Wow, we’re into February already. Feels like Christmas was just a few days ago. Time sure flies. And speaking of time flying, last summer I made a promise to myself—to start querying in the spring of 2011. Well spring is just around the corner so I better get crackin’.
I’ve been working on my synopsis—seems like I have been working on it forever, but in my defense . . . okay, I don’t have an excuse. I’ve been lazy. But not anymore. Time to shake off the procrastination blues and finish up my synopsis and query.
To be honest, I’ve been riding the procrastination train for some time now—since before Christmas. I used Christmas as a reason for why I wasn’t writing. Then I convinced myself that I would start writing after the New Year. Now we are well into February and I still find myself riding that damn train most days.
The thing is, once you’ve taken a significant break from writing, it’s hard to get back into it. So in order to warm up my creative muscle again, I’ve been working on a few writing exercises.
This particular creative work out is good for learning how to show a person’s appearance not only through physical traits, but by also showing through their personality. In addition, it teaches one not to give descriptions in a list form, but by distributing them throughout a scene.
The exercise is to write a short description about someone or something, about 250 to 500 words. Remember to add a little setting and personality as well.
Here’s one I’ve written about my oldest son. LOL, he would be so mad if he knew I not only wrote this, but used it as my blog post. I call this piece, The Joys Of Life. He was seventeen at the time of this incident. A couple years have passed, but he still acts like this.
“What? The B button was stuck down! Did you see that?” Tyler glowered at the TV, frustration and annoyance clear in every line of his body. Sitting forward on our brown and tan suede love seat, he slammed his fist on the cushion beside his long legs, bare below the ragged edge of his blue shorts. “This sucks.”
Frustration of my own pulsed through me at his irate tone and childish behavior. I didn’t answer for I knew he didn’t want one. He was only stating the fault didn’t lie with him.
Oh, never that, I thought as I gazed at my son’s face. Irritation clouded his milk-chocolate brown eyes, and his dark brows were an angry slash across his forehead. With a quick flick of his head, he dislodged an oily strand of brown hair from his eyes.
At seventeen, he was a tall, lanky boy, not yet grown into his large hands and feet. The delicate bones of his shoulders stuck out through the faded black T-shirt he wore, and his knees looked as if they would burst out of the skin stretched across.
He mumbled something I couldn’t understand, and resumed playing his video game.
I shook my head, wondering why he bothered playing games when they were supposed to be fun and relaxing; a way to escape the worries of our real lives.
Watching him skillfully maneuver his character around the race track, I wanted to shut it off. Wanted to tell him to give it a rest until he learned how to have fun and accept we don’t always need to win. But instead, I returned to the book I’d been reading.
“Come ooon!” That’s so unfair,” Tyler shouted. He dragged long fingers roughly through his hair, causing it to stick up around his freckled face. “Could this game be any more cheap?”
I opened my mouth, but shut it. With a violent jerk, he spun the plastic steering wheel, manipulating the vehicle on the screen to slide around a sharp corner.
It suddenly occurred to me, he couldn’t even enjoy a game without expecting perfection from himself. With his rigid personality, he is his own worst enemy. He demands excellence in every aspect of his life, from school work to hobbies.
Does he ever have fun? I worried for him because we all know life is messy, throwing us curve-balls when we least expect them. I’m afraid he will never know true joy.