Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tough Love & The Truth

Tough Love--

Okay, my writing tips were a little tough (Jeannine called me this morning and mentioned she read my blog and the tough love portion was throughout!) Just know, a lot of that were reminders for myself. Though I do get annoyed/bothered/concerns when I see a talented writer whose gift is being lost because of ___________________ (insert excuses here).

I'm a Capricorn, so I do have my more business-like side. I'm a reverse mullet--party in front, down to business in back. I'll give you three softer writing tips to soften things up.

1) Best words. Best order. (Plagiarized writing tip, but important). You have a poem that allows only so many words. Make sure you use the best words. If you have "up" after a word, there is usually a better now. Instead of "get up," perhaps consider "stand" or something stronger. I'm not saying every time or all the time, but if you find the word "up" (or "get" -especially "get") in your poem, there is \mostly likely a stronger word.

2) Learn to love your own unique voice. It's great to imitate, but honor your voice and style. And expand it. Don't become the one-trick pony, but allow yourself to grow.

3) When it doubt, take it out. - I have this same rule for food that I can't tell if it's good or bad. If you're not 100% sold on a poem in a chapbook or manuscript, take it out. If down the road you feel there's an urging to put it back, then do so. Only submit your best work. If you're not sure if the poem is your best, then take it out. (You can always ask if it can be put in once your mss is taken).


Were those a little nicer tips? I can be a little blunt, but it's only because I care (smiley face, heart heart, kiss kiss huggy hug.) It's really hard for me to be sugary sweet. But I can try.

* * * *

The Truth--

4 truths & one lie...

1) I high-fived Tom Selleck on Rodeo Drive.
2) I inadvertently became part of a sidewalk act in Nice, France.
3) I have never snowskiied.
4) I spent a number of nights in the Seattle Mariner's locker room as a young teenager because 2 of my friends were bat boys.
5) I once pranked called Drew Barrymore.

The lie in the bunch was (drumroll, please)... #1.

I did not high-five Tom Selleck on Rodeo drive, but I did shake his hand in the Ralph Lauren shop on Rodeo Drive. The friend who guessed this was a lie said, "I thought he was too tall to high five." Good point.

As for the others--

2) I inadvertently became part of a sidewalk act in Nice, France.
**True. When I was backpacking through Europe after college with my girlfriend, we didn't realize they do sidewalk shows for the cafe diners and became part of the act. There was a strange man in a mask who was crouched down and following us. He tickled our hand and we thought he was a pervert harassing us so my girlfriend hit him with her poster tube. He panicked and we walked away not realizing that this was an act. 2 weeks later when we returned to Nice after traveling through Italy, we saw him again (but from across the street) and watched him take off his mask. We still had no idea what was going on, but as he passed his mask to the cafe diners and they added money into it, we realized that this was the show he did. We're guessing he was paid well on the day the two American girls freaked out and beat him with artwork.

3) I have never snowskiied.
***True. Though I grew up in the NW, I have never skied. I must look like someone who did as everyone assumed I was in ski school as a child. Nope. I waterski (and have done so since I was ten). I've innertubed at Snoqualmie Pass. In my 20's I went to Whistler and took snowboarding lessons for 2 days, but I've never snowskiied and actually, I've never been on a snowlift that takes you high up the mountain. I can't remember how I got to the top of the hill for snowboarding, but I don't remember a ski lift. I think I was on the bunnyslope.

4) I spent a number of nights in the Seattle Mariner's locker room as a young teenager because 2 of my friends were bat boys.
****True. My parents would drop me off at the Kingdome, then after the game I'd sit in the Mariner's locker room while they cleaned it. Some nights I'd take home broken bats. Sometimes I'd look through their lockers. Mostly, I just watched them clean. On nights I made it down there early enough I'd see the players and I did get a fully autographed baseball with my favorite signature-- Gaylord Perry.

5) I once pranked called Drew Barrymore.
***Sad, but true. I was in my 20's and staying the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island of Hawaii and she was staying there too. I thought it would be interesting to see if I could call her by asking for her room at the desk's reception. I could. They connected me to her room and I said something silly like "who's this?" There was no malicious intentions (aka malintent), just a curiousity, which usually gets the better of me.


So, there you go.

1 comment:

Marie Gauthier said...

I didn't find your advice harsh, but I tend to be on the blunt side myself. But these are another great set of tips. Of them all, I must admit that your first #1 is the one I struggle with. I take my writing seriously, but it used to be unlikely that I'd tell you about it unless you asked me pointblank (I'm a very poor obfuscator!).

Thanks!

best,
Marie

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