What is Cheryl doing right now?

Who all out there is on Facebook or MySpace or some other networking site? I’m on Facebook, and it’s cool in some ways and a huge time sink in others. Man! I turn around for a few minutes, and I’m kidnapped or poked or tagged in a photo or someone wants me to send a flower to save the rain forest…

I haven’t decided how much of it is a “useful” use of my time, but it’s definitely fun. And it lets me keep in touch with people I might not otherwise contact quite so frequently–like the folks from the writing retreat I just attended. Pretty cool.

But back to what I’m doing right now–I’m READING! And rewriting, but in between rewriting binges, I now have a pile of books to devour. Yesterday I raced through R.A. Nelson’s Breathe My Name. Today, I’m reading it again, to absorb the great voice and language use. Here’s a taste:

“See?” Momma says, holding up the jar with the crawdads. “Everything knows about fear.”

And it’s true. I’ve seen spiders, the smallest spider you can see, little bitty red ones smaller than a freckle–they run like crazy if you put your finger down next to them. Their fear is as big as any fear in the whole world.

…Momma is good at scaring things.

And here’s another favorite passage, a spider metaphor that R.A. Nelson carries and develops through the entire story:

Maybe that’s what she always was. Only none of us knew, because she kept it hidden. And through everything, all the times she was kissing us or playing games with us or being the queen of our pretend kingdom, really she was a spider underneath everything, just itching to break free. And every night the stiff little spidery hairs were coming to the surface, and she had to be careful to pluck them off each morning so that no one would suspect she was really a spider.

As a writer, I sometimes forget to let my characters see the world through metaphor and whimsy. That’s my assignment for tonight: to take a passage and rewrite, letting my character make sense of her world with a type of understanding that moves beyond the ordinary.

Thanks for the inspiration, R.A.Nelson!

:) Cheryl
The hidden price of "productivity" every writer needs to know - www.cherylreif.com

You’ve probably read the same tips I have: Have a smart phone? Check Facebook while standing in line at the post office! Respond to Twitter messages while waiting for your dentist! Catch up on your news feed while sitting on the pot! For years, I thought the path to increased productivity was to squeeze in MORE–more […]

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