With my 2003 Hyundai Elantra finally repaired, insured, and road-worthy after nearly two years sitting idle in the driveway, I am once again a Road Warrior as well as a Weekend Writing one.
And with that awesome fix comes new job opportunities.
I started a new ParaPro assignment at another Preschool, but this time the students are not special needs so... no biting, kicking, punching, random screams to induce heart attacks, and no child's general lack of social engagement.
However, one of the three educators I help has a very bad attitude toward the parents of these At-Risk preschoolers, which is sad, but I'm learning how to ignore negative vibes.
I have a new camera (Nikon), so on overcast days I'll be back to my old habit of hunting down the ideal images to shoot, and with Fall in full swing now, this should be an exciting and (hopefully) impressive endeavor.
Also acquired a new work space.
Which isn't nearly as clunky and over-sized as the previous desk, but it is still too big for me and my needs.
By over-sized, I mean width and its being the wrong height for my chair.
No worries though, because one day I'll have the ideal space in which to write so until then, I make do.
Old is New Again
With this new assisting the kiddies job came an odd situation where I'm responsible for 3 separate rooms each hour, but with never enough time to relax between rooms, and carrying a purse or even just my wallet isn't working.
So, instead of wearing my sunglasses atop my head, my spectacles on a chain around my neck, and my car keys, wallet, and gum packet stuffed inside pockets (because there is Nowhere to set down a purse), I went to the Disabled American Veterans resale shop and found... are you ready for it?
A Fanny Pack!
Hey, it works.
I subscribe to Ted (since my college days) and this video appeared a few days ago to make me smile.
Just as I am not embarrassed about wearing a Fanny Pack today, I am also not ashamed to admit my being a Prescriptivist in a Descriptivist world.
I still do a lot of reading in my spare time and cannot help but notice when things aren't quite right in any novel in any genre.
Last year I attempted to hop on a bandwagon and eliminate commas preceding or following certain conjunctions like so and although but have since reverted back to the old way because (to me) it just looks AND reads better.
Without commas, we have run-on sentences, and run-on sentences will always be a no-no to my mind.
Commas are meant as pause, and a majority of the time that pause is necessary while also helping to make the words form a better, more rhythmic or even poetic-sounding sentence.
While I'm on the Grammar Police Patrol, another online post caught my attention and also made me giggle.
Yet, when reading a novel that includes grammar/punctuation/spelling (GPS) issues, the humor is suddenly lacking and frustration enters the picture instead.
Verbally, I can't help but to snicker whenever I hear someone misuse any of the above terminology, but if I see it in writing, it has the opposite affect and makes me question the author's education level.
The same thing goes for weird decisions.
It is a proven fact that most people speak differently than they write and that most writers elevate their work above common dialogue between two or more people.
Not all, but I think most (or maybe I'm being generous).
When an author writes redundant, it takes me out of the story and into Editor/Critic mode, which isn't a good thing.
Examples include Advance warning, All throughout, Ascend up, and End result, to name a few.
I have to ask: Why don't you know that these are synonyms and therefore synonymous?
Instead of writing this first in a series story beginning to end and THEN going back to deal with the countless issues involved in polishing it to as-close-to perfection as I can get, I have gone back after one or two chapters to re-do, re-write, and re-examine things.
Old habits are definitely hard to break, but not impossible.
So, as of tomorrow, I'll be writing and writing and writing until I reach THE END and then go back to work out all the kinks.
Anyway, my Beta Reader is marvelous and really knows how to help me see and understand this Show v Tell thing.
Sadly, her advice and suggestions rankle instead of soothe.
Yes, I agree it is necessary (sometimes) to expound on some sentences, but not always.
As a reader, I skim over show sentences and think they are unnecessary, boring, and 98% of the time stupid.
As a writer, I'm just as anxious to get to the good stuff as I am as a reader.
As a reader, I do care what the interior of a house looks like, what season the setting takes place in, and if the neighbors across the street are retired hippies, stuffy rich folk, or backwoods rednecks.
As a writer, I have a hard time trying to decide what a reader wants me to expound on and what I can gloss over because, let's face it, I tend to give readers lots more credit than maybe they deserve?
To say it is late October or mid-autumn immediately fills my head with a host of imagery that makes the insertion of excess words unnecessary, as does retired hippies, stuffy rich folk, and backwoods redneck.
If I tell you she's upset because a bird just pooped on her shoulder with Mr. Hot standing right there to witness, do I really need to go into lengthy detail about how and why she's upset?
The bird poop and Mr. Hot parts don't auto-trigger a cringe alert in the reader?
The 'danger' that comes with like and as if sentences (showing) is the insertion of personification, the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, and you don't want to hear any more about my absolute detesting of such nonsense.
However, with the help of Beta Readers, I'm far better able to see where my writing could use more flowery prose and more meat on its bones... sometimes.
Here's an example of my own writing and my Beta Reader's [nice] remark that followed:
He didn’t have the time? His brother might be busy, but Inigo was exhausted and still wearing yesterday’s clothes for cripes sake. His worn out t-shirt clung to his sweat-dried skin, adding to his discomfort. A quick glance in the rear-view mirror showed dark circles under his eyes and matted hair that needed as much cleaning as the rest of him did.
Hell, what he needed was a head to toe scrub down.
Some homecoming this turned out to be. But, Inigo hadn’t anticipated the red carpet treatment. What just occurred between him and Iliya was about as good as it gets, and his older brother’s superior attitude was no surprise. Inigo hadn’t expected for there to be so many changes to the house, though. The complete renovation of that ratty, old house and its worn-out décor reminiscent of Roseanne still staggered him.
And the not-so-nice.
“She’s a friend of the princess,” Iliya growled. “Don’t call me again, Inigo, unless you really want the beat down you’ve been begging for.”...
Iliya had disconnected. [Show vs Tell. ]
“Is something wrong?” he asked.
She shook her head, still staring up at him with a terrified gaze [show vs tell], and for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out why. Then she started to back away, and he sensed that she might bolt.
Now, in my own defense, that second snippet doesn't seem wrong to me because it is Inigo's POV and not Linley's, so to show her emotions seems wrong (odd) but I am probably wrong. It is his viewpoint and what he is seeing, not feeling... right?
Regardless, I hope this shows that I have a better understanding of the Show v Tell issue and am more advanced on the subject than I was just a few months ago.
Thanks from stopping by and reading my post!
I'll leave you with a Hot Guy picture to help you transition from Sunday night to Monday Moanin'