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Actively Writing

Sometimes my dear husband will burst into the room while I'm writing, asking a quick question or telling me one of the kids is on the phone. Not always am I tapping words out on my laptop.... he might catch me doing what I call my "active writing" strategy.

For instance, I was trying to describe the way a character makes a certain gesture, sweeping his arm from left to right, showing a selection of possible choices. When DH walked in, there I was, sitting at the computer, throwing my arms around trying to find a word for the motion. "Ummm, hi," he said with a snarky grin. "Busy writing?"

Actually, YES! That is what I was doing...being busy with my writing. After he was through chuckling, I had him do the gesture about seven times...slowly, quickly, with his back to me. He did it all without hesitating.

Thank goodness he didn't walk in when I was writing about the chipmunk...I pretended to be the small rodent, puffing my cheeks out as far as they will go, and then bouncing my hands on my face feeling the distended jowls. Asking myself the hard questions...like, "Can you see the animal's cheeks from the back as it runs away?"

Last month, our school was thrilled to have a wonderful presentation by Cynthia Lord, the author of Rules, which is one of my favorite novels to teach to my 7th grade students. My students were so excited to have her talk to them about the book and hear her descriptions on the craft of her writing. She shared with them how she worked on writing the wheelchair in the parking lot scene. (If you've read the book, you'll remember the vivid details she included. If you haven't read it, buy a copy a.s.a.p.!)

What have you done for your active writing? Anything silly, interesting, or odd?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
I baked and ate vast quantities of Italian wedding cookies writing GIANNA Z ...I had to get Nonna right!
Dec. 10th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
Italian Cookies
Hmmm...I don't remember seeing any of those. I LOVE Italian Wedding Cookies! I do recall you sharing some hardtack with me for your first novel. Sadly, it's not quite the same...

Perhaps I need to work on a piece that includes Peanut Pandemonium ice cream or Hershey Kisses.
Dec. 10th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
Dec. 10th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
I often spend time writing with my friend angeladegroot. Yesterday, she looked up to see me sitting with my arms extended straight out at shoulder level, flapping them. "Ready for take-off?" she asked. "Just working out how to describe making a snow angel," I said. "Ah," she replied, and returned to typing. We are used to our acting out stuff, even if it's still vastly amusing.

Welcome to LJ!
Dec. 10th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
How wonderful that we can do such seemingly inane things in front of our friends and they still want to hang out with us!
I wonder what it is like for someone who has never made a snow angel to read about it? That's why you do what you do!
Once I did it when the snow was too wet and the final product was more of a...drenched-child-covered-in-slush product.
Dec. 10th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
I do exactly the same thing! I feel silly sometime, but it works. Welcome to LJ!
Dec. 10th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you kindly! I'm glad Kate sent people here...I feel like the new kid at school who just discovered there's a library club!
Dec. 10th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
You'll fit in nicely!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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