Quips & Quotations 13

A new year means a new Thursday theme. 2015 will be about quotes and quips that I particularly enjoy or thoroughly relate to. I hope you will too.

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Quips & Quotations 12

A new year means a new Thursday theme. 2015 will be about quotes and quips that I particularly enjoy or thoroughly relate to. I hope you will too.

f43f3ec1ca602f0b0f3fe31e661cab25Don’t I know it.


 

Story’s Little White Lies

134170985_istockphoto_thinkstockIt’s funny how as a writer I find myself becoming, at times, a better oral story teller. I just caught myself retelling a small scenario from church to my husband and simplifying some of the details to make a better verbal impact and a greater punchline.

Huh. Did I just lie? Did I just go against everything I’ve been taught all my life and tell a Lie?

Interesting. And all the more so because it’s becoming a bit of a habit.

There’s nothing worse than listening to someone tell a story and having them use a lot of “sort-of’s” and “kind-of’s,” or “a little bit’s.” Or describing something as “like a this thing–well, no, maybe it was more like a that–” They try to get the details just so and for many things, like telling how father’s iridectomy went, the details count. After all you don’t want Aunt Bertha passing the story to Uncle Curt and suddenly father’s iridectomy becomes a triple bypass complicated by a plantar’s wart and his body odor and he had an out of body experience in the midst of it.story-fun

If your child’s teacher calls to tell you your child spit on the janitor’s head, you better hope she’s not fiddling the truth, when your child only sneezed on the water fountain.

Nooo, we don’t want that sort of false retelling. And when the boss says you’re getting a $10 an hour raise and you open your next paycheck to find a 10 cents a day decrease— well there’s h— oops, certainly something to pay.

So how do we tell a story for the sake of a good story? Cause I know I’m not alone.

Because I’ve caught myself altering the strict truth of story simply for love of telling it well. I doubt I’m the only one. Let’s hope I’m not heading for perdition. Story gets into ones blood. It’s been part of civilization ever since—ever. Like since the first cave-men with no language, spoken or written, played charades to tell each other what happened out in the fields that day. of course they’re gonna swap the details to out-do one another.storytelling

What does fiddling the facts comes from? Perhaps some of us get tired of listening to stories from people who have to reclaim every detail, important  or not, that slow down the story and cause you to lose interest. The tension is stretched to uselessness by constant correcting themselves or telling too much back-story in a backwards manner, whether it pertains or not.

Or it’s because, as of we writers, the editing of the written word, the maximizing of each phrase to carry the story, the careful choosing of words to say more than they do at face value, has taught us to edit more carefully the spoken story too.

It’s the essence that counts. The overall effect. The end result. Carried only by choice details, not all and sundry.story1

So what if the little boy in church today who, during a pause, loudly hummed the Star Wars theme song actually hummed a different song. I don’t care. It sounded close enough and if I hummed and hawed as I told my hubby the tale, it would have been sadly lacking in acoustic quality.

SO what if the little boy in church today actually hummed a different tune than the Star Wars Theme song? If not, it was certainly a lot like it and created the same impact–a wave of tittering in the rows nearest him. So later when I told my husband, it would have lost the giggle factor if I’d out loud speculated if that’s what song it really was. The acoustic quality of the tale would have failed entirely, thus vetoing the point of the tale.

And it was funny. The little guy belted out that tune right during a pause.AA_New_Logo♫ ♯♪  Dun da da DUN dun, dunta da Daaaa…♫ ♯♪



Quips & Quotations 11

A new year means a new Thursday theme. 2015 will be about quotes and quips that I particularly enjoy or thoroughly relate to. I hope you will too.

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The 3 I’s: Instinct, Intuition, Imagination

Wonderbook-large“Different forces are at work today with regard to imagination. . .Some writers second guess their instincts and devalue the sense of play that infuses creative endeavours.”  —Jeff VanderMeer, Wonderbook Wonderbook is a new fiction writers’ book I am exploring and the line above, a few pages in, struck a chord.

 

The paragraph, in a nutshell, tells how in a digital technological world, we are obsessed with absolute perfection.
How does this then affect our imagination? Imagination is the component for fiction writing. Yes we need facts and yes we need perfection in grammar and story arc in order to publish, but what if we lose the free rein of imagination in the process.

 

Over analyzing story–where does that take us as writers? Very often to the above sentence, where we begin to second-guess our entire story and every element of impulsive, intuitive imagination that went into it and characterizes that story as mine. As something that only I could have written.

 

When I read that sentence in the book, I realized why I was stuck on my work in progress. I was no longer playing with imagination, I was over-analyzing and killing the spirit of the writing.cobweb-4193_1280Writing is hard, a spiderweb where all the threads have to meet at one point in the center. But it’s the dew drops on it that sparkle in the sun and catch the eye, teasing, tantalizing. And that’s it–it’s the sparkly dew–the imagination overtop and throughout all that captures the eye and becomes magic. It’s not the dotted i’s and crossed t’s with all the commas in the right place.
It’s the story’s essence that captures the reader and why we write it in the first place. It’s the imaginative details that fly through our brain in intuitive dance that makes or breaks the story.

 

If we lose that magic of instinctive, intuitive imagination, we’ve lost all.

Quips & Quotations 10

A new year means a new Thursday theme. 2015 will be about quotes and quips that I particularly enjoy or thoroughly relate to. I hope you will too.

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A Precious Kind of Silly

In our family silly was always good. I thought this was normal family life.

In my mid teens we met up with a new family and at one point the mother told her child, “Don’t be so silly.”

grimace-388987_1920But her tone of voice was all wrong, as her facial expression. The child had not been a stupid or crass kind of silly, just a normal child type of silly. How then was the mom so disgusted that she had to reprimand her child and reduce her to intimidation?

It was a real eye opener that not everyone grew up in as loving and balanced a home as I did. I appreciated the good clean fun silliness more. I appreciated humour more and more.suit-673697_1280

In school we learned about comic relief in script writing. How the writers add a comical or humorous situation in the midst of a tense situation to give the readers/ audience a breather, as a ballast and a balance.

It wasn’t till years later when something jogged the memory of this child’s situation, that I realized this poor kid wasn’t getting any comic relief in their life to ease the challenges of growing up, and what is to follow.

I thank God everyday for a family who knows how to do silly. A family who laughs, loves and occasionally sticks a carrot in the peanutbutter.woman-586185_1920