Thursday, November 20, 2008

You gotta read to write!

I am pooped! There's so much to do before Thanksgiving break that I've been to frazzled to post anything new.

Lately, I've been wandering around the library, picking up writing books to read so I can improve my craft. (In fact, I've been bothered lately because although I know my style, I don't know what to call it. So, I got a book called Fiction Dictionary. I plan on readnig it like a novel.)

I have a very small lull in my schedule, so I'm going to give you a list of the writing books I've found:

The Fiction Dictionary by Laurie Henry

On Writing by Stephen King

The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

Now Write! (Writing exercises from writers and teachers of writing.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Story Prompt -

Hello, and welcome to the first weekly story prompt! Each week I'll give you a first line and you will provide the rest of the story. Happy writing!

The children would be home soon from school, but she hadn't even started the house chores...

I may post my response to this prompt... or I may not. We'll see.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dear little one, I don't know if you'll live, but...

In one of my psychology classes, we were told to write a letter to our future child. This is my attempt. I've found in the past few years, strangely, even though I'm only twenty that I think of motherhood often. But only time can tell me whether those feelings are real or just wishful thinking.

I don't want to spoil the mood or anything. I've had many dreams in which I lose my ability to have children. In most of them, I get ovarian cancer.

I don't know the purpose of dreams like these.

What I do know is that whether or not my children will exist, I love them. Right here. Right now. Understanding why or how I could love someone who doesn't exist, I don't know. Either it's a miracle or I'm just dreaming.

Maybe it means that my child does exist, in the future.

Here is my letter. The words in bold are my teacher's instructions.

1. Describe your child.

My child could be a boy or a girl, but he/she is dark-headed with brown eyes. He/she is quiet and shy, but creative. For this letter, though, I’ll choose a girl. Her name is Jenny. Always, she plays with markers or a paint set. She likes to be read to and when she’s old enough, reads for fun and we take constant trips to the library. She’s tomboyish, but still has a calm personality. Enjoys thinking of all kinds of things. For the letter, she is ten years old.

2. Opening of letter to child describing your relationship and your aspirations for them.
3. Describing the things that you want them to do sexually and romantically
4. Describe in detail the things you want them to avoid sexually and romantically?
5. Describe the reasons they should avoid the things in the prior paragraph
6. A final paragraph affirming the relationship and closing the letter.

Dear Jennifer,

You’re ten now. The differences between you and ten and me at ten are undoubted very many. It’s that way because I prayed for it to be. So, you can thank God for that. It’s funny, because I’ve raised you the same way my mother and father raised me. I bought crayons and watercolor sets the day you were born; I read you storybooks before you could even speak; and I’ve talked to you nonstop since the minute you were formed inside me. But, you will not go through the same anxiety I did because there will never be a doubt in our home that your father doesn’t love you. I chose a good man, not only as my husband, but as your father. We have taken you to church every Sunday and Wednesday so that you may be close to your church family. I don’t know if you can understand this, but I loved you before I knew you would exist. This letter is proof of that because I wrote this before I knew you would exist. You may never be born. But, if you’re reading this, relax. You’re alive. And I still love you.

One day you’ll leave me and your father. I want you to know that that’s okay, on the grounds that you find a man that would die for you. I can’t stop you from marrying someone who doesn’t deserve you. The truth is, if there is a boy out there that deserves you, I’ll believe it when I see him. Please know that I want to meet him and get to know him. Don’t keep it a secret even if you don’t think I’ll like him. I want to know he is a loving, brave man so that I can be at peace when he takes you away. Don’t feel you have to shape him into the perfect man, because honestly, you can’t. Instead, look for a boy who is honest, brave, loving, and faithful to God. Think about your father. But don’t use him as the ultimate model for your beloved. He’s not that big. Instead, chose a man that as like Jesus as you can. Be slow to marry. You’re not going to run out of time. Once you’re able to love a man with all your heart, then marry and express your love through your time and your body. Be happy together.

Never bind yourself to a weak man. Avoid a boy that says he can’t live without you. Stay away from a boy that says he’ll die if you’re not with him. If you feel him using you, get away from him. If he’s sucking your emotion out of you or using you to feel something inside himself, dump him! He’s sick. Find a healthy man. One who can stand on his own feet and be an adult. Find a man you wouldn’t mind following to the ends of the earth, because, honey, he will be the caretaker of the house. Don’t marry someone because you don’t think you can make it without them. The truth is that you don’t need someone else. That’s not love, it’s symbiosis. The love comes when you can live without someone, but you don’t want to. Never think that you’ll just try being married and if it doesn’t work out, you’ll just divorce him. That’s not love, either, it’s shopping. Find someone your own maturity level. Don’t rob the cradle or settle for a dead man. You don’t want to be changing diapers or wiping spit for the rest of your life. I’m speaking honestly here, Jenny. Don’t be distracted by my words. Fall in love. Devote yourself. With a man who gauges your affection, your intelligence, and who follows God.

You don’t really have to take my word for it. At the time I’m writing this, I am unmarried; I’m not engaged; I’m not even in love. And I haven’t dated in seven years. I’d like to say that this is because I know something everyone else doesn’t. But I don’t. At least, if I do, I don’t know what it is. I can only tell you what I believe is the truth. The truth comes from God, so don’t blow Him off when He talks to you about sex and love. I don’t want you to be stuck because of a bad choice. Don’t throw away your life for what you think is love. Add to it with real love. Also, listen to your father about boys. He won’t lie to you. After all, we women have to be realistic about this. Living in a dream isn’t living at all.

I’m going to close this letter now. I’ve written for a very long time and you probably have something else to do now. You’re only ten after all! Think of me, though. Don’t forget me. Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I’m probably doing it for you.