Showing posts with label rewrite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rewrite. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Your Story Matters


"The first draft stinks," so say the writing gurus. They also say that when you finish a book, go back and rewrite it, for you will be a better writer. 


Yeah, but how often can I do that without my head exploding?


Most excerpts offer the beginning of their book as an introduction to the work. I'm offering the end. 


This comes after my race with the Pink Dogwood Tree's blossoms, where I tried to write 50,000 words before the flowers fell off the tree. 


The tree won.


However, Mom's Pink Dogwood tree in the front yard came to the rescue. She held her blossoms until June 4.




Chapter 66


May 31,2023—50,000 Words


Last night, we watched Hetty Lawlor, a 17-year-old fiery red-haired portrait artist, one of the three finalists on the TV show "Portrait Artist of the Year" (2018). She had beat out tried and true professional portrait painters and was my favorite. Her colored pencil portraits were exquisite, the likeness of her subjects uncanny. I loved her. 


And then a strange thing happened. As the final selection to win "Portrait Artist of the Year," where they would receive a commission of 10,000 £ and have their painting hung in a museum in Britain, I was suddenly torn. I had a twinge of desire for Samira Addo, another artist. It was a neck-to-neck race. I held my breath.


Samira Addo won.


Addo came through like a student who aced the final exam and got an A.


Lawlor's likenesses were second to none. And yet, and yet I saw the artist in 



I tend to like realism and exquisite rendering of features, but suddenly, I was thrown into an abstract world. How did Addo do it? How did she capture the essence of a person with so few brush strokes? Faces were not flesh-colored, gray even. Yet there was an artist.


I have been rendering my life in Word pictures. I am a painter with a pen and have endeavored to fill in my pen and ink drawings with watercolors. But as I close this page, I am throwing aside the pen and the ink, and instead, I pick up the brush only. I dip it in water, and then the paints. I begin a smear across the canvas—aquamarine, aqua, seafoam green, blues, and green—the seafoam green of the sea, aqua of the reefs, green of an Oregon forest. A girl runs barefooted through the surf. Her filmy dress is white, wet, and plastered against her body. Water flies up from her footfalls and lands on the page in starbursts of white, pink, violet, and orange—sunset colors. 


The running girl's hair is entangled with the air-driven water, and with the splatters and sparkles, golden strands among the green and blue.


You can't recognize the girl specifically, but you see a resemblance. My hair isn't long, and my face isn't blue, but it's there among the peacock colors.




PS. What would I like for you to carry away from this reading? 


Oh gee, I really want to instill in as many people as possible, me included, the wonder in which we live. We're here. We have life, medical care, the freedom to roam and travel, milk and eggs, fingers, and opposable thumbs. We have built monuments, homes, cathedrals, airplanes, books, computers, clothes, a way to go to the moon, and a way to get back home. We can fly in a plane through the sky and SCUBA under the sea. We have eyes to see, ears to hear, and an imagination that goes to the stars and back. 


Bless all you have: a roof over your head, plumbing, appliances, a computer, clothing, your ability to see, feel, and taste, friends, money, and the ability to walk, talk, and imagine.


I applauded when I read Jen Sincero's (You are a Bada**) comment on the Universe. "What more do I have to do to wake these bitches up?" she wrote, "Make water, their most precious resource, rain down from the sky?"




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