May 6, 2012 § 13 Comments
The timing of our little vacation was perfect.
The place we chose, six miles past a paved road in the land of wild horses made it easy to forget the outside world. We four by foured it all along the sandy dunes to get to civilized land, since the roads aren’t paved that far down the Barrier Islands of North Carolina’s coast.
I spent my days sitting on the beach watching the girls play, giving me a chance to read a real book with real pages (as opposed to the audio versions), while Brian manned his fishing pole.
It’s funny how a break from reality lifts the doldrums (monotony you don’t even realize until you escape) and everyone is so much more peaceful.
The wild horses have added to the mystique and magic of the place.
They’ve been living along the shores of the Outer Banks since the 1500’s, descendents of the Spanish. We know this because we read up from books lining the rentals’ shelves. They had been pushed off Spanish ships that were sinking and their tough stocky bodies mixed with determination to live gave them power to swim to land.
The horses have survived longer than the Colonies and Blackbeard the Pirate and now roam the beaches, heads down nibbling sea grass. Every morning we would watch to see them coming up over the sandy hills and at dinner time we’d crane our necks to catch a glimpse as they’d disappear through the trees to where they’d sleep.
I managed to run one day, despite a nagging pain in my left calf. I probably should have given myself a few more days to nurse the leg (sore for a week already), but I couldn’t resist a beach run with the horses.
Beach running, I’d forgotten, is much tougher than running on nicely paved streets. My attempt at five miles turned into three with a half mile walk up the dunes back to the house. When I returned I was dripping with sweat, but stuck my legs in the hot tub anyway, hoping the heat would loosen the pull.
Amazingly, it felt much better the next day and tomorrow I will attempt a street run as soon as the kids are dropped off at school.
Yesterday, Brian’s old friend Uncle Al drove up from Raleigh and it was great to see him playing on the beach with the girls and their dad.
I watched from my chair while the boys got my daughters started with drippy sand castles, which kept them occupied for long enough that I was able to get all the way to page two hundred fifty in my book. Have I mentioned how much I’m loving The Help? It’s about a writer and a story she must tell and I’m delighted by the surprise (I can relate more than a little).
Last night I left the guys to party it up with Crown Royal and Coke and only had to come up once to tell them to turn down the music. They were having a good time, but I chose to spend my evening in a wicker chair next to my sleeping girls, while putting the finishing touches on the piece I sent to GeniusMoms.com.
The piece I was working on, entitled Infertility, Hope and Mother’s Day, turned out fine. It was a difficult one to write, but sometimes I need to be reminded of how much I wanted my monstrous monsters. If it doesn’t get published there, I’ll post in Mommyland.
It was early when we got up this morning and not at all a beach day. I attempted to get something posted, but the 10:00 check out time made it impossible.
We are home now. I’m back in my writing chair.
Back in the saddle tomorrow in regard to my diet and my running, school for the girls and work for their dad.
The saddle. It’s a good fit, but sometimes I wish we were more like those horses we left trolling the sandy dunes; wild, free, with nothing to do but laze and graze. Those horseys have no idea they’re on a permanent vacation.
May 3, 2012 § 11 Comments
Considering how much I despised the first five chapters of 50 Shades of Grey, it’s surprising (especially to me) how enraptured I became with the story.
It would be easy to assume that the highly sexual story line is what reeled me in and in all honesty it did add an element that kept me interested, noticeable by my sizeable smile and simultaneous open jaw sitting on the floor.
I knew my view had turned when I went from solely listening in my Yurbuds while heading out to run, to carrying my phone in my bra so that I could push play every time the kids left the room. I became hooked. Desperate to know what was next. Eager for the ride and excited for the journey.
In any language and on any continent this kind of reaction is motivation for a writer. Being so beguiling that the reader can’t put you down is the essence of the job; the goal. No one wants to write a snore.
When I was teaching fourth grade writing, we often spoke about the difference between telling the story and showing the story; the goal was always the showing.
In 50 Shades, so much was told using the same words et nausea that the writing appear labored and simple, even when the words themselves were sophisticated (thesaurus usage can be deadly).
How many times was she going to say his mouth fell in a hard line? How often did we need to be told that she had an inner goddess who hid behind chairs and sofas and under blankets? Yes, I understand he looked at her speculatively and with grey eyes. Biting her bottom lip? Got it. The symbol for the power struggle
But it may have been E.L. James’ master plan. Her brilliance as a writer being kept secret until she was ready to share.
The choice to make Anastasia’s voice so repetitive was in direct opposition to the voice that was exposed when her innocence was being challenged.
This was where the real beauty of the writing came alive and convinced me of Ms. James’ true talent in the authoring department.
Granted, the scenes in the red room of pain, the bondage, the frightened girl who became totally immersed and connected in the moments of her fear revealed deep emotion mixed with gut wrenching descriptiveness highlighting some really glorious writing.
It was enough to make me forgive those wasted first chapters. Maybe they weren’t wasted after all.
Last night I started to read The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.
Four pages in, I have a picture of Aibileen. Through the story showing and Aibileen’s dialogue (shortened sentence structure, double negatives and misplaced use of words) I have an idea of who she is. I like her immediately. Read the first four pages and you’ll like her, too. Kathryn Stockett created a new and interesting character with a voice I want to hear.
I should probably apologize to Ms. James for my initial incertitude toward to her book. I still wish she hadn’t used the C word so much and feel like s.h.i.t would have been just as appropriate. It would have saved me from my personal challenge to count the word in question, pulling me out of the story thirty two times, give or take a few.
I went to be last night working out the first lines (of one of my books) that will be written in it’s own time.
It will go something like this…
I was handed to my mother three days after I was born. Wrapped in a pink blanket she carefully pulled me from the hands of the lawyer, anxious to leave before Loretta had a chance to change her mind. I was bald and pretty, despite the ears that were far too big for my head. My brown eyes looked up at my new mother, whose own brown eyes matched mine exactly.
I couldn’t have known then what I learned all those years later. That my beginning was a gift and that I was saved.
I couldn’t have known the truth. I wouldn’t have believed it had come written in ink and pinned to my clothes.
I was the lucky one.
My older sisters, just two and three, waited in a run down house halfway across town as I was being given away. They knew nothing of me. They knew not of their mothers’ illness. They didn’t have a chance. Weren’t granted even a molecule of a future.
April 18, 2012 § 7 Comments
*Please be advised that as soon as I hit the publish button I will race straight to Gravatar and change my rating to a PG-13. If you like my blog, but don’t like naughty words, just go ahead and skip this post. I would hate to offend anyone, but sometimes certain things must be said!
I wasn’t going to run this morning until I remembered that I used a credit on audible.com and had downloaded 50 Shades of Grey.
There’s been a lot of controversy about the book for it’s saucy portrayal of an innocent and her seducer and has apparently been making wives blush from sea to shining sea.
I haven’t begun blushing.
Instead, I spent my six and a half mile run totally distracted, counting the number of times the word “crap” had been used.
Let me preface this by saying that it’s my mother’s fault for my utter distain with the word. She loathes it more than I. It’s ugliness and overuse has caused her eyes to roll back in her head for long as I can remember. Sometimes if it’s not one thing it’s your mother, but in this case I have to agree with her.
Why is that word used so freely when other words with the same meaning are not deemed appropriate for daytime television?
Why is it any better than the litany of other swear words that mean the same thing?
Was there not another word E.L. James could come up with?
Don’t think I am a prude. Those who know me will agree that I have a very trained potty mouth. I am a big fan of that word that starts with F. I don’t have a single problem with the B one and even anal doesn’t make me cringe.
I particularly like them strung together as in “Fucking anal bitch!”
See. Words have power.
Are we devolving as a society by not objecting when this word is used so commonly that newscasters throw it around, too? Kids in school think it’s okay. Afternoon Disney programming uses is often.
By the middle of chapter three hated word number one was said ten times.
It’s my hope that when I finish the book it remains in my memory for its much talked about story line and not the for the number of times an ugly word was used to portray oomph.
Oh, I do hope so. It would be such a shame otherwise!