Monday, April 11, 2011

J is for Juxtaposition

What the heck does this word mean. It is the act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
Yeah, that happens in writing. Don't we place the hero and the villain together for contrast. Sometimes it's as simple as child vs parent, or even friend vs friend.
What do you juxtapose in your writing to give it contrast?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Focus

What do you focus on the most in your writing. Is it dialogue, character, scene or plot? If you read your work and you find that you focus more on one than all the others, then you need to work on a balance.
Right now I'm working as the stage manager for a play. My focus is on the cast and crew. I haven't been focused on my family. I feel unbalanced.
Tonight the play starts. I won't be blogging for the next few days. So for tomorrow, G is for Goodbye till later, then on Saturday H is for Hallelujah we're almost done and on Sunday I is for Incapacitated, cause that's when I crumble into pile of jelly. Wish me luck.
P.S. The play is put on by our Stake and is an LDS production called "Savior of the World". You can find it on

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Emotion

I took a class on Emotion in Writing by Carol Lynch Williams. She told us that your writing needs to touch your reader. How do you do that? You make the character real. Write your character's history. Give them quirks that make them unique. As you are writing, borrow emotion from yourself. Ask yourself how you would feel in a situation and give your character those feelings. Use the senses. How would things look, sound, feel, smell, and taste. Here is a link to a list of descriptive words for these senses - .

Ask yourself why the reader is reading your book. Williams says that teens read to find out who they are. They want a book that will speak to them. In conclusion, she said, good writing is about telling the truth.

Strengthen your characters and scenes with emotion. Your story will be better for it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Dash

The alphabet post thing looks like fun, so I'll give it a whirl.
D is for Dash.

Wendy Swore encouraged me to use an em dash in my last story. I had to figure out how to type it on my computer and though I'm sure Annette Lyon had talked about it scores of time in her grammar classes, I had to look it up again. The Chicago Manual of Style says "The em dash is used "to denote a sudden break in thought that causes an abrupt change in sentence structure."

On my Mac, I can create an em dash by pressing down the alt key and the minus key. I don't know what your computer does. Good luck.

An en dash (which sounds pretty much like em dash and so confuses poor hapless fools like myself), "is used to connect continuing, or inclusive, numbers -- dates, time, or reference numbers." Taken again from the Chicago Manual of Style.

The difference between the two dashes is the length of the dash. An em dash is the size of an m or three dashes and the en dash is the size of an n, or three dashes.

Then there's dine and dash, which refers to eating and running. The rash dash, which is done when one has made a rash decision and has to flee. The rash dash of course could have a dermatological meaning, for example the dash to the E.R. after a person has fallen in poison ivy.

No pets or people were harmed in the writing of this post.

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's Pysanky Time

What is a pysanky you may ask. The correct question would be, what is a pysanka, Alex? Pysanky is the plural form for Ukrainian Easter eggs, and a pysanka is one egg.
If you are into decorating these colorful, intricate creations, now would be the time to start. It's almost Easter, and in homes all over the world people are getting out their dyes and heating up their kistky. A kistka is a tool with a long handle ending in a brass funnel that is used to apply wax to an egg to keep dye from adhering to the shell. This 'wax resist' process allows you to layer colors of dye from lightest to darkest and finish with a beautiful pattern of all the shades at the end.

To see some phenomenal examples of art on an egg, visit the site of a dedicated Canadian artist named So Jeo, .
If you are interested in trying this fun art form, here are a few places where you can order supplies, and
If you have questions about the process or the history of Ukrainian Easter eggs or want to take classes, a great site to go to is I am listed as one of the teachers in Utah there.

It can be as simple as wax crayon on the egg you are dipping with your kids egg kit, or you can try the real thing with a kistka and beeswax. It's a great way to spend time with your kids, or nurture your creative side. Now's the time. There's only a few weeks till Easter. Get crackin'. (Oops, bad egg pun).