DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

dog days of summerDid you know this period of August and into September is named after a star, Sirius the Dog Star. Looks like this Sirius is enjoying his air conditioner. The hot weather during this period seems to be hotter, no breezes, and robs one of their energy to be active. I’ve thought about this and remember, way back when, times of air conditioning did not exist. Yeah, they had means to cool businesses, but what about homes. We used fans, like in the picture, in our windows, rooms, porches, and we drank plenty of lemonade, ice tea, water and lots of ice in every drink. Never thought too much about the heat, until we got our first air conditioner. It was a huge, clunky box which my dad installed in one of our living room windows. It cooled the room where we stayed most of the time. Why? Our first black and white television was in this room. As I remember backwards, a lot of firsts entered our lives. Exciting to see pictures on a big screen and be cool at the same time. Then came the first washing machine, but not like the kind that you have in your homes. No, this was similar to the old washer and had ringers you ran the clothes through, after the rinse, to squeeze the water out. Only, this new washer had a motor that rotated the clothes you put inside the machine. You could watch the clothes move around without the use of hands or paddles. Then you hit a release knob and the dirty wash water ran down a drain. When it was empty, you filled the machine with clear water for the rinse, started the motor again so the rotation would rinse the clothes. Now, the final release knob and the water ran out again. Hands ran them through the wringer and they were ready for the clothesline. Wash day was a lot of work. No, I like the laundry days now, except…Oh, the clothes smelled so fresh as they were unpinned from the clothesline and folded up.  I’m happy to have had these experiences and when I do laundry, thankful for all the new technology. But, would love to smell the freshness from the outside, not from a rinse of different smells. It is good to remember what was and be thankful for what is now. Sometimes, we want things to go faster, quicker, and forget what we need is downtime from all our activites. During these “Dog Days of Summer” take time to relax, read, write, connect with friends, old and new, sit back and enjoy your Ice Tea, or Sweet Tea depending where you are spending your hot summer days. Just keep in mind, these days won’t last forever. Soon Fall and Winter will creep up on the calendar. At this point, you’ll remember  the hot days of summer. Enjoy your days, write about your own memories, and you’ll be surprised at what your fingers will dig up for you.

Happy Memories. Happy Days. Happy Writing.

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I REMEMBER WHEN

images_271This is the season of holiday music, bright lights, and bottled memories. I do not know why the Holiday Season brings out recollections of great times of the past, but it does. We are in a more festive mood, a few days off from work, and watch crowds of people running in and out of stores. Advertisements for “THE” holiday dinner and preparations made for a whole generation or maybe just a few.

Of course, we hear the tinkle of bells and see the big kettle waiting for a few spare coins to share with the unlucky people and children. Coat drives collect warm clothing for the unprepared, and Toys for Tots give children a gift they never suspected. This is the season for sharing and includes memories.

This takes me back to Florida and my bottled memories. I remember when we picked out our TREE early to get a good one, and then had to keep it outside until the last-minute for decorating or all the needles would be on the floor. Sometimes, we even strung lights on the wall behind the tree as it could be a fire danger. But one thing I remember with a big smile, were the ‘bubble lights.’ I even found them again for my own tree to share the joy with my son.

I remember going to services at our church on Christmas Eve, a tradition not to be ignored. Playing a part in the story or singing, I waved at my parents. Then the same thing happened when my son had parts to play and I received the wave. Today, I prefer the early service with the kids in sheep costumes and the ‘baahing,’ the Wise men stumbling over their long outfits and songs sung by children of all ages. And yes, the kids still wave without embarrassment to their parents and friends.

As a child, there were grandparents, parents, friends to share the festivities. Then, when I had a child of my own, we spent the ‘night before’ at my parents so we could be home and wait for the big man in the red suit. No chimney, but the back door was left unlocked, just in case.

I remember water-skiing on a lake by our house on Christmas Day. Why? No snow in Florida. I remember when we ate the Big Dinner, on the porch as it was to hot in the house to enjoy all the trimmings.

This is YOUR time to let the memories from your bottled jar out and have your own ‘I Remember When.’ How about a short story or the plot for a new novel on some of these memories for your characters? Excitement occurs when you least expect it, and who knows, love is just around the corner for the character who never thought it could happen.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS. HAPPY WRITING.

ADRENALINE’S SILVERSNEAKERS SPRING FLING

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, thirty of our SilverSneakers® gathered for our third annual Spring Fling at the 57th Fighters Group Patio. It was a beautiful day. Bright blue skies, great sunshine, and plenty of umbrellas covered the tables as we basked in the spirit of SilverSneakers. We all exercise, but the 3-F’s are included: Fitness, Friends, Fun. Believe it, we know how to do all three.

This was also a special occasion as we celebrated the upcoming marriage of our own Marta to George. You will see them together…and that is the couple. Life creeps up on us when we have fun and the enjoyment with friends is the best life can give us.

I’m not certain how all this will print out, pictures, as we had plenty of cameras this time and great communication connections. A lot of pictures for scrapbooks and memories. This is not the problem. The person entering the info on her blog is. These are not all the pics, downloading takes time and my eyesight, along with my fingers need a rest. Have fun. Enjoy. More to come. If you don’t see yourself here, you’ll be in the next batch.

AND, if you live in Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody., or parts close by, check out our classes and get healthy, exercise, and have a great time.

p.s. The music is great.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU MOMS, GRAN-MOMS, AND IF NOT, GRAB A KID AND PRETEND.

Patricia Patterson

 

 

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A SILENT WORKOUT FOR YOUR WRITING

images_028Yes, you read WRITE. Have some fun with your work and sharpen your skills at the same time. Sound intriguing? Let’s get started.

First you need to use your current WIP or one you just put up because nothing seemed right – or both, but separately. It might help to print out the first five chapters.Why? You are going to critique your own work and you need to be comfortable and have a red, yes red, pen ready for action.

When we write, we use our words to paint pictures. Sometimes, the pictures are cloudy, or we use the wrong color, or stick our fingers in where we shouldn’t. Maybe your reader cannot feel the painted words, or the color does not set well with the them. Whatever, the reason, we have not given our reader a true picture with our words. We can see them, but we need THE READER TO FEEL THEM.

Now, go to your video and pull out a movie. Your choice, but try to get one in the same genre as your work. All set, ready to go? Not quite, until you turn off the sound. I hear groans and why’s all over the place. Because, this is one way to see what you need to write to get the picture over to your reader.

In movies, we always see what is happening. In writing, we need to let the reader see what is happening with words. Watch certain movie scenes and, if any can match some of your scenes, hit the “STOP” button at any time and shuffle through your printed pages. Do you find yourself telling the reader what is happening? If so, grab your red pen  and mark NEED TO SHOW. Then go back to your movie and see if you can put into words what is happening on the video.

This may take several rounds, but once you get a handle on the movie scenes and your work scenes, you can have lots of fun, put new phrases together, and learn the art of showing by painting word pictures.

Now, when you get stuck in a scene or on a scene, grab a video. When you go to the movies, enjoy each scene with the recognition of ‘oh, that’s how they do that.’ And come home and see what you can do to your writing. Even movies have to have a written script, but it is the director and the actors who make the film come alive.

You are now the director, and all the actors of your novel. Make your words jump off the page right in front of the reader, or pull the reader into your novel with your picture words. You can do it.

Happy Directing. Happy Acting. Happy Writing.

WEDNESDAY. WEDNESDAY. DO I HEAR AN ECHO?

images_080After a “Mad” Monday, everything got unsettled and confused. I’m tired of dark dreary skies, droplets of water, outside, and did I mention dreary skies?

How many times in our writings do we hear echos? We find a phrase or a couple of words and repeat them all over the page, or chapter, or chapters, or throughout the whole book.  “Well, this is the way to recognize my character.” But on every page? “My character speaks like this all the time.” Then silence your character(s) for a few pages.

Echos equal repetition and as writers, we are capable of creating such a vast entity of settings, words, descriptions, and conversations. We do not need ECHOS. Or do we?

If done in a subtle way, this can create a reference to a crime. Then the reader gets shivers knowing about the echo. Or you have a vicious love circle and the same phrase, “I’ll be late.” comes out quite often. Still not in every scene.

When we write, we need to get our ideas out, kinda like a free-write. These ideas are fresh to the writer. We can’t take the chance of forgetting one twist or turn. So we write, write, and write. Word fill up the pages and echos reverberate. Not loud enough we hear them, until revision time comes. Then, we shake our heads and start to worry how many of them did we put in?

A simple “Search and Find” can do the trick. If at any time you think you have echos or overused a certain word, hit the find and then the next, and next, and next. I’m always surprised and shocked. I don’t remember writing the same word that many times, but there it is right in front of me.

A gentle reminder to all of us, don’t forget about “Echos.” Your readers will remember.

Happy Writing. Happy Writing. “Oops.”

See you back on Friday.