The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What Do You Count On?

       Writing is hard work. Being able to count on certain tools is critical.

     On a daily basis, we have to dip into our tool box as we craft our lines.

        One of the tools I occasionally use is a rhyming dictionary. (Mine has a boring cover, so I'm borrowing Bart Simpson's for a moment.)
        Rarely do I write poetry with a rhyme scheme. I mean, do you think I even want to dabble in the same arena as Fireblossom or Mama Zen? Fuhgeddabodit.
         However, sometimes I am forced drawn into writing a poem with a particular rhyme scheme. Sometimes I'm a scribe as my class writes a group poem. Very occasionally, I write a rap (and horrors! Yes, I even perform it. What's that you say? You haven't heard of Reddiculous Redd? You're missing out on something hilarious rich.)
        A rhyming dictionary is a tool that is always sitting on my shelf, waiting and ready...

 Here is a tool that ensures I don't sit too long. Radar. Whiner Extraordinaire. The Yipster. The Gnaw-er. We thought we were adopting a dog, but we were hoodwinked. Radar is a miniature pony. He's all legs right now, and weighs close to 40 pounds. And he's only five months old.

          Okay, admittedly, this is not a writing tool--at least not in the strictest sense. Aquarelle pencils are really tools of diversion. Using a brush and water (or a finger you slobber on), your drawings are transformed into looking like watercolor art. This year, I've vowed to filling my writing journal with doodling and ticket stubs and photos along with the writing. 
        However, as I'm sketching or zentangling (type "zentangle" into your search box, but beware: doodling with zentangle patterns is highly addictive and is a wonderful way to while away the hours during day-long meetings) I'm also thinking about what I'm writing.

         The delete key is another tool I rely on. Getting a story down often means there are pages/paragraphs/lines/words that need to be deleted as revision happens.
          'Cause if you're a writer, you know that writing is usually more deconstruction than construction.

       What writing tools (or tools of diversion) do you rely on?    


  1. Radar looks like a doll. Love dogs with soulful eyes.
    Are you familiar with Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O'Neill? A whole book of poems about colors. This is a fun project to have each student write about pink for example.
    How are you doing waiting for school to start?

    1. Claudia--What is your home address? When Radar has kept me up with his barking and when his digging is especially bad, I am going to need it...because I'm going to drive his cute little rear end over to your house and he can be a permanent friend of Biscuit. (Just kidding--mostly.)

      I Do know that book. But I have an even better one about crayons. I'll post about it at some point...

  2. Radar is gorgeous!! What a cutie.

    My thesaurus is my most treasured writing tool. It's old (c 1961) with a torn front cover and a missing back cover, but it was my dad's and he gave it to me in high school and never got it back. Yes, I need a new, updated thesaurus. No, I probably won't get one. I like this battered book that always reminds me of my Daddy.

    Diversions? Too many to name. Luna cat, snacks (cheese doodles and potato chips are not to be discounted as brain food), and too many other things to name. Once I'm in the zone I can write forever. It's getting there that takes some time.

  3. Oy. He gave it to me when I was in high school, is what I meant to say. lol I need more cheese doodles.

    1. Lisa--My brain just slid over that omission--probably like everyone else's brain...

      How sweet that you have a thesaurus that your dad gave you. I imagine there is a possible publishable story there... ;)

  4. Replies
    1. Shay--Thank goodness he's cute. He wouldn't have a chance of surviving otherwise. Our backyard looks like a World War II battlefield, and it's not even like we leave him unattended for hours (or even minutes) at a time. We always go out with him, but all he needs is three seconds, and a three feet hole instantly appears...

  5. Give that dog a Beggin' Strip!

    My writing tool is Google. I want to get my obscure references just right. And it also gives the correct spelling of "Beggin' Strips."

    1. Val--I use Google when I need to look up an obscure song title. ;)

  6. Oh my goodness, Radar is adorable! He has such a sweet face. Maybe he needs a friend to keep him busy (ducking to avoid any items you may decide to throw).

    I echo the items mentioned above. However, my diversions outnumber my tools. Guess that's why progress on any writing project is sooooo slow.

    Critter Alley

    1. Pat--

      Progress on my WIP--like my metabolism--has slowed down so much, I think it's going backwards now.

      (And yes, I hurled something your way. ;)

  7. My biggest writing "tool" is the writing community--seriously. I learn SO much from other writers, whether it's a blog post like this ('cause I MUST have those pencils!) or free writing events or a FB group where I can get instant feedback on a question while writing.

    Without my writer friends, I'd just lay about with Cathy-on-a-Stick. (And one lazy Cathy is quite enough, thank you!)


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