One book leads to another...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Half a Spider's Bottom

Half a Spider’s Bottom.

Almost conjures up a visual, doesn’t it? Or at the very least a notion; an idea already forming of what in all that’s right on earth this could be about. Perhaps it’s but another ingredient in some new-fangled Witch’s Brew to go along with eye of newt to ward off smelly feet.

One of the things I admire most about writers and embrace about myself is the intrinsic ability to hear and see and feel beyond the black and white. The very same wind that wrecks your hair whispers to writer’s the words of ether worlds, while spectacular sunsets are resounding concerts to our souls.

So naturally, when I asked my grandson how his morning walk was and his nonchalant reply was “It was okay. There was half a spider’s bottom in the road…” everything else suddenly muted. There was only him and me—and half a spider’s bottom. 

I was fascinated and had to know more, to hear more of his take on all things unimagined. Was I talking to a budding writer? Only time will tell, I guess. But it certainly fortifies a suspicion that there are certain qualities of being a child that never cease to exist within the hearts of writers. Or maybe it’s just me.

Had I been given the task of describing a scene such as that one I probably would have stumbled and stewed and chewed my lip to shreds before coming up with something profoundly pathetic like “squashed remains of what may have been a…” Ugh.  Writing is tough sometimes.

So, what’s your formula for climbing out of a word or description funk? Do you just move on and go back to it later? Give it up altogether? Ask someone how they’d describe it (kids are pretty good at this, by the way ;-)?

Typically if it’s not remotely important to anything I’m working on, it is nonetheless a challenge and my response is to have fun with it!  It’s good exercise. So how could I expound on a story so succinctly summarized? Well, I wrote a poem instead!

With morning but a rose-tinged lamp
behind the mountain peaks
Songbirds rise from cozy camps
coyotes long for sleep.
A spider pauses, center road
her eyes alert with fear
and silent is the river toad
as human smells draw near.
No danger from the walking ones
beware the kind on wheels
death by rubber, life undone,
as break of day reveals.
What nature knows as senseless truth,
bleak and oh so solemn
Center road, in trodden proof;
half a spider’s bottom.

diedre Knight© 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Five Dolls, Five Books

I was putting away the sleeping bag my grandson uses for sleep-overs the other day, when I noticed on the shelf of the seldom used closet sat five of my daughter’s favorite dolls (from back in the day), just sitting there… collecting dust.

I felt a pang of sorrow for the loss of those precious days when, besides me, those dolls were her only world. How dare she leave them behind to remind me! And yet there was something more; an odd sense of having forgotten something.  Had I left the iron on again? Was it trash day? And then it hit me – no, it wasn’t trash day and I would no more throw my daughter’s dolls away than discard any of my own precious treasures – my stories!

Sure, my daughter left five dolls on a shelf, but I have five books in various stages of completion.  Gulp. Was I ready? I wondered. Was now the time to ‘do it or die’? She had moved on, so why shouldn’t I?

What I like to do in times like those is console (or bolster) myself by reading some of my favorite bloggers, one of whom, Quanie, - check her out- she’s a hoot and a half!--Anyway, in the course of relaying an astounding story of a bad review gone 'Misery', Quanie talked about the joys and agonies of publication. She mentioned the number five, as well. So naturally, I keyed on that like a cat to a penlight beam!  

Not wanting to give away Quanie’s amusing stream of logical inspiration, I’ll just say that I came away more than inspired; I came face to face with an issue I avoid as if it were the very edge of a cliff – and for someone who white-knuckles elevator handrails – it’s a pretty big deal!

Marketing? Not so bad. Self-marketing? Ack! I can brag about someone else all day long, but when it comes to me, well, wouldn’t that be rude? Horse-feathers, say those in the know. 

The upshot of this whole spout-off is to announce I will be dusting off my five and pushing them out the door!  After some unintended disasters during the course of publishing my first book (I’ll elaborate on that in a future blog), the next ones should be a breeze.

Can I get a couple of High Fives? No pun intended ;-).

So, what's your motivation? And how do you keep it going?