SVW Workshop/Weekly Prompt Assignments that set the mind whirling.
2.12.13 – the six-word story:
Father died. Mother lied. Children tried.
2.15.12 -Kill your darlings.
Killing a Chapter is Murder
No, seriously, it is. How else do you describe staring at a manuscript that began the size of Old Man and the Sea but grew to become a twin of War and Peace? Granted, the latter had two languages to play with and was rumored to shrink in size courtesy of the elimination of a Cyrillic letter, however…I digress.
One of the SVW assignments given dealt with killing – aka revising -, aka dismiss a ‘darling.’ If I had any characters with the surname of “Darling” (thinking Peter Pan here) they might have been the first to go. Then again, any character with the nickname of ‘sweetie,’ or ‘honey’ would have a sure shot of a sour dismissal, too.
There are important questions to ask when staring at a draft of a supposedly finished project. “Is that really necessary?” “Should that character exist?” “Why did the protagonist/antagonist/whomever go there?” It’s almost as if one were challenged to take an essay, reduce it to an email, where it would be shortened to a blog, only later dwindled down to something ‘twitted.’ Or Tweeted? Or is it “Twittered?” Oh well, this writer’s too twit to tweet (and for the record, a bit slow on speed dial, but again, I digress).
So…I killed a chapter in my murder mystery. Truth be told, I lost it, meaning it’s a ‘Missing Pages’ deal. Where it went – that’s the mystery. But looking at my ‘Nick and Nora wannabe couple’ I think they can get to Point B without it. Then again, maybe they can do without the chapter that set up the missing ‘dead and gone’ chapter. Now that I think about it, the two chapters after can go, too.
Hmm, staring this manuscript has led me to a new decision, a new direction…
Oh look, I think I have something to feed the dying fire in the fireplace!
In reverse chronological order, SVW assignment responses:
Form of Action – (5.18.11)
Form- shape, create, style, paperwork.
Action – movement, lawsuit.
Operation Organization was the central point of the text. The meaning, purpose, tasks assigned made up the rest. To create a form or a list of ‘to-do’s?’ In what matter, what location, how to choose?
There once was a calendar page with the year’s goals spelled out. It is now going on June – I won’t tell you the doubt. One goal has been removed for reasons unknown. There are many unfinished items I’ve yet to atone. And still there are foolish follies I’ve dabbled in. (Then there is that minor resolution to cut back on rambling.).
The so-called deal of the monthly mailer has been locked behind bars by the internal jailer. Why waste postage, envelopes and paper on this? Whatever, whomever the target, it will only miss.
And then there’s the problem of obsessive organization – in the case of mucking about computer files too much – end result – confusion. To untangle the digital dabblings, drabbles and data – I could go straight to ‘reset’ – what would be the matter?
Here I go rambling again, avoiding the disaster I call a den. Filled with boxes and files and bags and the such, I could, with tongue in cheek, say I’ve not created much. There are photos to sort and photos to bind. What was the organizational framework – oh never mind. Then again, there are empty frames and albums a plenty. Organizing them, I might be able to fill twenty.
And then there is the art corner of paints, inks, paper and canvas. How much of the first two is on the latter, don’t ask. Finding the easel, the brushes, that is yet another task.
Oh, and almost forgot the scrapbook collection. The scissors, the pages, blank books for what – another item for the list of recollection.
And what is tucked behind the chair, oh bother! Yarns, fabrics, a wish list of items from mother! Maybe if I follow this thread, to the sewing machine it will lead. There in a box are patterns for skirts, shirts and maybe a quilt. Sigh, swell, another item for the ‘to-do-list’ of things to build.
Nearing the end of May, approaching June, I think it’s safe to say, I’ve plenty to do.
Tiny Matters Within – (5.11.11)
If life were like a bicycle, then one must consider all the parts within. The frame (or faith) is important for sturdiness and structure, the handlebars (or practice) helpful in selecting direction.
Then there are the wheels that go round and round – the constant items touching ground. These are the daily routines, including the bumps, and the occasional slowing down of the flat tire. Each of us could be considered a spoke – reaching from hub to rim, svelte, solid, seldom caving in. We all connect to one another in some way or form. Even if our place in life could simply the seat cushioned with foam.
Then there are the mechanics of the chain, each link transforming the turning of the pedals and propelling the rider in some ways like a train. When focused, unobstructed, it is easier to go forward, tricky to ride back.
When it is time to rest, the kickstand takes over; holding the bike up until it is time to rove.
Who holds you up? Who guides your way? Who are the links and spokes that propel your day? Through rain or sun – it’s impossible in snow to get any biking done – if life is a bike, who are the people who’ve been your framework, supports, constants and the like?
Whether the metaphor that fits you is Schwinn, mountain, Raleigh, or with training wheels be, journey through life, there’s a whole world to see.
Fail Better Again – (5.4.11)
Fear of Failure is no reason not to try. Yet it is amazing how secure that belt can be in keeping us back, of serving as empty words the worries of what we may lack.
In trying to learn another language, the words that I stumble over are ‘you cannot read.’ Five times out of ten (all right, nine), they drive me to succeed. Why should I worry about what I might say incorrectly if I know what it is that I am reading distinctly? Then again, there are times, (please, dear reader, pardon the rhymes) where what is said and what is read do not always match properly in one’s head.
So dare I try a tongue with characters that are unfamiliar? Lines with meanings that to the Roman lettering is dissimilar? It isn’t as though I’ve anyone to talk to if I try this venture (then again, I talk too frequently to myself, lost in literary adventure). Do I go with the roll of the dice; taking on languages twice as hard as the one I was schooled? Is it how I utilize the cards dealt, the use of given tools? I can continue talking to myself, leaning towards ‘talking out of’ rather than diving in.
Oh bother, why not – I think I’ll try my hand at Chinese Mandarin!