The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, May 5, 2017

Busy as a Bee, Chuck Close and Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday # 59

This month is a busy one. The Listen to Your Mother performance in St. Louis has one last rehearsal before the show. My son is getting married at the end of the month. Our dog rescue group is having a 5K run the day before "da boy" gets hitched. My eighth graders are graduating. Of course, add report cards to the mix... and boxing up my classroom (so the floors can be waxed) and this all happens before June begins.

"Keith" by Chuck Close

       This painting by Chuck Close is one of my favorites. It's in the St. Louis Art Museum. It's huge, and looks like a photograph until you get right on top of it.

       I love it because you can see the subject---flaws and all. In this portrait, every pore, every wrinkle, every stray hair can be seen.

       When I finish a first draft and then revise it, I think I see most of the flaws. Of course, many are overlooked. Sometimes I look at a piece through rose-colored glasses. Sometimes I've labored so hard over a particular part, I feel married to it... even though I know--deep down--that that part doesn't work...

... Which is where writing colleagues come in. My writing friends are honest and talented enough to tell me when parts need to be deleted or overhauled. Over the years, I've received such wonderful nuggets of advice, resulting in my writing getting better.

How about you? What is the best writing advice/suggestion you ever received?

And now onto the book blurb stuff...

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book. You choose the genre. A book on the history of statues? A how-to book from Bob Ross? He turned over in his grave over some recent paintings, and now--risen from the dead--has turned to sculpting. You decide.

Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book.

Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. Currently, she's super busy. She and her hubster sold their house in Georgia and are setting up their new house in Florida. Lisa did promise she'd make sure their new place has a great place for horses to run... I'm trying to find some irresistible bait for Viggo Mortensen, and after the movie Hidalgo, I know how much he loves to run horses along the sand... 

A picture to remind you of what Viggo looks like, in case you spot him...

Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:

The ABC Diner

         The ABC Diner had a tri-fold menu. The A side--you could order affordable delicious food, but it would get to you slowly. The B side of the menu--you’d get scrumptious food quickly, but you’d need to get a bank loan before they let you out the door. The C side--the food was served up fast and cheap, but it tasted terrible.

         Diners got tired of too many choices. Business slowed to a trickle.

         A new manager promised a boom. “I can get with the DOT for cheap meat. I can hire an ex-prison cook, since they know how to make tough meat soft and pliable, and I can hire servers who are on meth. That way, folks will get tasty food fast, at a rock-bottom price.”

        His new business plan leads to hilarity, heartbreak and chaos… But will it also lead to success? (143 words)

And for those who like to work ahead, here is the photo for next week:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Steady Like a Turtle

         This is one of many turtles in a sculpture park within walking distance from my school. The turtles are beyond huge, and are meant to be climbed on.

      I'm not sure if it's true, but I've heard that if you pick up a turtle in a well-meaning way (to keep it away from a road, for instance) and turn it in a different direction, it's doing the turtle a disservice. 

      Science teachers--please set me straight if I have the facts screwed up.

      What I am sure about is a turtle's progress.  They drag themselves along, slowly but steadily. It sometimes may not seem like they're moving forwards, but they are.

       I'm working on a WIP. (Hey--if I wasn't working on it, there'd be no W in WIP, right?) It's historical. It's for real (middle-graders) and I think it's the most spectacular thing I've ever written... so far. (Okay, spectacular is not what I'd call it, but I couldn't resist referencing a Seinfeld episode.)

      This is a piece I wrote during NaNoWriMo in November. I sat next to my students and worked on it every week day (and some weekends) that month. Strangely, it almost wrote itself (so far). Or more aptly, the main character is telling the story, and I'm just channeling him.  

      I'm making this public, because otherwise, I might continue to procrastinate. I have 26,000 words down, and I'm getting close to the end. By the end of May, I am going to finish with the first draft.

       Keep your fingers crossed that slow and steady means I can get to the finish line...