Monday, April 04, 2011

Monday Meandering

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso

We had a pretty decent weekend... fairly quiet, which is always a good thing. DD had her art show last week. I wasn't impressed with the projects this time, but the class is for a wide range of ages and this time it included some very young kidlets, so the projects were not as complicated.

I did like the idea behind this handprint:

But her mosaic wasn't as difficult as last time:

And then there was this odd modernistic collage:

And a study of complimentary colors:

Still, she had fun so I suppose that's what matters -- not turning her into the next Monet.


I read an excerpt of a book last week that nearly made me cry. The premise sounded interesting, but the writing was so poorly done and edited that, considering the excerpt was supposed to intrigue me and cause me to buy the book, it failed and also made me want to slap the editor first, then the author.

It went something like this, in part:

Martha ran down the trail. Martha loved to run in the mornings. It was pretty, and clear and the air was fresh. Mornings were her favorite part of the day. She was so involved in her enjoyment she didn't see the knife flash down. She didn't see it cut her throat, or the enjoyment on the face of the man who attacked her.

Sadly, I'm not exaggerating.

Those of you who are readers only were probably a bit bored. Those of you who are also writers should see several errors in this finished product.

First, it's all "telling". Apparently this author missed the lesson on "show don't tell".

Second, it slips from third person POV (Martha's) into some odd omniscient narrative, which is a no-no. Head-hopping isn't great IMHO, but in this one we don't have a second head we hop into ... we just get told what's happening by the author. If Martha "didn't see" what was going on, she couldn't relay it to us.

I nearly screamed in frustration. First, this author should have done her homework. But in the absence of that, her editor should have either NOT contracted this work or TAUGHT her the correct way to write this. Shame on both of them.

Something like this is how it should have looked for publication (I'm writing this off the cuff, so it's not perfect):

Martha's feet thumped the dirt as she ran. She filled her lungs with the crisp, cool morning air and smiled as she made her way down the winding path. Was there anything better than a morning jog through the woods? She didn't think so.

A snap of a twig was the only warning she got before the knife swung down and sliced the tender skin below her chin. The pain burned and she stumbled on the path, grabbing her throat with one hand in an attempt to stop the blood pouring from the wound. The last thing she saw as she fell was the look of glee on her attackers face.

It's a shame. Truth is, a good editor is the best thing any writer can have.


You Are a Kiwi

You're a very outgoing person. You start each day excited about the people you'll see and meet.

You're the type of person who's just comfortable around others. You are a very social creature.

You are quite opinionated. You can't help but have a view on everything, and you don't mind sharing it!

You are prepared for whatever comes your way in life. You plan for the worst and expect the best.

The first part, not so much, but the second half is right on.



Dru said...

Your re-write is so much better. Now that's a story I want to read.

I like the handprint art.

re quiz: I'm a kiwi and it is 25% accurate.

Have a good weekend.

Maria Zannini said...

The hand print came out neat. I'd mat it and put it in a nice black metal frame.

It's one of those things she'll want to show her children someday.

Angelina Rain said...

Love the art work, my favorite are the hand print and the play on colors. I used to be very artistic when I was a kid.

Your rewrite of that story sounds soooo much better than the first one. Was the book you were looking at self-published? It seems like a lot of self-published books tell the story rather than show it.

Melissa McClone said...

I like the handprint the best. The color one is very vibrant!

Editors are our friends. Nice rewrite.

Brandy said...

I, too, like the hand print. The modern-istic collage is nice, too.
The first paragraph seemed rather stilted and odd, I'm glad you pointed out the differences.

My quiz results were Kiwi as well and except for the very least sentence doesn't suit me at all.

Hope you have a good day!

Sylvia Cini said...

What a fun exercise! I did a rewrite, too.
Martha ran down the trail, soaking up the first rays of sunlight with a smile. She knew, morning runs weren’t for everyone, having been through six or seven jogging partners in recent years. She was used to jogging alone. A bottle of water and a clear path were all she needed.
This particular path was well-known to Martha, a favorite. It snaked around the block, weaving in and out of the edge of the park. The earthy aroma of leaves and dirt rose to greet her as her feet pummeled the path. Bliss.
Followed closely by pain.
Struggling to her hands and knees, Martha lifted her head. A rock? A root? Pebbles grated against her cheek as her limbs buckled. She rolled to her back and exhaled. Out then in.
A twig snapped to her left and Martha turned. A man approached; sneakers and shorts marked him a jogger. She flushed and sat up.
The man smiled and held out a hand
“You okay,” he asked as he helped Martha to her feet. His voice was soft, not deep but rich. Martha smiled back.
“Oh, yeah. But I’ve never noticed that bump on this trail. It happens, right?”
“You have a lovely smile.” Blood rushed to Martha’s cheeks, then out of them. Running down her neck, over her breasts and soaking into her shirt.
Martha raised a weak hand to her throat, touching the flapping skin and warm flow. She looked up at the smiling man, then down to the bloody knife in his hand, and then she fell on her favorite trail for the second time that day.

Ceri Hebert said...

I love the hand! You have a very talented daughter!

Yikes on the excerpt! I'm curious as to who the publisher is. I agree, shame on the editor!