When you’re a writer, there’s an unspoken pressure to describe things poetically — probably because no one ever says, “I love how concise and to-the-point all the descriptions are!” when they talk about their favorite novel.
Oftentimes, that pressure turns into purple prose, which is laborious and awful. Most readers will skip over purple prose rather than slog through it.
Some people are naturally more poetic than others, and can effortlessly pull metaphors and similes out of their mind. Me? I’m not. I’m a concise and to-the-point sort of person.
But thankfully, the real world is pretty awesome without all of them fancy descriptions, and you can still create an immersive scene without resorting to purple prose.
Step one: See the world.
I mean, really see it. Internalize it. Notice the small things that are easy to miss, and use ALL of your senses. Pay attention to how it makes you feel.
Step two: Write what you see.
Use the language that comes naturally to you. A sense of vividness comes from including those small details, such as smell or sounds.
Storm clouds rolled in as the sun was setting. The sky turned from gray to a pale gold, with rosy patches intermixing with the darkness of the clouds, but the wind was warm and dry without any hint of rain. Still, it whipped at my clothes and hair, and brought with it the scent of brine from the Great Salt Lake, which was enough to send a thrill pulsing through me.
Just in case there was any confusion on the matter. XD
As fate would have it, I had planned on running away to Wyoming next week, and the kids coming down sick has left me with less time than I had anticipated to stock up on supplies and catch up with the laundry.
So, I’ll be doing IRL preparations instead of getting any bloggy things lined up for when I’m gone.
But you know how it is with those vast expanses of nothing but wind and sagebrush as far as the eye can see. How could I ever resist?
It’s kind of funny, really. When I was young, all I needed was an extra pair of socks and a notebook, and I was good to go anywhere. Now that I’m a mom, I have a long checklist of essentials that includes things like Benadryl, just in case we discover that one of the kids is allergic to bee stings while we’re out of cellphone range — most of it is “just in case,” really.
It’s going to be fun. I love Wyoming.
My two youngest babies caught a stomach bug.
I’ve been spending my nights fretting and fussing, monitoring fevers and keeping little bodies hydrated. During the day, I’ve been holding sleeping children while attempting to manage the motion controls with playing Skyward Sword (which was conveniently released on the Switch the same day the first fever showed up). And, due to the nature of stomach bugs, I’m simply going to say that I’m very thankful for disposable diapers and the handheld sprayer in the bathtub.
Yes, I know that this isn’t a glamorous aspect of life, but it’s still beautiful in its own way. I can turn away from the daily routine, snuggle up cozy in the chair, and just be with my children.
It’s one of those eerily quiet sorts of evenings. No breeze. No cars. No neighbors. Just stillness.
Sometimes I wonder if this will be how the world ends. Nothing big or obvious, just one day I’ll go outside and discover that most of the other people are gone.
I’ve been pagan for my entire adult life, but I grew up Christian — not only did I go to church every Sunday, I went to the weekday activities too.
My youth group was fond of playing the game, Apples to Apples. For those who have never heard of it, a description card is placed down (eg ‘delicious’), and all the players choose the card from their hand that they think best matches it (eg ‘dessert’, ‘restaurant’, ‘homecooking’). A winner is chosen and they get a point, rinse and repeat.
Everyone else played it straightforward, but I liked to put down the silly cards for the laugh.
I realized very quickly that not only was no one else amused, they couldn’t even tell there was a joke staring right up at them. They were baffled. Why would someone say that kittens are delicious? It didn’t make any sense!
It turned into my private joke. More often then not, I played the ridiculous card, refused to fess up to it, and watched everyone else scratch their heads.
I knew I wasn’t like them.
Every silly card I played affirmed that fact over and over. I waited for the chuckles that never came.
In retrospect, that was one of the earliest things I did to assert myself as an individual.
Honestly, nothing has changed. It doesn’t really matter who I interact with, most of them can’t tell that there’s a joke staring up at them.
But every now and then, when I least expect it, somebody else laughs.
My laptop is seven years old now, which in computer years is, like, ancient.
Its having another round of problems, including the fact that the replacement battery won’t hold a charge anymore, so I’ve been wondering if it’s time to move on.
But laptop shopping is kind of overwhelming. I don’t know what’s supposed to be good these days.
To complicate things, I’ve evolved to using open source software exclusively – though I can’t tell if it’s because I’m a nerd, or just stingy. I’ve gotten kind of sick of the computer second guessing my every move, so I’ve been giving some very serious thought to switching over to Linux.
Ooo look at me! I’m downloading programs off the internet and installing them! That’s like, WAY riskier than having sex without a condom!
Just pretend I didn’t say that.
So at the moment, I cant work on any of my current stories.
And I just cant get along with smartphones.
I’m gonna be in limbo for a bit.