quick 5

Well hello there, Friday. 

1. I wrangled the kiddos into bed and then set about to type up the quick 5. Ella (3) walks in suddenly, sees me on the computer, and asks, "Are you on facebook.con?"

2. Tonight I was grumbling at the kids about my suspicion that they have been playing in the forbidden-but-desirable area of the space behind the love seat. 

Me: Have you guys been playing back here recently?
Drew (7): Define 'recently'. 

3. On Tuesday night, we accidentally attended a Gang Awareness and Prevention Banquet. (How does one accidentally attend such a thing, you ask? Good question.) Anyways, at the end of a very informative, thoughtful, and interesting lecture on the problems of gangs and the signs that your child may be involved in one at some level, the speaker took questions from the audience. A man in the back raised his hand and said that his younger teenage son was displaying many of those signs, such as having a 'street name', skipping school, and an obsession with the 'gangster' life. The speaker encouraged the man to pull his son out of it by whatever means necessary. The father sighed, and then remarked honestly that he didn't think that he'd be able to do that due to several circumstances. The speaker replied, "You can find a way to do it or you can stand next to your son's coffin and cry at his funeral. Its your choice." Sounds harsh in the limited context of this story, but in person it was powerful and, in a blunt way, compassionate. 

It got me to thinking about the circumstances in our lives and the choices that we could make but don't. It seems like, as sons and daughters of Adam, we struggle so to really see the long-term consequences of our choices. There are basic things we could do- difficult things, purposeful things, redemptive things- that would change the course of our lives, and maybe even the lives of those around us. But these choices seem undesirable or maybe impossible, when in truth we have so much more power over our own lives than we really realize. And its those little choices- like listening to your children or calling someone who is hovering in your mind or pulling over to offer a ride to a mom loaded down with baby and groceries- those are the things that shape us. But will we be shaped? That is the question. 

4. I realized this week that I really enjoy homeschooling. Something about that realization, as simple as it sounds, was very freeing to me. I guess part of it was just practical (Glad you enjoy it- because you have two decades of it ahead of you!) but another part was like a light going on, something clicking in me that made me feel like I was really doing something that I was made to do. There are so many days where I feel like this whole house-managing, family-organizing, and general-chaos-overseeing isn't really a very good fit for me. Not that I don't love my kids, I just don't feel like I'm great at keeping all the ducks in a row.  So the epiphany that I like to homeschool, that it feels natural to me, and that I'm pretty good at it- it spoke to me in some deep and dusty places. It was good. 

5. I finished the second draft of my book. I'm starting a 2.5 revision- not quite ready for the full third revision where the focus will be cutting 15% and refining the exact words. For the 2.5, I am working on the setting, adding a few scenes at school, and creating more scenes between the two main characters so that they can ultimately exchange information essential to the plot. And the voice, of course. Ever since Brandon Sanderson told me (via a lecture on youtube) that the risky thing about first person narrative is that people have to really like the narrator's voice, I've been stressing about her voice. 

In case you're curious (Stacey- and any other writers out there), here is the draft process I am tentatively following (also taken from B-Sizzle's lecture on revision)

1- Write first draft all the way through.
2- Edit for continuity- make sure that the plot makes sense. 
3- Polish the words. Cut 15%, add better descriptions, hone the voice. 
---Alpha readers (small group of people knowledgeable about writing and your genre) read it. Author takes 6 month break from manuscript- often starts another book (yeah, right!)---
4. Edit based on alpha reader input. 
5. Read through again, clean up the language and pay special attention to the dialogue.
-Get a bunch of people to read it.-
6. Final draft. 

That's not intimidating at all. By step 5, I should be finished with my two decades of homeschooling and able to really fly through that final draft! Sheesh. 

Well, that's about all for today. Thanks for stopping by the quick 5. Hope today is a lovely beginning to a lovely weekend. 



mel4mil said...

Define recently. I love it! :D

Stacey said...

Ha! That's exactly what I was wondering as I read: what your revision process is. I need to check out more of Brandon Sanderson's stuff. Very likely after the new year: there's so much to do between now and Christmas!