Hoppy Easter Sunday, 2016.
May you and your family find the rich blessings of our Lord in your world today.
Having A Kid Away At College During Holidays
I re-learned yesterday, when my twin 16-year-old daughters came over for an early Easter lunch, that holidays can be/are far different when you have your eldest 10 hours away at Auburn University. Empty spots at the table take some getting used to.
I dressed up for the twins to come–usually I am dressed in a t-shirt and shorts so I don’t mess up clothes while cooking the proverbial fatted calf. Yesterday, it was a white dress shirt and a seasonally-appropriate green self-tied bow-tie with white polka dots. A picture has been included.
So much is in flux in my world as I sit here today sharing a few thoughts.
Sheered Great Pyrenee
A week and a half ago now I took Maycee, my 20-month-old Great Pyrenees to the groomers and had her winter coat shaved. Whew. No more hair all over the place, but she’s been needier than ever. Has even been sleeping in the bed with
me and she had stopped doing that about a year ago. Now, when I sit here at the desk trying to work, instead of sitting in the floor next to me, she’s rubbing up against me. In many ways, I feel like I have a two-year-old child with separation anxiety. I will be glad when she regains her self-confidence. I had no idea dogs could feel embarrassed, but it’s clear that’s what’s going on. One of my neighbors said, “You should know better than to mess with a woman’s hair. We take that seriously, you know.” Lesson learned. But I’m not sure how to avoid it next year.
FileMaker Is Challenging My Left-Brain
I have spent hours upon hours the past few months learning the deeper levels necessary for the development of database projects in FileMaker Pro. By nature, God made me a writer, which means I do most of my work out of my proverbial right-brain. Left-brain work is not something I’ve ever been really good at but I am doing everything I can to use the other side of my smarts–heck, I’m 50, it’s about time, right? Two significant development projects are underway. (And I just got bumped into by Maycee.)
J. Suzanne Frank
One of the smartest people I’ve ever come to know is J. Suzanne Frank, the director of Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path program.
In the past year and a half, I’ve been through all of the early portions of the program and have been under her instruction for at least half of it. Suzanne has written and had published EIGHT books. She knows her stuff and it is reflected by the results of the Writer’s Path program.
Having two completed manuscripts in hand, I’m now taking her special “Gap Year Revising” class where she is encouraging us to put our works through the wringer to get them into shape to be presented to agents and publishing houses in New York in November 2017. (I make mention of the date so as to emphasize to you that writing a book isn’t something one does in the space of a Hollywood movie and it gets sent to the first agent/publishing house, they love it, stop the presses, print it and then it’s on the shelves for everyone in the world to buy at Barnes & Noble in a few weeks.)
Friday, Suzanne circulated a post from another writer on non-rules to follow for budding writers. They’re pretty good and I’ve added the link here.
But last week’s revelation to us was something Suzanne calls “The Mirror Moment,” and her theory, which we’re validating in this week’s homework, is to find the point–typically EXACTLY mid-way through a published work of your choice, where a character is at a point where they can see they must make a change and can see what their life will look like if they don’t make one for the better.
It was a pretty stunning revelation to learn and while I’ve found it hard to find in other works this past week, I am finding it.
The past few years of my life I’ve been in something of a cocoon. Considerable learning with self-taught programs like Linda.com and several how-to books have vastly improved my skills as a graphic artist, video editor, digital book publisher, and ultimately, has moved me into the field of novel writing.
The agonies of the past few years have been many, but I’m seriously trying to turn a corner–I’m having my own mirror moments–and can see how I don’t want to live the last years of my life.
I won’t go into them now, they’re really still fleshing themselves out. It’d be like taking a butterfly out of its cocoon without letting it do all the exercises necessary for its wings to dry out and strengthen so it can fly on its own. Doing so kills a fledgling butterfly.
But the Mirror Moment is my life epiphany for the week, I suppose. Brought on by the teachings of again, one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. What changes MUST you make in your life to set it off in a better course than you’re heading on now? Words to ponder.
Hoppy Easter to one and all.