The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Males and Snails and Puppydog Tails





         Did you know dogs' nostrils are independent of each other? Like our eyes, a pooch's sniff-holes can move in different directions... which help make them incredible at tracking.

* The writer and the editor in you needs to--sometimes--be independent agents. There are times when you just need to write--dump everything you can onto the page, paying no attention to the inner critic within. At other times, you need to be a pure editor, and let the words you've fallen in love with fall into the "delete" file, without moaning (in a writer's voice) "But I worked so hard on that part."



       Did you know as they move along, snails leave behind a trail of mucus which lubricates and reduces the surface friction? This also allows the snail to move along upside down.

*  As writers, don't we leave behind a trail of discarded lines, pages that end up with huge Xs Sharpied across them? And the stuff I discard... well, mucus is a more complimentary than I would normally use.




           Did you know that most teen aged boys love to write? They bubble over when given the chance to engage in some creative writing. There is nothing they love better than digging open a vein and letting their feelings flow all over the page.

            Sometimes I even make myself laugh hysterically. And I laugh and I laugh and I laugh until only a shot from a tranquilizer gun will stop the hysteria.

            Okay, most of them, when listing things they want to do, put writing right under getting their teeth pulled... which is ironic, because sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get them to get something down on paper.

*  Today (or sometime when I wasn't watching) one of my male students really put some thought and effort into a memoir he's drafting. I conferred with him last week. He had a great story, but had glossed over (as well as left out) most of the details that would really make the story shine. I thought he was going to take the easy way out and say, "I'm finished," but today's conference was a pleasant surprise. The story unfolds with enough details and voice to carry it along. 

What connections have you made to other people or nature this week?

17 comments:

  1. Love the dog nose and snail comparisons. :) It's 1:15 a.m. here and I've been editing my WIP, forgot the time. Busy doing a LOT of cutting. Some stuff I'll cut and paste into a "cut scenes" document, but most of it is really trash.

    Connections last weekend, at a local conference. My critique partner was my roomie, and we did a lot of brainstorming. And I met a lady from Nashville who I hope will become a friend. :)

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    1. How fun, to be able to room with your critique partner. And if the woman from Nashville has any gray matter inside her head, she'll take that offer of friendship and grab hold of it.

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  2. Interesting about dog snouts. Don't you just love it when you see a student take an interest in writing and your influence paved the way? It is so rewarding.

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    1. Linda--You know all about how rewarding teaching is...

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  3. No much connection for me this week as dealing with chemo and a harsh, blunt doctor who basically stole my hope. But I am watching the trees when I can and hoping my chemo brain will kick in soon so I can write something.

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    1. Claudia--A harsh, blunt, hope-stealing doctor should be kicked in a sharp, non-blunt way in a spot south of his belt.

      Just tell me his name and I'll do it for you. ;)

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  4. I have found dog noses to be one of the more lovable things in nature.

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    1. Jono--Horses noses, as you well know, are even more velvety.

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  5. Info about dogs noses at: http://www.npr.org/2016/10/04/496417068/from-fire-hydrants-to-rescue-work-dogs-perceive-the-world-through-smell

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    1. Michael--I'll have to check that out. Thanks.

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  6. I was not aware of the independentness of dog nostrils, even though I had a prime canine nose specimen IN MY MOUTH chewing on it a while back. Not by choice.

    Connections to other people? I ran into a former substitute teacher on the back aisle of Walmart on Monday, and she took off her shoe and SHOWED ME HER FOOT. You know how much I like feet. I "OOH"ed at her foot, but then she told me all the bandages were to make the scars less noticeable, not to cover actual incisions from her foot surgery.

    She told me my clothes were hanging on me, which I assumed was a compliment, what with me making wise choices lately. She might just have meant I was as sloppy dresser, though. Sometimes we NEED to read between the lines, and sometimes we beat ourselves up doing so.

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    1. Val--"Your clothes are hanging on you" is indeed a compliment.

      And have I showed you lately what's going on with my foot? It's getting kind of gnarly, with the toenails getting all thick and yellowy, and between the toes is developing some... well, you get the picture, I'm sure, since you're SO fond of feet.

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  7. I've noticed that, about dogs noses...each side seems to twitch independently when they are sniffing away at something. I guess if I'm to do a metaphor for my writing, it would be on a theme of autumn. It doesn't feel like a time to create for me right now; more a time to take stock and just sit and watch the world around me without feeling that I have to DO something.

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    1. Shay--

      You? Take a break? And you're retired, right? That means every day you can decide whether or not you're going to do something. However, I imagine that on 99% of the days, you DO decide to do something.

      It's in your nature...

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  8. I'm trying to motivate myself to finish a short story and start an essay, but distractions have been easily pulling me away. I think it's the beautiful weather!

    Pat
    www.patwahler.com

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  9. I'm trying to motivate myself to finish a short story and start an essay, but distractions have been easily pulling me away. I think it's the beautiful weather!

    Pat
    www.patwahler.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's wonderful that you are helping students move their stories along... what a great teacher!

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