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So, on a Saturday, seven years ago:
I received a huge bouquet of flowers, unexpectedly, via delivery.
I showered, shaved, and hoped my hair would behave.  (It did.)
We ate at IHOP.  I had the monster burger.  I was hungry and needed to settle my stomach.
Then Eric and I went and were marriedDeacon George forgot the homily, but that was okay; it was pretty hot inside the chapel.  Outside was better…for June in Arizona.
We went home and had cake.  And then we went and saw Gladiator.
All in all, it was a good day.

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When you see this post, quote from Doctor Who (classic or new series) on your LJ.

The Doctor: Run! And don’t drop the banana!
Captain Jack: Why not?
The Doctor: Good source of potassium!

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While I am still not finished with the Cleansing scene, I am finally happy with what I have.  Might be the first time I’ve been happy with my writing in a month.  I’m sure Eric will hate it…

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Book #15 – Come Closer by Sara Gran

This slim, small book caught my eye on the new books shelf at the library. Since it was in the “literary” section of the new book shelf and seemed to be a ghost story, I picked it up.  (It ends up being a possession story, by the by.)

“Show; dont’ tell” is ubiquitous writing advice. It’s the lesson taught first and repeated most often. And like all lessons that are that basic, it’s not entirely true. There’s a balance. Sometimes you show, sometimes you tell. It’s all about manipulating the reader. Gran’s prose is sparse. The book is only 35K. She does a lot of telling, and really, it’s like being told, orally, a decent creepy story. The book it reminds me of most is Bret Easton Ellis’ Lunar Park, which could be its big (much bigger) showing brother. Ellis steeps you in so much minutiae that you have no choice but to be sucked in to the events as they go disturbingly wrong.  The downside of this technique is that the read might get bored of it all before anything ‘juicy’ happens.  The potential strength of Gran’s style is that the reader is being told, “This is what happened to me.  Me.  In the life I have that is just like yours.”  By leaving out many of the details, the reader is invited to supply what they have in their lives.  Maybe that’s what a writer does anytime that make a broad telling statement.  For me, this style doesn’t work as well.  It makes for quick reading, but it’s like skimming atop a life rather than being sunk into it.

The story itself lacks ambiguity.  We’re told, “this is what has happened to me” and we’re only given that telling.  It’s a very woman’s perspective.  I like some ambiguity, really.  That maybe she is just nuts, not possessed.  That maybe being possessed really fills a need within the character, despite the horrible things happening.  It lacked that bite for me.

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Book #14 – Valiant by Holly Black

A book from one con or another, not something I’d usually pick up.  Young adult, though not something I’d recommend to my niece.  Times have changed and passed me by, but I like the innocent confusion that older “young adult”  novels have.  The same audience could read Valiant and Lloyd Alexander’s Westmark, both have pretty heady subject matter, but Westmark is less gritty.  That might unfortunately label Alexander as behind the times.

Valiant starts a little slow.  There’s a good amount of character motivation set up.  Some of it is…tiring, if you get tired of adolescent drama, no matter how sordid.  When the mystery plot gets rolling though, it’s good.  The solution to the mystery is not obvious, and Black paints some nice details into her world.  I was worried that the ending would be too rushed, or that it would be open (knowing there were other “Modern Tales of Faerie”), but it was just how it needed to be, so kudos there.  The writing was solid with just enough adornment.

Something I noticed about her writing:  During actions bits, she’s not afraid to step away from the action and let her character contemplate some of what’s going on.  Do other writers do this during their action?  My action needs work…

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Had an agreeable morning.  This was our first go of having morning disc.  We had fours, which isn’t bad when the weather is nice.  My back was onerous, so I took two aspirin.  Then my stomach bugged me, so I had two Tums.  I only straightened up after eating my granola bar and walking a while.  I walked for 45 minutes.  Just needed to move and think.  Probably would have walked more, but I was carrying our disc bag with not only discs, but cones as well.  I might have a few ways of making the Cleansing scene better.  That scene has grown to being this oppressive monster that pretty much scares me.  It needs to be smacked around and put back in its place.  Ended up at Blockbuster about 45 minutes before they open.  Sat and read in the shade of a decent tree and waited.  It was so cool and lovely that it seems very hot now.