Tuesday, February 9, 2016

rehearsing

Spike has been rehearsing his lines for his internet video debut which is scheduled to happen at the end of March. My story about taking Spike to work got chosen for a book about Stigma in mental health and addiction. (I'll be a published author! So will Carm, which takes a bit of the glam out.) Since the story is about Spike's time as a service dog they want to have us on a video that will be on their website - details will follow sometime in the next several weeks. So we've been practicing some of the things he used to know how to do. He's fine with all attention as it involves a fair number of yummy treats (at least for now). He's not sure if he'll go to the book signing party as it sounds like something for grownups.

My two new writing books arrived in the mail yesterday. Shrunk and White's 'The Elements of Style' is a little reader full of helpful tidbits on grammar. It is the sort of book that I'd want beside me when I was writing something (it's beside me now, but since I have barely cracked the cover it isn't doing me much good).
The other book is 'How to Write a Sentence' by Stanley Fish. I read a bit of it today - I think it will be interesting. But the author is a lawyer and writes like one. Nothing about his sentences are like the ones suggested in 'Writing Tools' or 'On Writing Well', both well regarded tomes. They suggest that sentences be simple and multi-syllable words be used only when necessary. Both books were engaging and easy to read. I've already been struggling with the sentence one and often have to go back to re-read something that wasn't clear. Oh my. Still, I expect I'll learn something.

For our first Creative Writing meeting this winter we each shared a paragraph or two from a favorite book. I had just started reading Maya Angelou’s  "Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry like Christmas". These are the first two paragraphs. Aren't they wonderful?

   Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the spaces between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.

   In my rented room (cooking privileges down the hall), I would play a record, then put my arms around the shoulders of the song. As we danced, glued together, I would nuzzle into its neck, kissing the skin, and rubbing its cheek with my own.