Tag Archives: creativity

Cursive

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Charlie bent over his work, his little tongue licking his lips like a squirrel who can’t decide which direction to go when a car heads toward it. He carefully followed the direction of the arrows which told him how to form the cursive letters. After writing an uppercase L, he raised his head and grinned at me with wide excited eyes.

“What if the bottom of the L just kept going,” he flipped through the pages of his workbook to the end, “all the way through all the lines to the end of the book? That would be sooo crazy!”

I humored him with a smile. My practical, grown-up mind tried to fathom the world-changing implications of an L with a tail long enough to fill a whole workbook. It was beyond my capabilities.

Even with the threat of long-tailed Ls, I was just happy he wanted to learn cursive. I could remember being exactly his age and wanting to write that way, but my school didn’t teach cursive until second grade. I could join up all the letters of my first name, except for the S. My first-grade teacher had to ask me to stop.

William wanted to learn when he was in first grade too, and I knew I would have to be the one to teach him. But I made him wait. I had to wait. Even the workbook said that it was for third to fourth grade. So we waited. And now he’s no longer interested.

I wasn’t going to make that mistake with Charlie.

When he got to the end of the page, I pulled out his Starbuck’s chocolate cake pop from it’s little paper bag and let him have another bite…

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Backwards

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The seasonal trend in Florida fashion.

Lucy’s eyes were pricked as if tears were about to leak from them. But she wasn’t emotional. Her eyes weren’t even overly watery. You know that almost burning, sort of sour pressure you get in your sinus cavities when you start to cry? Yeah, that.

When Chaucer wrote, “Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote…” he never knew a place like Florida. Lucy didn’t see sweet showers in April there.

Instead, she saw everything dusted yellow with pollen as if the deranged cousin of Jack Frost took his bottle of yellow, odorless baby powder and sprinkled it all over the place.

Joe Pollen.

Didn’t he know that Lucy had a headache everyday for months now because of it? Didn’t he know that she can’t even have fun singing anymore because her throat is so sore? And WHY does he have to visit when the weather is actually nice?

Why can’t Jack visit more often? Lucy liked Jack, but he only visited Florida every other year or so.

And still there was no rain in the forecast. Nothing to tamp down the incessant pollen.

Florida is backwards in many of it’s seasons. The leaves fall in Spring when the temperature is already rising after a brief burst of chill. The risk of floods happen in summer during the torrential afternoon downpours that line the roads with a hot fog after they’ve baked in the sun all day.

Lucy once went to a home show where a vendor tried to sell saunas to Floridians. Talk about trying to sell ice to an Eskimo.

But now it was bone dry outside with a yellow haze and the five medications Lucy been taking to combat allergies were just not cutting it. Not even when she also consumed a concoction of raw local honey, raw apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and hot water. She got the recipe from a cousin in Ireland, and it was actually rather tasty so she drank it anyway.

She thought of folks in other states who sigh during deep winter and wonder how nice it would be to live in Florida. But she knew first hand that it wasn’t cold enough in the winter to put much of a dent in the monotonous heat or kill off the plants for a season so that you don’t get that huge burst of sinus crushing pollen.

They were better off where they were.

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Switching Plot Gears

It took a lot of practice for me to get the hang of this…

When I was younger and had a lot more time on my hands, I would sometimes spend an entire day reading books. But because I could never quite make up my mind which one to read first, I’d set up a stack of about 5 or 6 on one side of my lap. Then I would read one chapter of each until they were all on the other side of my lap and I’d do the same all over again.

My WIP has been working the same way. I’ve got a timeline going for my characters who are in 1715, and another for the ones who are in 2023. Except for the first few chapters, I’ve been pretty much switching back and forth between the two time periods with each new chapter.

While I’m hoping that doing this helps to build the tension especially if I end the previous chapter with a cliffhanger, I’m wondering if writing this way is stalling my momentum. One author that comes to mind who writes in this manner is Michael Scott of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series (which is a fantastic blending of history, mythology and modern adventure, by the way :D). I wonder if he wrote his story lines individually first, then mixed the chapters appropriately or if he wrote it they way I’ve been doing it.

I guess it doesn’t matter too much as long as I get the writing done. I’ve been doing much better since the gluten is out of my system. I figured out what to do with Kells and now am a writing machine lately. Well…as much as I can be with 2 little boys that sometimes make me feel like an overworked waitress. 😉 But yesterday, I got 1300 words in the 4 hours that I’m allowed to have them in the YMCA play center. Yay!

What do you think would work best for you? Would you write each plot line separately until the point that they meet and integrate the chapters appropriately? Or would you switch back and forth like me?

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