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Friday, June 25, 2010

Make the most of waiting


Don’t you just love it when contractors tell you they’ll be at your home on Friday but can’t give you a time? So you wait. And wait. And wait. If you’re lucky they will appear sometime during the day. Well, as I wait my turn (I have two different contractors supposed to arrive today), I have found my silver lining . . . write something!

The good thing about that is, because I don’t know exactly when someone will ring the doorbell, I have to collect my thoughts for this column and write fast. Kind of like a ten-minute writing exercise without a prompt.

I am in the throes of editing a novel, and my marvelous critique group has taken a summer hiatus for various valid reasons but the silver lining on that bit of waiting is the time it gives me to more thoroughly develop my characters’ personalities. I tend to have them run breathlessly from one conflict to the next because I have a very hard time with narrative. It’s a learning curve I need to master.

On another note, I borrowed (from the library) an ACT study guide for essays (to help my granddaughter brush up), and there are some very good cues in there. Good enough for me to order the book for my personal library. One principle tells the student-writer that the first and last sentence of a paragraph are what the reader--in Johanna's case, the grader--remembers, and the last word can be the most important. Reminds me to remember the hook.

Okay, one contractor just called and said he was on his way, so I’ll quit for today.

You keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj

Jeff Johnston’s eagle picture is called “The Chase."

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