Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Five: In the Wild

1. I promised my kids an adventure today, which means we walked to the park and looked at Halloween decorations on the way. It was such a nice day, perfect for a walk, and I took a book and planned to read while they played at the park for about an hour. But my plans completely changed when I got to the park. it was an early release day, which meant all the schools in the county got out two hours early. And the park we walked to is very close to the high school. It was absolutely overrun with groups of high school students. My kids didn't want to leave, but the moms huddle up and stared at the teenagers, who sat on the slides and refused to move so the little kids could get down. They climbed on top of the swing set, threw pinecones at each other and basically acted like teenagers with no structure do. There were two separate groups playing games, one Ultimate Frisbee group and one pick-up basketball game.

As a mom I was a little uncomfortable. Partly because they were in the way of letting my kids play and partly the language they were using. (I'm not a prude really, and my kids all know the swear words because they've heard them come out of my mouth on various days, but the teenagers were being teenagers and talking about things I don't want my kids to know about yet. I don't want to explain what giving head is to my six year old--thank you very much.) But as a writer I was fascinated. It's been awhile since I've seen teens out in the wild with no real restraints--because a bunch of moms at the park aren't going to make a teen curb behavior the way being at school or at church does. I was surprised at how i could pick out the social butterfly and the couples and the interchangeable couples as quickly as I could just by watching. The boys that needed to show off, and the ones that didn't. Really it was fascinating, but I had to be careful because I didn't want them to think I was some weirdo.

We left when some of them began smoking a joint next to my kids. And that was the exciting part of my day today.

2. I love the fall. It's the time of year when I feel most alive. The cool weather comes back and I can move again. And the leaves start to change, which hasn't happened quite yet. And there's the wonderful smell of leaves when they crunch. It makes me so happy. So this week I've been pretty happy.

3. The stress has been fairly high at my house this week, but with that said, I've made it a point to carve out some writing time, and I'm surprised at what I've managed to get done. I feel like the story is so much more authentic, and stuff is coming into play that didn't the first time around, and it's a lot better for it. Rewriting or starting over and nailing the voice is so worth it. I remember thinking that it was just silly to waste the time to do that. And I can see how much I've changed in that attitude. You need to do it over again until you get it right.

4. I noticed last week when I posted that the last four weeks I've used the same title two weeks in a row. It made me laugh, but also pointed out how awfully bad I am at titles. Some people have a real gift for them and then others really struggle. I love the titles of Ally Carter's books. They are fun and totally fit her stories. I like Melissa Marr's titles too. I wish I was blessed with some titling fairy that could wave a magic wand over my work and bless it with a beautiful title. Maybe someday that will happen.

5. Last week I wrote about time sucks, and this week I cut my television viewing way back, and I took all of my books back to the library unread. Sigh. That was hard. But it helped, like I said I carved out some writing time in a pretty stressful week. I want to get this draft done in the next two weeks, and it means some serious focus on the writing to make it happen. But I can make it happen. I know I can. What are your writing goals this week?


Heather Hansen said...

My titles always suck. If you see the title fairy, send her my way after she's helped you out. ;)

Patti said...

Observing kids in "the wild" is way more informative than at school or church. I totally understand that.