Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday's Photolife--Food

How often do we remember our taste buds (or tasty bugs as my daughter used to call them) when we're taking pictures?

When we're at a wedding we will generally remember to take pictures of the cake.
What about the rest of the food?

How about the people enjoying the food? (Or being goofy with it.)
Most people don't like you taking pictures of them eating, but as much time as we spend eating, I think it's important to document that in our picture taking, too.
Being messy.
Licking our chops.

It's all part of life. It's part of who we are. Document it.

Application to writing? Include food in your stories. Describe it. Let it help set the mood. Those who have read The Hunger Games, think about that burnt loaf of bread. What does that add to the story?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday's Wonders--Mentors

The last few weeks have been especially fun for me watching my children find things that they are very passionate about and providing ways for them to hone those talents. I've learned that letting them choose makes it mean so much more to them. All I have to do is provide opportunities and exposure and then nurture their preferences. Maybe it's Japanese or archery or art or music or karate.

Once they find those preferences, mentors help make a huge difference. It's a wonder to me how much my kids get out of working with mentors. Some of them are teachers. Some of them are fellow students. Some of them are people who just have the same skill. Some are in person and some are online. They all care deeply and want to see my children's talents grow. What more could a mom ask for? To me, they are a wonder.

In this writing venture I've found the same kind of mentors for myself. I'm grateful for them just like I'm thankful for my kids' mentors.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday's Photolife--Swapping background and foreground

Last weekend I took pictures at the wedding of one of my nieces. Here's one of my favorite shots. It swaps up what we think should be front and center in a wedding picture, but it works. We all get the message of what is going on.

Application to writing? Sometimes I think we can focus on something other than the main subject and communicate the whole just as well if not better than when we put the main subject front and center.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday's Montage: Outliers

My Purge-a-palooza is still continuing on (apparently, it's a slow purge), but I've decided my blog break has been long enough. I hope everyone is well.

I thought today it might be fun to give you a book recommendation. In my book club we just read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
It was a very interesting study about what makes people successes--discussing the reasons they stand out from the crowd--why they are "outliers." If you've heard about the 10,000 hours to professional status, this is where it comes from--a very interesting concept and Gladwell makes a great case for it. The example of The Beatles and their success made so much sense. (For writers, I've heard this as the 1 million words concept.)

There are so many compelling arguments for the premises Gladwell puts forth that it is an intriguing read. Before I started the book, I was afraid that it would drag, but I found that I was so interested in what he had to say that I had a hard time putting it down.

I was fascinated with Gladwell's account of hockey players in Canada and soccer players in Europe, etc., and baseball players in the US, and how certain kids are much more likely to succeed.

I didn't necessarily agree with him on everything, and sometimes there were parts that dragged. The discussion on airlines and problems with communication got a bit longwinded and lost focus somewhat, but his points there were well made in the end and pretty scary.

All in all, it was a great read.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday's Montage: Purge-a-palooza

Ah! Spring! It's a regular purge-a-palooza around here. From kids rooms, to closets and garages, to WIPs. All the rubbish has got to go. I'm caught up in it, and so the blogging world is on the back burner. I'm hoping another week will take care of it. Be back soon.