About Writing

Descriptions

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.

About Me

Joke

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.

About Me

Lappy

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.

About Me

Introversion: A Description

I’m getting the impression that there’s a lot of misinformation floating around about what introversion is, so I’m going to straighten the record here:

Introversion is NOT a mental illness, social anxiety, or social awkwardness.

In broad strokes, introversion and extroversion are about your “mental locus” — are ideas processed inwardly or outwardly.

In application, this means:

Moving through transitions at a slower pace.

My extroverted husband wakes up and jumps right into the day without missing a beat. I prefer to lie in bed for awhile, then move to the couch with a cup of coffee. Once I have finished a satisfactory amount of thinking, then I get up and do stuff.

I also have to work myself up to going to the grocery store, the pool, neighborhood BBQs, returning home — anything that’s a transition from one thing to another. Even with places and activities that I adore.

Taking extra effort to mentally process everything thoroughly.

This is where being drained by social interactions comes into play.

When I talk to people, I listen to not only their words, but also their tone of voice. I pay extra attention to their body language and facial expressions as well, then carefully analyze everything to read into the person as much as possible. The result is that I tend to pick up on subtle clues much earlier than others, but it takes a lot of energy.

With groups, there’s an overwhelming number of things to analyze, so I prefer to check myself into the corner instead. I still talk to individuals who wander over, but I can’t handle THE GROUP as a whole.

New people present a variety of unknowns, so it takes additional energy to figure them out — there’s a definite “warm up” period.

Phone conversations rob me of all the visual cues I use to read people, and are consequently stressful.

Reading people lets me know what I can expect from them, so I’m not abruptly thrust into an unexpected situation without having enough time to process it.

Muted external expressions.

I’m frequently so caught up in my head that I forget to show anything on my face, so I tend to have a blank look most of the time.

I also prefer to simply state, “That makes me mad,” rather than scowling or punching, because I’m not outwardly focused enough to derive any sort of satisfaction from external expressions.

This tends to cause friction with people, because they assume that if something isn’t happening plainly out in the open, then it isn’t happening at all.

And they get weirded out by my glacial stare.

A rich internal world — which is used to forge deep connections with others.

I like my inner world — I like it so much, I write novels about it. For me, writing is far more expressive of my heart and soul than talking is, so it means more to me to have someone read my work than to have someone listen to me talk.

All of the ideas I come across are ultimately used to enrich my internal world, and I’m deeply attracted to people who can provide me with new ideas to work with. I love knowing what people actually think as individuals, and I want to know about their internal world.

And frankly, I’m snobbish enough to prefer my own thoughts over listening to someone recap the latest Disney movie. Uh huh. There’s a dragon. How nice. I could have just read the blurb on IMDB, without expending all of that energy on coming out here and talking to you.

I’d much rather listen to someone gripe about their personal problems, because at least it’s a subject that they’re emotionally attached to.

So, when someone describes themself as “introverted,” don’t assume that means they’re single, depressed, and socially awkward.

I’m actually quite gregarious with mah peeps — the people that I know well and feel comfortable around.

And no, I don’t need to break out of my shell or expand my comfort zone.

I’m fine the way I am.

Stolen from the ‘net
About Me

Weeds

Someone broke into our car (which wasn’t hard, the windows were down), rummaged through the center console, damaged the cassette player, and dumped a bucket of weeds in the drivers seat.

Whoever it was must have been really hopped up on drugs to think that we had any valuables to steal.

I mean, c’mon

Our car still has a cassette player.

Nothing was taken, but the weeds were a weird touch.

So dusty.
About Me

Writing and other news

I’m running into mental fatigue with my fiction writing, and now that it’s July and the weather is HOT HOT HOT, I’d say that it’s time for a little vay-cay.

I’ve settled on getting Alice and the Warden fully polished and published by the end of summer. Since I’m a finicky sort and I don’t handle deadlines very well — and I’m having dreams about an impending storm — I’m not announcing any set dates until later.

In other news, our favorite Mom&Pop restaurant that we’ve been going to every Saturday for the last four (or so) years is now closed forever, so … I don’t know what to do with the family today. It’s not exactly like there’s a multitude of other small restaurants to explore …

Even I like to leave the house occasionally.

And there was a rather amusing bit where everything went wrong with trying to go out on my mile walk the other day, and I still haven’t gotten a new bicycle pump to fix the flat tire on the stroller.

The height of summer isn’t all that great for doin’ stuff.

Photo by Nizam Abdul Latheef on Pexels.com