Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Discovery

 The word Discovery makes me think of two things: men in pith hats explaining that they've located another continent, and that television channel with the boring programs. So I use the term loosely when I say that I've made a discovery. And that epiphany would be:

Show don't tell! (That might get a chuckle or two out of a literature veteran, and a scowl from my English teacher that I've just now grasped this concept; but hey at least it's coming now and not when I'm actually on my own writing for a living). I was reading a writing book that a friend loaned me (Seize the Story by Victoria Hanley) and upon looking at the back section where they interviewed writers, and I came across Joan Bauer's interview. Admittedly, I'd never heard of her, but I'm glad I did. When asked what the easiest thing about writing was to her, she answered: "Writing dialogue, probably. I was trained as a screen writer and learned how to tell a story through conversation." I felt like throwing confetti in celebration. That makes sense. Why haven't I been doing that? Should I have been doing that? Yes Christina. You should have. 

And while I stay up until one in the morning creating this dialogue and finding that I'm having much success with it, I can't help but wonder: what if I didn't have this wonderful friend who loaned me this wonderful book that led me to this discovery? I'd still be chucking information in my reader's faces by the paragraph. It's the small things, you know? The little instances where you smile to yourself and think how happy you are that you woke up that morning to receive this discovery. And while I didn't find a secret continent, it sure feels that way. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

"How 'Bout That Snow?"

Snow, for anyone from six to seventeen years-old, means one thing: SNOW DAY. So no one wants to hear two-hour-delay. Especially on mid-term week. Honestly, it just makes me hopefully glance up at my school's florescent lights every few moments, willing them to go out, and let the howling wind win, to send us victoriously home. But all the wind brought was rain. Enough rain to entertain a few boys into a rousing game of chuck-the-slush, and lucky for me, I was standing in the middle of it when it began, unaware. I was watching the light snow falling, because it looked like it was descending in slow motion. Snow falls slowly sometimes. I wish it would do that all the time.

But today, the snow did indeed win, because it covered half of the state enough so that when we all woke up this morning (and mornings past) we all resembled moles poking their noses out for the first time in the spring, only to find that it was, in fact, not spring. Perhaps that's why the weak little mail truck did not get to our mail box ...

Though I do think this weather gives us a sense of togetherness, no matter how irritating it may be. It gives us all something to talk about in those silent moment waiting in line at the grocery store: "how 'bout that snow?". We shovel, snowplow, and shiver together. And might I add that when a snowstorm is predicted, everyone runs helter skelter to their nearest Stop & Shop to stalk up on whatever they don't have and don't need, as if it's never snowed before. And for those people, I commend you, because you are helping our economy. But be warned: it has snowed, it will snow, and it will snow again after that. 

Keep warm. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Notebooks

I think I've always just had a thing for notebooks. The thought that these little packages were mine to use however I felt was a wondrous feeling. I've destroyed some (e.i. dropping it in a puddle), used up just about every sticker I could find on some and done nothing with others, awaiting the perfect time to open the pages and sniff the newly printed paper. 

And I know it's not particularly normal. What teenager asks her parents for notebooks, pens and pencils for Christmas? But hey, writers need to write ... right? 

So I use up a majority of my birthday and Christmas money every year to reek havoc on the shelves of Barns & Noble and Staples alike. A notebook for poems, one for songs, a Moleskin as a journal. Others with music staffs in them, for when I'm feeling like Mozart.

People live in houses (others in tents, others in trees, but mostly they live in houses). They dwell in them, take care of them, and sleep in them. Maybe that's how I feel with notebooks. I use one every two months, and while that notebook is being used, it's always with me. Like my own secret house, full of my own ideas ... only spiral-bound. 
I've come to think that maybe everyone should keep notebooks. Just to keep things and thoughts with them, to remember. And to fall asleep at night happily knowing that the wonderful idea you had before your eyes closed wouldn't be forgotten. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Football Explaination

Football: A majority of America break out the junk food and park themselves on their couches for a few hours every Sunday to watch their favorite team beat the other one up. Who knows what these people look like, we can only differentiate by the sometimes amusing names displayed on their backs (Mayo) and the numbers on their chests. True fans fancy themselves experts knowing a ton of stats and records that they can recite upon the slightest window of opportunity. There are so many strategies and rules that to the untrained bystander (such as a fourteen year-old girl with no brothers) it's a mess. And so:

As an assignment for my journalism class, I have to watch a sports game. I originally thought I would outsmart the task and watch something simple like ice skating. Yet none of that is in season, and I'm left to squint at my television screen wondering what the heck is going on at today's NFL game. Upon the amazing revelation that touchdowns were indeed six points as opposed to my previously thought seven, I realized I have a long way to go. Other than the fact that they're supposed to get the football into the end zone, and when they jump on each other it's called a tackle, I have no idea what I'm doing. Only 450 more words to go to meet my word count. 

Bill Belichick doesn't talk much in interviews. Maybe he's as bored as I am.