This year when my children brought home their school pictures, I cringed. These kids can leave home looking cherubic, but the minute they pose for that school photographer they are transposed into unrecognizable beings. My middle daughter brought home pictures bearing her name and room number that couldn't have been my offspring. Nor a distant relative. I had worked for hours on this child. Her hair was parted in the middle and drawn into a cute little ponytail over each ear. Even though she is at an awkward age, she looked adorable when she went out that door. Her missing front teeth only added to her charm. The kid in the picture has her mouth open wide displaying ugly dark gaps. Her one visible ponytail is lopsided, her part is uneven, and her bangs look like they were cut with pinking shears. I know this isn't my child because I always give my children a good haircut before they have their pictures taken. The only thing vaguely familiar is the sweater the child has on. My dau…
Writing a story is somewhat similar to building a house. Or not!
when we give a piece of our story to someone to read - we expect them to see the whole.
It's like building a house and offering a single piece of lumber to another builder. “Here, see the house I'm building.” SOME CAN SEE IT AND SOME CAN’T. Here's the thing: MOST CAN'T.
This step is as necessary to me as breathing.
I need to give you single boards as I create them. AND I expect you to be a visionary and say, “Why yes. I see.”
I need you to see how special the piece of lumber is that I'm using and to see that eventually I'll add more pieces to make the whole.
Choose people to read your work who like the kind of stories you write.
There are as many kinds of stories as there are houses to live in. If you give a brick ranch to someone who only appreciates a cape cod then he'll have a hard time fitting himself into what you are offering.
From an essay by Gladys Taber
Family Circle - September 1982
I sat in the sun the other day while the dogs dug up the lawn and thought about work. I wasn’t working. I was just thinking about it. I have found that when I cannot possibly accomplish everything I am supposed to and feel an unbearable pressure---as all homemakers must---if I just stop, life goes better.
I get a good book, make some spiced tea and sit down on my own corner of the sofa or in my favorite lawn chair. I let life settle in around me, and that is the only way I can express it. After 20 minutes or half an hour, I go back to the mechanics of living. AND at days end I am just as far along as if I had not stopped to think.
Another of her thoughts: time for thinking is a gift one can give only to one’s self.
Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have over the years. When I've had it with my life some days - I have only to sit down with a glass of sweet tea and think of this essay an…