PoV

When writing fiction, there are many ways to write a story, except when it comes to the characters. There are basically only two ways to write about them – as the narrator, in third person, or first person using the character’s voice or perspective. The writer uses the characters’ Points of View to help the reader get inside the minds of the characters. That’s all well and good if the story is written in third person and begins the story by getting into the heads of the main characters. This does not work at all in first person because how is the main character to know what another character is thinking? He/she can deduce how another is feeling by their actions and expressions, but the writer cannot suddenly jump into the head of another character 2/3 of the way through a novel!

I must confess, I am guilty of doing just that, years ago when I first began seriously writing. Man, did my writer’s group jump all over me for that one! Here I was, sailing along, telling Joel’s story starting with him running away from bullies as a kid, to losing family members, to his fleeing the country to avoid a murder charge. He finally goes looking for his sister in New York, but she isn’t at her last known address. He makes a fuss in the wee hours of the morning and is arrested for disturbing the peace. With little English under his belt he tries to explain his actions to the NYPD but isn’t understood. Enter the pretty female detective who fluently speaks many languages. She helps him out.

Now, I really like this female detective and suddenly she’s telling me her life story. Naturally, I want to tell it on the page as well. Then she gets pushy and starts to take over, pushing Joel aside and getting her own ‘air time’ as it were. That’s when the Group started screaming! Well, they never actually screamed. They just kept saying, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” And they were absolutely right!

We writers have to be very careful with PoV so we don’t have our readers running away from the story or putting it back on the shelf and never going back to it. This morning, I mentally took this novel off the proverbial shelf and started looking at it with fresh eyes. I have been thinking about all the versions I have on my flash drive, trying to figure out the best way of handling it, if I want to get it published. Do I break it up into His Story/Her Story/Their Story where each section is written in their particular PoV? Do I alternate chapters starting with his bully scene in the first chapter, jump into her perspective during that time period in the second chapter, then go back to his story in the third chapter? Do I work her into the story right from the beginning with a few paragraphs here, a few paragraphs there interspersed with his story. Or, do I ignore HER completely and just tell it from HIS PoV all the way through?

As much as I hate to do it, I think my last alternative is what I will end up dong. Since I have her back story written already, it will be easy to work in bits about her life through conversations once they meet in New York and only tell my readers about her feelings through Joel’s eyes. Somewhere down the line, I might write Her Story as its own entity, going beyond Their Story in New York and follow through to another adventure, perhaps. I must be strong. I have to stand up to her and say, “You can’t bully me!” even though I can already hear her in the back of my mind pleading with me to let her have her say.

Does that sound a little crazy? Perhaps, but aren’t all writers a little crazy? Well, imaginative, at the very least! 🙂

Have you ever struggled with PoV? How did you handle it?

Advertisements

Numb

Thorry I have a lithp, today. I jutht got back from the dentitht and have no feeling down half my fathe, including my tongue! lol

My dentist is a lovely lady, friendly, sympathetic, but what she has to do to her patients in the name of dentistry is downright criminal! I suppose its partly my fault for not getting the crown on my back molar, sooner. I waited too long and the cracked tooth finally broke apart, forcing me to sit in that torture chair for almost 2 hours – and the dentist hoped the work she did would prolong the need for a root canal. If what I sat through was just a temporary measure, I hate to think what the actual root canal surgery will entail. I think I might ask to be anesthetized!

Dentistry has come a long way from the ‘olden days’, when they would just yank out a rotten tooth with only whiskey as anesthesia. Nowadays, there are drills, tiny sanding wheels, tubes that blow air, suck air and squirt water. They have quick-set gel that doesn’t drip down the back of your throat when making moulds of your teeth instead of the horribly goopy plaster stuff they used to use. They even use lasers, now. The dentist told me that some of the decay was below the gum-line, so she needed to use a laser to cut away part of the gum so she could get at it. I am NOT looking forward to when the freezing comes out!

And that’s another thing – the analgesic gel she used on the gums before sticking in the needle to freeze everything DOESN’T WORK! I thought she was jamming that darn needle all the way through my jawbone!

Well, enough complaining. Sorry for the rant. So, how was YOUR day?

Crafty Wednesday

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a couple of days. I have been working on the cards I need to give out at Easter. I still have about a dozen left to make, but I thought I would share a few with you. The ones that are specifically for anniversaries, a wedding and a particular numbered birthday would be too easy to identify, so I will wait until after they have been given to show them off.

These two are obviously for young children. With kids cards, I always like to show a bit of humour as you can see (click on the images to enlarge it). For the first one, I used stamps from the Close To My Heart set, By The Sea. The turtle is from the Footloose Workshop-On-The-Go by CTMH, as is the sand dollar.

For the second, I used stickers and the little boy stamp borrowed from my sister-in-law. The background is a wallpaper sample that resembles birchbark.

This lady’s card incorporates a butterfly from Martha Stewart’s Butterfly stamp set that I stamped onto orange paper and added a bit of glitter. The striped ribbon was one of the deals I got at my autumn scrapbook weekend. The buttons were part of a bargain bag I picked up at Walmart that seemed to go with the colours of the background. Inside, I used a bargain bin stamp which I painted with glitter paint.

For this lady’s card, I stamped the roses with stamps from CTMH’s Roxie set and cut them out. The buttons were from the bargain bag. The sentiment was one I wrote out using MS Word. Inside I added a couple of paper flowers, attached with small flower brads and stamped with the Happy Birthday from a bargain set of clear acrylic stamps.

For one of the musicians in the family, I call this card Groovy! The guitar player is one of the clip art designs from my Printmaster Gold program. I added three star brads to the 2 1/2″ scalloped circle, stamped stars with a Versa stamp pad, then used silver and gold embossing powder. The musical notes and ‘groovy’ stamps are from the CTMH Melody set. The ‘Party like a rock star’ is a bargain stamp from Michael’s, as is the Happy Birthday. The keyboard is made with my Cuttlebug and the keyboard embossing folder. I used a black Sharpie to fill in the black keys.

Well, that’s it for tonight. Happy crafting everyone!

Sunshine

While the skies over the city are were rather overcast earlier, the sun has finally broken through and it promises to be a fairly nice day. I also got another ray of Sunshine from fellow blogger, Jenny Kellerford from The Dreamweaver’s Cottage. Jenny is a very sweet, talented woman who has nominated me for the Sunshine Award. I know I’ve mentioned her before, so if you haven’t dropped by her blog yet, you should really go check it out.

Of course, the Sunshine Award has some rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog (check!)
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself (check – see below)
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers (check – also see below)
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated (check!)
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you. (check!)

TEN QUESTIONS

Favorite color:  Blue

Favorite animal:  my cat

Favorite number:  7

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: water

Prefer Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook

My passion: my family

Prefer getting or giving presents:  giving

Favorite pattern:  stripes – as long as they go the right way to make me taller & thinner!

Favorite day of the week:  Saturday

Favorite flower:  orchid

Now to pass the Sunshine along to these following bloggers because so many of their posts make me smile 🙂

wantoncreation – I love his book reviews among other things

Poetic Parfait – A beautiful soul who writes lovely poetry

Diane’s Story Site – You’ll find lots to read here

When The Kids Go To Bed – I love the anecdotes about her family life

commutinggirl – A fascinating young woman living in Germany

C.B.Wentworth – A talented, creative person who shares her gorgeous creations

Essi Tolling – I love his photographs, his writing and the Celtic folklore he shares on his site

Roshrulez – A young, vibrant woman starting a new phase in her life

And these folks need a little more sunshine in their lives 🙂

Linda – because of some of her physical trials

Lynn – because of spring flooding that has threatened her security, lately

Please take the time to visit their blogs and learn more about these wonderful people!

Busy Friday

Considering I have a writer’s meeting this weekend, I thought I’d better have something new to show the group. I haven’t done enough research to work on my next book and I do have a speech to write for our Writing Symposium that’s coming up, so I decided to concentrate on that, this morning. It is the Manitoba Writers’ Guild 30th anniversary, which means I am supposed to talk about YA fiction over the past 30 years. I’d already done some research on YA authors, old and new, but I still have a fair bit to do. It’s amazing how prolific some of those writers are and how many more have joined the ranks over the past decade. What is even more incredible is how many are from this province alone. We have also been fortunate to have two publishing companies in the capital city that are featuring a multitude of YA titles from local writers. It is wonderful to have so much support. On top of all that, the Manitoba and Canada Arts Councils help us by giving grants for authors to visit schools and libraries to introduce our work and talk about writing to a whole new generation of future writers.

Doing all the research and coming up with a flow to my speech, the time really got away from me. Before I knew it, it was afternoon and I had some errands to run. After a quick lunch, I headed out and didn’t get home until a little while ago. I haven’t had the chance to read the posts of the blogs I follow or log onto Facebook, yet. I’m just waiting for dinner to cook. It should be ready any minute, so I won’t be able to ramble on much longer. Once my speech has been written and presented, I will share with all of you.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Spring!

The past couple of weeks have been phenomenal. The weather has been absolutely incredible. Such a change from our usual March temperatures! We even broke a record on Monday with a high of 24 degrees celsius. That’s like 80 degrees Farenheit! Amazing! As my daughter said last week, I “don’t think I’ve ever been lucky enough to get SUMMER for my birthday”! I feel the same way. My birthday was three days before hers and the weather was marvelous. The gift my daughter gave me for my birthday also started me thinking about spring and summer and how I haven’t really bothered with my ‘garden’ the last couple of years.

I put garden in quotations because I do not have a green thumb, mostly due to my faulty memory – I always forget to water my plants! The best place for us to plant flowers is our front planter, which faces south so the plants get lots of sunshine. Unfortunately, our planter is also under an overhang of our roof, which means they don’t receive any rainfall and any plants I put in there have to rely on me watering them. Fat chance of THAT! In the past, I decided to make a rock garden and have collected a lot of little garden ornaments (no, no gnomes, yet). Instead of real plants, I pick up silk flowers to add a bit of colour. Two years ago, my silk plants were looking pretty faded, so I got rid of them. My daughter’s gift and the beautiful weather inspired me to go out and purchase a new supply of ‘flowers’. While I haven’t ‘planted’ them yet, I did take a picture to share:

The set of three owls with the ‘Welcome’ underneath them is the gift my daughter gave me. She knows how much I like owls so the ornament is perfect. In the background you will see the profusion of colour from the silk flowers I picked up from Walmart. Maybe on the weekend I’ll have the time to set up my garden to show you.

In the meantime, C. B. Wentworth received 2 more Versatile Blogger awards for her blog, (well deserved, I might add, so check out her site!)as well as the Lucky Seven Meme. She has opened it up to whoever is interested in participating, so I thought I’d share a bit from a different piece of mine. This time, I chose 7 lines on page 77 from one of my unpublished novels, Strength of Character:

His voice was barely audible, as though Joel were not in the room.  A distant glaze came to his eyes, which suddenly filled with pain, sadness.  He knocked back the last few ounces of rum in his glass.  Reaching for the bottle, he refilled it.  As he lifted the glass to his face, he stared into it like a mystic into a crystal ball.  As he twisted the glass, light refracted through it, forming rainbows that undulated with each turn.

“When I was about your age,” the captain began, “I ran away from home.  We were poor.  Papa had trouble keeping a steady job and feeding thirteen children, so when I was old enough I left, thinking that it would be easier for the others if papa didn’t have another mouth to feed…

Sorry, it’s not the best bit in the manuscript. Basically, it’s the story of a young man who has experienced great tragedies, culminating in the accidental killing of his boss. Joel goes on the lam, trying to avoid the Belgium police and joins the crew of an old ship that travels the Mediterranean. That’s where he meets the captain. I might post more of this on my Unpublished Work page, if anyone thinks they might like a larger taste of it. Enjoy this lovely spring day! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday

Here we are again, another Wednesday, and I have a few more cards to show you. A couple were inspired by a quote I found on C. B. Wentworth‘s site. She had made another journal page using a quote by George Moore: “A man travels the world to find what he needs and finds it when he gets home.” I thought it would make a great saying for my masculine birthday cards, so she challenged me to use it. Here are the results:

For this card, front and inside, I used the Stampin’ Up set Open Sea. I used copper embossing powder to brighten up the compass and anchor. I used my Crop A Dile (the link will send you to a demo of the device, if you’re interested) to attach the copper eyelets through which I threaded the twine.

Before I started crafting my cards using embellishments, I used a program called Printmaster Gold, the original version. It only works on Windows 95 or XP, but I love the graphics of this program and it is so easy to use, better than subsequent versions. (I bought the Platinum version that works on my MAC but don’t like it nearly as much) I often print some of the pictures onto card stock, cut them out and use them on my cards. I used the scroll graphic from the program for the quote and the greeting inside this card and the other style, below.

For this card, I used Stampin’ Up’s Plane and Simple stamp set. After stamping the plane, compass and goggles with black ink, I added a bit of colour with my shiny paints, using the white for the goggle lenses and over the compass to give it a bit of sheen and the silvery grey paint for around the lenses. I also used a brown cream chalk to brush over the plane and goggle straps. I have some old wallpaper books, one of which has some great map prints which I used, here. You can also buy designer paper with a similar look. At Walmart, I found an inexpensive bag of assorted buttons, three of which I thought would add a finishing touch to the inside of this card. Again, I used my Printmaster Gold program for the scrolls.

Here’s another card I made recently for a little girl. I embossed the front of the card using my Cuttlebug and the Happy Birthday embossing folder. The little girl on the front was a made with a stamp I borrowed from my sister-in-law, so I am not sure what its name is or what type of stamp it is. She also had a little boy stamp, which I haven’t used yet, but you will most likely see it on another card I’ll make in the near future. I used black embossing powder to make the girl’s outline stand out and added colour with my shiny paint set. The black-embossed ‘b is for birthday’, the cupcake and the candle came in the SU set called Party Hearty. The presents stamp was from a bargain set of clear acrylic birthday stamps I picked up at Michael’s. I stamped each box with a different colour chalk ink pad and outlined the boxes in gel pen colours. The sentiment was one I created using MS Word and printed onto white card stock. The ribbon was one of the bargains I picked up at the scrapbook weekend a couple of weeks ago, put on by the owner of The Scrapbook Cottage.

This card is intended for one of the grown-up ladies on my list. The holes for the stitching were made with a roller punch to make sure the holes were equidistance apart. I used a coral-coloured embroidery floss to stitch in and out, then tied a bow through the two centre holes. I used the ‘Anywhere’ Scalloped Square Punch by Martha Stewart Crafts to punch out the centre piece so the Happy Birthday could show through. The 8 scalloped squares were made with the Stampin’ Up Postage Stamp punch. The SU Boho Blossoms Punch cut out the flower shapes, while the Five Petal Flower punch did the leaf shapes. I cut the flower petals out to make the leaves and attached them with glue runner tape. The buttons were attached with Glue Dots. The Happy Birthday was embossed with black embossing powder onto a 2″ scalloped circle cut out with a SU punch. I glitter-embossed the flowers inside the card using the Boho Blossoms stamp from SU’s Language of Friendship stamp set. The sentiment, “May all your wishes come true” was created using a bargain-bin stamp from Michael’s.

Well, I think that about covers it, for now. Hope this might get YOUR creative juices flowing. Now, I have to pack up a few things for my Scrapbooking class. Next week, I’ll show you the pages I make tonight. What have YOU crafted lately?

Proud Mom

Something I forgot to mention in my earlier post was what my son did for me for my birthday. I had intended to add this into the post and I’m kicking myself for forgetting. How can a mother forget such a thoughtful gift from her son? (Bad Mom!) Anyway, he is a talented artist who underestimates his ability. I do praise his work, but I think he just writes it off as something a mother says whether it’s true or not. Well, you can be the judges once I show you what he digitally drew for me. It is an original piece based on my love for fantasy. He gave me permission to post it, so please respect his artistic license and do not copy or repost without giving him credit. And now, the big reveal:

Hope you all like it as much as I do!

And the winner is…

Hello, everyone! First order of business today is this:

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Now, I want to thank you all for the birthday wishes. Of those who commented, I am pleased to announce, I have drawn the name of the winner…and that person is…(drum roll please!)…Christy Birmingham at Poetic Parfait. Congratulations, Christy! I’ll be contacting you soon so I can get your prize to you. Sorry to all the others who participated. Perhaps I will do another draw later this year. 🙂

On Thursday, I had a wonderful birthday, beginning with breakfast accompanied by a good friend. We ate at Cora’s, an award-winning Canadian restaurant that serves the most amazing breakfasts and lunches, but that’s all they make. Don’t expect them to be open for dinner, unfortunately. I think their dinner entrees would be just as fantastic as their brunches, if they made them. After ‘Eggs Bene-dictine’ with fresh asparagus and Swiss cheese, we went to the WAG (Winnipeg Art Gallery) to see the Norman Rockwell display.

He was such a fantastic artist and very prolific. He designed hundreds of Saturday Night Post covers and posters and paintings, all capturing the beauty of the ordinary person doing ordinary things. He could literally tell a story in a single picture with so many minute details, it just boggles my mind. I understand there is an actual museum totally dedicated to ALL his work, which would be one of those things I’d definitely want to put on my bucket list. Amazing!

For my birthday, my friend made me this beautiful e-reader cover. Ironically, it was very similar to the sweater I wore that day (and for my St. Patrick’s Day picture, although it doesn’t show up very well.)

After she dropped me off at home, I anxiously awaited my daughter’s arrival so I could get some grandson time! We had a lovely visit with him and his parents, ordered in pizza and ate birthday cake with my daughter’s name on it, as her birthday is tomorrow. Since we won’t be able to see her on her birthday, we combined the events.

Friday, another friend took me out for lunch. I feel so special! We had a lovely three hour (or more) chat about our wonderful children & grandchildren (she has two up on me!) and all the interesting things they are up to, these days. It was a lovely, leisurely afternoon.

Also, yesterday, when I checked my mailbox, I noticed I had received another

After nominating Amy for the Versatile Blogger, she passed it back to me! 🙂 Thank-you Amy! Some of her comments struck a chord with me so the 7 things I am about to reveal are in response to her comments. (You might want to pop by her blog and see what she had to say.)

#1 – My husband and I talk to the TV all the time, warning the victim of a serial killer or telling the police person trying to solve the case where to look for clues, etc. Anyone watching us watch TV would probably think we’re crazy! lol
#2 – I love furry animals, too. The fur doesn’t bother me at all, except when it gets up my nose and makes me sneeze!
#3 – I love watching my SON play video games. I’m a clutz and can’t play difficult games, but my son is an amazing gamer! Watching him play is pure poetry!
#4 – I don’t watch American Idol or any of those other talent-related reality shows for the same reason she likes them. I am so critical and get so bugged. It irritates me when the contestants are off-key or too nasal, or whatever. I just can’t watch shows like that even though there are some who have amazing voices.
#5 – I was a precocious child until I hit Junior High. With a mom who insisted I wear polyester pantsuits instead of jeans and who cut my hair so short I looked like a boy, plus having braces, I quickly became very self-conscious and shy right up until I went away to college. Then I blossomed, although I still have my shy moments.
#6 – I agree that people shouldn’t rush into marriage. My hubby proposed 6 months after we met, but I gave him back the ring saying I wasn’t ready for a steady relationship but still wanted to date him. 6 months later, I accepted his ring and after a three-year engagement while I went away to college, we were married. Our next anniversary will be our 33rd. 🙂
#7 – My goal in life is to help people and love those that most are afraid to love, mainly because they don’t understand them. Special Needs children and adults are often misunderstood, but they can be the most loving, if not challenging, people I know. That’s why I love my day job as much as my writing job.
A couple more things related to Amy’s comments: I have a cousin who is color blind – completely – sees only black, white and shades of gray. I feel a little sorry for him because colors to me bring out certain emotions that someone without the ability to see the various colors might miss out on, I think. As for the number 13, that was always my mother’s lucky number. When she was 13, she was in a car accident in which she was lucky enough to survive. She had 13 stitches. The date of the accident was the 13th as well as many other things associated with 13 and that day that I don’t remember at the moment. All through her life she valued that number. At the end of her life, after suffering great pain, she passed away on . . . the 13th. She would have loved the symmetry in that. 🙂

This weekend, I plan to get as many more cards made as I can. Easter is creeping up at an alarming rate and I still have so many to make! Hope you all have a great weekend! 🙂

The Ides of March

“Beware the Ides of March” a soothsayer told Julius Caesar according to Shakespeare. Caesar was in fact warned that he would be harmed no later than the Ides of March and it was on this date that Brutus and Longinus conspired and succeeded in killing him.

The word ‘Ides’ itself means ‘half division’ especially of a month. In March, May, July and October the Ides falls on the 15th. Every other month it falls on the 13th. The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and usually involved a military parade of some sort.

So, why am I going on and on about this day? Well, as a child I looked forward to this day with great excitement – not because we worshipped the Roman god Mars or because we celebrated the death of Julius Caesar but because it was my birthday!

I waited in agonizing anticipation until my birthday dinner, my cake and my presents. I’d have parties with all my neighbourhood friends and my Dad would put on a puppet show for us. It was always the best day of the year. Now that I’m ‘over the hill’ the birthdays can just stop. I don’t want to be reminded how much closer to a hundred I am!

Instead of getting presents this year, I thought I’d do something completely different and give something away. For every person who comments today, I will put their name in a pot and draw one lucky winner. That winner will receive a copy of my books, ‘Withershins’ and ‘Spirit Quest’. I will notify the winner to get their mailing address. Good luck, everyone!