Archive | January, 2020

Listen Carefully

14 Jan

The flu bug hit Bev shortly after Thanksgiving and it is still “bugging” her.  She’s slowly on the mend but she was one miserable human being for awhile there.  I thought I was coming down with it the other day. I started feeling achy but then I went to bed, woke up, and felt fine.

False alarm!  I boast all the time about my ridiculous good health. Thank the gods I didn’t have to eat crow and tell you about getting sick.

“Eat crow” . . . I wonder where that phrase came from?

My dad used to say “that guy’s dumber than a doornail.”  Really?  A doornail?  Who thought that one up?  Is a doornail really stupid?  Are there even nails in a door? I’ve never seen them.

LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE

Go have a cup of coffee at some Starbucks and listen to the conversations.  It’s pretty fascinating, really.  We all use the same language basically, we all use pretty much the same  words, and yet each of us speaks in a unique way.

Remember that when you are writing dialogue.  It’s amazing how many writers ignore this basic fact,  and all of their characters sound the same.

A barista I know uses the word “like” all the time, as in “it’s like, I don’t know, really cold outside,” while another one uses the phrase “you know” at the end of almost every sentence.

Go out and listen!  You know I’m correct!

SNOW ON THE WAY?

Supposedly we might get snow the second week of January.  It’s kind of a big deal in Western Washington.  It sure doesn’t happen often, although last February we were buried under eighteen inches of the white stuff.  Anyway, snow is inspiring for me. I love to take walks in the snow and just stand still and listen to the silence while it snows.

“Listen to the silence” . . . the sounds of silence . . . totally illogical but a great image.  That’s what writers do. We transform the mundane into the spectacular and beautiful.

THAT WOULD MAKE A GREAT CHALLENGE

Think of a unique phrase, never before heard or written.  You can do it.  You have over twenty-thousand words to play with.  Let’s see what you come up with, shall we?

My dad was also fond of saying “he was busier than a one-armed paperhanger with crabs.” Now there’s a lovely image.  I really would love to meet the guy who thought of that witty phrase. I’ll bet he was an interesting dude.

WRITING COACH

Only one taker so far on my offer…I can make you a better writer…$50 for a month of unlimited instruction…you can’t beat that with a stick…see, there’s another one of those charming colloquialisms.

THE MEMOIR

Finally, the memoir….end of this week….I promise.

Someone asked me why I wrote a memoir.

It’s simple: I don’t want my life story, and the Holland family story, to be forgotten. I think our story…my story…your story…is important.

Have a brilliant week!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”