03 August 2011

Rounding To The Home Stretch.......

Good Things Come To Those Who........

Add your word here.......

Happy Wednesday to all Round Of Words in 80 Days members! 

  Blast From The Past.......Er, I Mean...The Midwest.....
Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. Mark Twain

Hope you've all had a great start to the week.  I sure have! 
This weekend, our great and sorely missed friends came in from Iowa for a visit.  With our three boys, and their four boys, we made a testosterone laced group!  Kathy can absolutely appreciate my situation - being the only female in a house filled with males. 
We celebrated her son's fifth birthday with a picnic and swimming adventure on Sunday, and then gathered with the group of friends we all shared on Monday for a cookout, playing games and enjoying coffee late into the evening as scads of children reveled in wild abandon.  It was such a fun time!  They are on their way home now, and I miss them already.  Kathy, one of the best friends I've known, is an adventurer at heart.  I suppose that's why we made fast friends.  We met under odd circumstances, delivering our second sons on the same day and within ten minutes of one another.  (What a crazy morning that was!)  But it wasn't until a year later that we became close.  Since then, we've worked on political campaigns, been a part of planting a church, taken a girls-only vacation to the Big Apple, added sons to our families, and cried on each other's shoulders. (We're planning another adventure to Montreal....but first she's got to get moved to South Carolina.....yeah, she's a busy lady)  You don't get many friendships like that in a lifetime.  Have a safe trip home, my friend.
Editing ....The All Encompassing Endeavor....
My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.
Mark Twain
I've edited through chapter sixteen in Claiming The Prize - at least in the second read-through.  There will be more.....Oh Boy!  I've changed a few scenes, taking some description and revealing it through conversation between the characters.  I'd love to take credit for the idea, but it came through critiques I've gotten back, so no can do. 
Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.
Mark Twain
On a more disturbing note, I've got a dilemma....a conundrum....a sticky widget....Okay, okay, I'll stop there.  I've received two opposing views on one particular subject.  Description.  I happen to enjoy description - to a certain extent.  For example, I've never been able to fully appreciate Tolkien, (please don't boo or hiss at me.....I know..I speak about a master) as I find his descriptions 'overmuch'.  But I thoroughly enjoy the writings that help me see in my mind's eye the characters and the settings in which they are placed.  One reader would like more from me, and another would like less.  I'm thinking that this comes down to personal preference.  But my own personal preference is such an individual, unique beast.....it can be my most trusted advisor, or the angry cat whose tail I've just tramped on..........  
Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.
C. S. Lewis
Where Does This Leave A First Time Author?
We are what we believe we are.
C. S. Lewis

Exactly where a first time - or longtime - author should be.  Learning.  Doing.  Experiencing.  Growing.  We've got to remember that while we must strive to be the best we can be today, we are a work in progress.  We take in what we can from those who've gone through the process before us, and we use it to better ourselves.  We make our own tough decisions.  We'll live to tell about it - and be better writers for it.  How else can one learn, but by doing?   
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.
C. S. Lewis
~ Nadja


  1. You're criticising Tolkien then quoting his friend Lewis? That's funny :-)
    As for description... I think I do both. Some scenes I have way too many flights of fancy going on, and in others, I've completely forgotten even to mention the basics of which room the characters are in!
    And hey, what's this about coming to Montreal? That would be exciting!

  2. Lewis and Tolkien may have been friends but they were two very different writers. I'm with Nadja and must admit that I've never read Lord of the Rings - for me Tolkien drags. I've been through the Narnia Chronicles a couple of times. Don't get me started on The Hobbit.

    Nadja, you've got to find your own balance between description and action and frequently it is not more of the one and less of the other but better of both (or sharper). You choose.

  3. Sounds like you have managed to get some good work done even though it sounds like you have been busy!

    I too skim read over long descriptions but as I have started writing I seem to write lots of descroption. Go figure! I guess you have decide what you like best and go for that. I know that is easier said then done!

  4. Ha! I know, Deniz. I love reading C.S. Lewis, but Tolkien.....not quite as much. I think I do what you do. Some scenes I describe in great detail, and others, I get caught up in the storyline and hardly mention a thing!

    And yes! My girlfriend and I are in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Montreal. I remember now that you live in Canada. I'll have to let you know when I'm coming, and we should meet up in the city! You can meet the fabulous Kathy...Ha!

    Gerhi ~ I like your last two sentences. Better of both! Thanks for the concise summation.

    Em ~ I'm not normally a skim reader. I have to read everything....(I guess I'm afraid I'll miss out on something good...ha!) It's funny how much detail I've imagined for each scene in my novel. At least I know it's working (my imagination, that is....)
    Thanks for the reminder to do what I like best.

    Hope you all have a great finish to your week. ~ Nadja

  5. Sometimes I enjoy a lot of description and sometimes I don't. It really depends on the scene. I think a lot of description can slow down the pace of a story. It might work well for certain kinds of scenes, to really emphasize something or induce a certain feel but it would probably drag down an action scene. I personally don't like a whole novel that's heavy on description...honeslty, I start to skip over stuff like that. But, I don't like a novel too lean in description either.

  6. I suppose that's the key, Sonia - finding when and where description enhances as opposed to dragging down, and then arranging it to accomplish seamless transition within the scene. ~ Nadja

  7. "Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream."-Mark Twain

    I'll remember this! ^_^

  8. Your description of the house full of boys made me think of how I describe my house--Testosterone Palace. I do have a female dog, but we are outnumbered!

    I describe a lot, or a little--depends on the scene, my mood, quartile of the moon, I dunno. Go with your instinct, I say!

    Great quotes!