Here’s my latest 4-pronged update:
I got feedback from one of my mentors, and it contained some really relevant stuff. His comments were poignant and called out several things I’ve been questioning myself. It could mean quite a bit more work as I need to re-prioritize some sections. But I think it will be worth it.
One of the things I’ve been experimenting with is back story. How much do you need to tell? And what is the best way to tell it? Some books spend the first handful of pages describing the origin of this mirror or that woman’s golden locks. I’m all for description, but only when it’s relevant. Describing someone’s past or features just for the sake of describing them can be distracting and boring.
But there are definitely scenes or pieces of history that are relevant.
I’m of the opinion that back story should be handed out in interesting tidbits, usually as needed. And so, I am trying to reveal relevant pieces of back story as I go along. The problem I’ve run into is that some of the back story is revealed during a chapter and, A) can detract from the flow OR, B) is actually important and could be more prominently featured.
I’m actually curious about what other people think about back story.
I sang for the fifth time last Saturday and it started off shaky but ended really well. The air in the church is so incredibly dry that my throat got croaky during the second song. I wanted to clear my throat but found myself continuing singing. By the end of the song, I SWORE I could hear Windy’s soprano getting louder and louder. I thought she was trying to drown out my frogs. But, afterwards, she said she didn’t hear it at all (and she’d be honest about it). In fact, she looked at me like I was hallucinating after I insisted I was phlegmy for the eightieth time.
Either way, I tore the third song up. In a good way! It had a jump that I just couldn’t hit in practice on Friday (I requested the practice just because of the stupid notes). They weren’t hard or too high; they just weren’t “normal”. My voice kept wanting to sing 3 notes in succession rather than perform the jump. It’s like I was on a staircase being asked to take two steps at a time instead of one. It’s not hard, it just feels weird.
Anyway, I practiced the notes a good part of the day Saturday. I didn’t even care about the frogs during that song, I just wanted to hit the notes!
And I did. I hit the crap out of them.
Then an amazing thing happened. My body relaxed completely for the first time and I got into the singing. I think I even found myself waving my hands in the air like I just didn’t care.
Thinking of obsessing over the notes reminded me of something about the organist. During practice Friday, she never played a certain set of chords correctly. If it were me, I would have sat there until I had it down. Heck, I probably would have gone to Wal Mart and picked up a Casio (with drum pads!) to play at home.
But what did she do? She never asked to play the song again and promptly went home to knit. The next day at church, I asked what she did that afternoon. She said she worked on a sweater and almost forgot about Mass. Her husband had to remind her.
Naturally, she missed the chords again.
It sounds weird, but I actually admired her complacence. I’m all for dedication, but I loved that she didn’t sweat the small things. So she missed a few notes in front of 30 people? Who cares?
I’m not sure I could do that, but it’s an attitude I can SOO appreciate.
Enjoying the Area
Today we made a short excursion to the local park’s basketball courts. I haven’t played in years but it was like riding a bicycle. A bicycle with missing handlebars and 2 flat tires. And no card clacking in the spokes.
I’m used to playing volleyball so the basketball felt like a hundred pounds. Almost every shot strained my biceps and clanged off the front of the rim. After a while, I finally started making a few, but the ball felt so weird leaving my hand.
But don’t let that get ya down. It was really fun being on the courts again! And I realized how much I missed playing. Well, not really playing. We are all injured or recovering, so we engaged in several games of H-O-R-S-E. Here were my favorite moments:
1. Chris is actually a decent player with good form. However, he hasn’t played in forever either and his consistency was so random. Normally, when you know how to shoot, your misses bounce off the rim. Not so with Chris. He would make two shots, and then the third would soar over the backboard! Then he’d take “a little” off it and the fourth shot wouldn’t go more than a few feet. He was like a catapult randomly pulled back and released.
2. Shortly after we started, a bunch of people flooded the court next to us. Instead of shooting baskets, they used the rim as a pulley and hoisted up a piñata tied to a rope. Then a handful of kids stood entirely too close together and took turns swinging wildly with a baseball bat. Some woman would pull the rope, causing the piñata to rise and fall so the kids would miss (I’m not sure what the rope was made of, but its friction against the metal rim made noises like a motorcycle revving up). It took them a good eight hundred hours to finally break the thing, but when they did, I saw a mini box of Milk Duds and wanted to use my basketball as a projectile and steal the candy.
3. Windy was never much of a basketball player and missed most of her shots. She finally decided if she wasn’t going to make the shots, she would at least get some exercise. She really uses our outdoor hikes and walks as an opportunity to work out, and this was no exception. And soooo, she started incorporating our Insanity workouts into her shots. Instead of attempting a free throw, she’d say her shot was ten mountain climbers ending with launching the basketball. Or instead of a simple bank shot, she’d do power squats then throw the ball. Welllll, she made almost every shot when doing the exercises! It was hilarious. And Chris, who was after Windy, had to repeat the same process… He missed every time. It was pretty awesome and funny.
Random Learnings or Stories
So this is going to be kind of a weird section, but I did some decorating that I want to share! OK, so since I’m forcing myself into a budget, I don’t have tons of money to pretty up my room. It already looks good (if I do say so myself), but the walls need some pizazz. Well, Windy and I were joking around with what we could do. We ended up talking about putting random things from the house on the wall to take up space. At one point, she grabbed the vacuum and made to hang it up. And from the joke came an idea. A brilliant idea!! OK it’s not brilliant but pretty cool for people who wanna spruce up a wall at virtually no cost. Here’s what we did:
1. We went to Wal Mart and bought a pack of those wall mounts that don’t require any nails (they just stick).
2. In the garage, we went through all my books and found the hardbacks that still had the paper covers intact.
3. I picked some that were my favorites.
4. We then stuck the covers to the walls using a single mount apiece. The packaging called for 2-4, but 1 was perfect as we were essentially just hanging paper.
5. Using a paper clip, we hooked the front cover to the mounted back so that it wouldn’t fly open.
The end result looks like books are actually mounted to the wall. Check it out:
I think it’s pretty freaking cool! And I usually end up throwing the paper covers away anyway, so it was a great way to use trash. OK this idea might already exist on Pinterest or something, but we are still taking credit. And the patent is already being secured, so if you want to copy me, please send a check. Or some cookies. Without raisins.