Posts Tagged ‘message’

Photo Friday: Odd One Out

October 12, 2018

A yellow acorn squash doesn’t make it any less an acorn squash.


Final message

August 28, 2009

Exercise 6: final message- write a final message that your character might receive after the death of his/her father‘s death.

Peter opened his father’s safety deposit box as he was instructed.  His mother gave him the key after his father’s funeral with the instruction to open it immediately, before the reception.

Inside the box was an envelope with his name on it.  Inside, he found two pieces of paper written by hand by his father, which was important, because his father seemed to do all his writing on a word processor.  He sat down in a chair to read what his father wrote.

“My son,
I know it’s hard to believe, but as your father, it was never my job to tell you how to live your life.  My only job was to inspire you to make the right choices while keeping you safe. Now I’m going to give you one final piece of inspiration.  Remember this, and pass it on.

When I was ten, my own father gave me a book of poetry that I have treasured these past 30 years.  Inside the front cover he had written something that he said I wouldn’t understand for several years, but the meaning would become clear as I get older.  This book, and the journal I started the day you were born, are yours.  Your mother knows where they are, and will give them to you at the reception.  I wish for you to continue writing in your journal, of your life and what it teaches you.

Now I will give you what my father wrote in that book, and the meaning, in hopes that you may be as inspired by it as I have.  I will give it to you fully, and explain the three parts; separate but connected.

‘Thoreau’s Journal August 28, 1841:
True verses are not counted on the poet’s  fingers, but on his heart strings.
My life hath been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and live to utter it.’

Line one: A poem written by the hand cannot truly capture the essence of the poem written in the heart. (That doesn’t mean you shouldn‘t try to capture a part of it)
Line two: From the moment you are born, to the moment of your death, your life is the poem of your heart.
Line three: I admit to seeing two things in this.  The first is if we spend all our time trying to write down the poem of our heart we will never have the chance to live because our heart’s poem is constant.  The other thing is since our heart never stops writing the poem of our life we will never be able to finish it ourselves.

Of course this is the message I received from it, and this has been the inspiration that has kept me writing poetry.  I have given you what I can, the rest is up to you.

Live well, be inspired, and be an inspiration,

Your loving father.”

Peter left the bank with tears running past his cheeks, and the envelope in his hand.  Half way to the reception he pulled the car over, got out the note pad his father told him to always carry, for ideas, and began writing a poem.


Proofreading: it’s worth the effort

July 26, 2009

One of the things I can’t stand about working for a corporation is their philosophy on speed versus quality.  I have always believed that quality should come before speed, and not the other way around.  Whether you put out 20 or 200,000 units per year, if the quality is substandard, the damage is done and your professional reputation will suffer.  The same holds true for writing.  Publishers are in such a hurry to get as many books out as possible, that I’ve been seeing mistakes in books that can be corrected easily if they just slow down, and proofread a little.

As writers, we have a message to convey, and we do it through the written word.  If we want to make certain our message is understood we need to do our part in the process.  We put everything we have into writing, and have the most to gain from its success, or the most to lose from its failure.  When we proofread our writing, we need to take our time, and make sure it doesn’t leave our hands until we are satisfied with the results.

Don’t rely on the spell/grammar check.  The problem with the spell check is that it doesn’t catch every mistake.  Let’s just say that you are writing a dialogue and one of the characters says, “Do you hear me?”  If you are typing fast and not paying attention, you might type “Do you here me?”  Here we have a typo that is very common.  If you proofread carefully you will catch it and change it.  If you rely on the spell check, it will never catch it because hear and here are both words that a computer recognizes.

This phrase might also be missed because it doesn’t change the flow of the sentence.  Improperly used, words that sound the same, but are spelled differently can make a sentence confusing to readers, and may send the wrong message.

Other typos that the spell check won’t catch are the words that can break the flow of a sentence.  One I’ve seen a lot lately is the word “of” instead of “if”.  This is more of a fast typing problem, or a finger slip.  One or two of these in a book is no real big deal, but two or three a page is sloppy proofreading.  Very few books are completely free of mistakes, and it’s to be expected, but if you let them get out of control, you will lose readers.

Whether you’re writing a masterpiece of fiction or a letter to your family, if you want your message to be heard, and taken seriously, proofreading is essential.  Take control of your writing, and invest the time needed to proofread; isn’t your message worth the effort?

Challenge: When you proofread, set a daily goal on how much you will get done.  It will make it easier on your time.