The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Showing, Not Telling

        Showing, and not telling, is a writer's mantra. Here are a few of life's little snippets. See if you can tell what is being shown...

*  Yesterday, my class went on a field trip to our district's nature center. As the students stood along the edge of a pond, I had to request one kiddo move to the end of the line so they'd have "more room." I asked that same student to hold my hand as we walked through the prairie so they'd be safe. ("If we see a bee, I will get stung and not you, since the bee can see me more easily as I'm much bigger than you.") On the bus ride back to school, I requested that same student sit on the same seat with me, so we could "talk about the field trip." What am I showing you about that student?

*  Yesterday, one of my students stared at my hair and said, "Mrs. R, you have a black spot in the middle of your hair." (Let the record show it's an aggressive-looking gray and not black.) On a daily basis, my students are trying to help me out by reporting the hunks of my hair that are standing upright in an unsightly manner or hanging down when they should be pinned up (My hair! My hair!There are other things that hang down and steel struts can't keep them propped up) or they'll suggest (with their third grade candor) that I "should run a comb through" my hair. Immediately. What am I showing you about myself?

* Two days ago, our pony puppy (Radar) enjoyed his last free puppy play date. One of the local swanky kennels offered puppies under the age of six months a free day on the first Wednesday of every month. Radar just turned six months, so no more freebies for him. I watched other dogs get picked up. The staff took their time getting the dog. The staff and the owner spoke a few minutes about how well-behaved the dog was and what fun they had.  The staff smiled at the dog owners.

As soon as they heard me utter the name "Radar," one of the employees practically broke their neck racing to the back. Apparently someone put on a CD because I heard the faint strains of Handel's Messiah (the hallelujah chorus part) coming from somewhere in the building. When they emerged--with Radar straining and lunging and pulling--the employee glared at me as they muttered under their breath (something about "Satan's hound from hell") and as soon as I had the leash in my hand, they turned and ran back into the back of the building. Then, I heard what sounded like a blender starting to whir. Was there a celebration starting?

What did that show about my dog?

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Lightning-Bolt Moment

       This weekend I watched the movie Belle. If you have not seen it, run out immediately and get it from Redbox or wherever you get your rentals. 

        Two of the co-stars are Tom Wilkinson (one of my favorites---he was hilarious in The Full Monty) and Miranda Richardson (she was brilliant in The Crying Game). The singular star is Gugu Mbatha-Raw, another Brit, who plays Belle.

       In the movie, there is a lightning-bolt moment when Belle's fiancee says something...something that is so dismissive of Belle's past, Belle cannot compromise or ignore any longer. An undercurrent to the primary storyline is a court case that has quite an insidious premise.

        This movie is snatched from the pages of real-life history, which makes it even more compelling. If you love romance, you'll love this film. If you adore period pieces, you'll go ga-ga. If you are a history buff and are looking for a new not-well-known avenue to travel down, you'll find it here.

        This morning I also drew from a pile of names for the copy of Verna Simms' novel Water Under the Bridge. The competition was so stiff, with my thousands hundreds dozens three followers, it took an age to write down all the names, fold them in half, and stir them up. However, my numb and nimble little fingers finally finished, and the winner is...


       Shay, if you send me your address, I will send you a copy of the book.

       Have you--my three followers--had a lightning-bolt moment? A moment when you immediately knew--in an electrical moment--that you'd have to quit your job or divorce or fall in love or surrender or take a risk? 

        Share, please.