In the interest of doing something normal, scheduled, interesting and maybe a tad bit fun, I’ve decided to dedicate Friday’s blog to my favorite reads. I’ll call it Friday Favorites. And how creative is that!?
My ex-boyfriend (aka, my husband) gave me two books for my birthday, books he chose from my ever expanding Amazon Wish List. One of them I’ll read for pleasure because everyone, everywhere says it’s awesome and that everyone, everywhere should read it. But the other book is one on the craft of writing and it’s one I’ll spend more time with.
It’s called Steering the Craft—exercises and discussions on story writing for the lone navigator or the mutinous crew by Ursula K. Le Guin, a lovely little book with a calm, inviting cover.
I can’t remember who recommended it or how long it’s been waiting patiently inside Amazon but I dove right into it as soon as I could. Each chapter deals with a different element of writing and opens with that cute little picture of the woman in the boat. The waves beneath her make up catchy little verses designed to match that chapter’s content.
Chapter One is titled The Sound of Your Writing and the little boat slides over the following verse: “She slipped swift as a slippery fish through the slapping gurgle of sea waves.” Of course chapter one’s exercise is something similar where Le Guin suggests we play around with the sound of the words we write, having fun with alliteration and/or onomatopoeia. And when we’re done, we should read our piece aloud to see how the syllables slide along the sentences.
So I had my own little fun with onomatopoeia, ending up with a paragraph or two about the sounds of my neighborhood on a Saturday morning. Then I played around with the names of the people in my family, ending up with a few of these:
I could go on here, sharing the rest of the silly things I wrote but I won’t. Suffice to say, it was a lot of fun! And it reminded me of something I sometimes forget: to always read my work aloud and listen to the way the words work together.
I’m not very far into her book . . . only on chapter four which is surprisingly called Repetition. And how I do love repetition! But then, I think I might have already alluded to that.