Friday, June 30, 2017

My, How They're Growing!

Claui sent me these pictures yesterday and I'm amazed at how Josie is changing and becoming more of a person in so few days. And speaking of growth and change . . .

It's been a great week here with terrific students, all of whom have a good start on their novels and a road map for where their story is going. I think they've all experienced a lot of growth in a few short days.

I shall hope to hear someday that they've finished these novels and are headed toward publication. I want to read them all!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Writing at JCCFS

I am always amazed at the ability of people to knuckle down and respond to off the wall writing prompts. And respond with grace and wit.

My students are writing police procedural, fantasy, women's fiction, environmental issues, and what appears to be a Southern Gothic ghost story -- all books I look forward to reading someday.

Monday was spent in talking/writing about their protagonists and I think each of the students got a clearer sense of who those folks were or will be. 

I assigned them the task of doing observations -- noting down interesting overheard conversations, descriptions of interesting sights, random profound thoughts -- anything that might find its way into a novel. And they had some goodies.

One of my observations was the bumper-stickered car I posted yesterday. One could construct an interesting character from the passions inferred -- or one could describe a character by the bumper stickers on his/her car.

 (Query -- are bumper stickers a peculiarly American thing? Do people in other countries paste their preferences on their cars?)

Yesterday we worked on dialogue -- writing believable conversations, using BEATS instead of TAGS  (see HERE) to enrich the reader's sense of what is going on, writing dialogue in which one participant is silent but responds with body language, writing dialogue when more than two are in the conversation, et cetera, et cetera.

While they write, sometimes I go out and take pictures. And sometimes I blog.

Then they read what they've written and the class comments. 

And then I give them another prompt and off they go!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Safely Here

Arrived at John C. Campbell after what should have been a two and a half hour trip stretched to almost four due to a serious traffic jam. I was tempted by but, due to time constraints, couldn't stop at the American Museum of the House Cat next to an Antique Mall. Perhaps on the way home. . . .

Have met my class and sent them off with a writing assignment for tomorrow. I want them to introduce their main character from that character's point of view AND from the point of view of someone who doesn't much like them or sees them differently. 

It's a diverse group and I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Who Does Josie Look Like?

Justin, 1978

Folks often ask about (or seem to see) family resemblances in babies. I'm no different -- to me, Josie looks like her father when he was a baby. For all I know, she may look like Claui too but I haven't seen pictures of Claui as a baby.

Ethan, Vicki, and Justin, 1978
Justin sees the resemblance but points out that Josie is prettier . . . 

Claui and Josie
You be the judge . . .
John and Justin, 1978

John and Justin, 1978
I'm off today for  week of teaching at John C. Campbell Folk School. I should have internet access but one year it was down. So don't be worried if I don't post.

As always, I hate to leave home for fear of missing something. My big pink Oriental lily(I think it's a Stargazer) is about to bloom --for the first time since I planted it two or three years ago.

And, of course, Josie. She is changing so fast -- beginning to interact with me and really lock eyes. She had a little spell of looking as if she was trying to talk when I was talking to her and making faces. And she smiles!

A week is so short -- for me it's just a blip in the 3, 862 or so that I've lived so far but for her right now, it's one fifth of her whole life.

I can't wait to see what she does with it! 


Friday, June 23, 2017

What and Where?

An assortment of strange life forms on the ocean floor?

A collection of odd mineral formations in a recently discovered cave?

A collection of growths on the floor of the Senate? Beings that function without hearts, enabling them to cut taxes for the wealthy and drive up the profits of the insurance industry while cutting health care from the most vulnerable?

 Nope, it's just the cream of asparagus soup that's been lost in the back of the refrigerator too long.

Whew! For a minute I thought I spotted Mitch McConnell!

Seriously, if you are opposed to this disaster of a health bill, let your Congress critters know, loud and clear.

(Yes, I hear you -- first a giant spider and now this. I'll get some Josie pics up ASAP.)