lot like the 1st picture. It was 9:30, dusk. I picked the 2nd picture because it shows how the boats tied up together, or put down anchors. Just imagine the lake darker and more crowded.
The fireworks started with Taps, just Taps. I’ve never seen or heard that before, but it felt right. As the last trumpet sounded, 3 lightning bolts shot into the sky and exploded. Time for fireworks, lake-style!
When you look at the pictures above, can you tell which came first? It’s the 1st one, pure fireworks. The 2nd has a cloud of gas building and expanding midair. That happens on land too, but it feels more intense at the lake where the fireworks get hemmed in between the sky and the water. Gorgeous!
Here are 2 more pictures. You can see the bright colors, but you’ll have to imagine the sound. The booms as they went off, the thuds that echoed back. Add in pop music anthems like Born in the USA. My favorite was God Bless the USA. Would you believe people across the lake started singing along? On key!
Sorry, I don’t have a picture of my favorite fireworks. Imagine a series of waterfalls flowing from the sky into the lake. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Ever! It was incredible!
When the fireworks ended, there was the ride home. What an experience! All these boats, with one headlight, all driving slowly. It’s nothing like a car with bright lights to help you look ahead, but least everyone was heading the same direction, at the same speed. And, we arrived home safe and sound. The boat too!
PS- Did you see this picture when I started this post? I always start with pictures, and this was originally the 2nd picture. Two days into writing and editing I discovered it had old information. How? The date was wrong. The fireworks couldn’t be on July 2nd when I was writing on July 2nd. Ouch! That’s when I pulled the picture and added a map instead. I didn’t write a word to you.
The next day I changed my mind. I decided to add this in as a postscript to show you why editing is important. I didn’t catch this error on the first 2 days, but I did on the third. Every time you read your work, you have the chance to catch your own errors. Stopping, resting, and rereading helped me catch my error, but it still took me 3 days to see it. Why am I sharing this with you? Finding your own mistakes is hard. Remember, 3 days! I hope that by showing you my mistake, it will make it easier for you to proofread repeatedly. Editing, proofreading, and repetition are your best writing tools!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!