Winter Work...

There is more time for us in the winter. When the holidays are over and the outdoor activity schedule is still too far away to think about, when the study is at its most inviting with plenty of warm drinks and a wood-burning fire crackling; it seems easier to get down to serious business. It is a great time to take a bit of extra effort to hone the craft. This year, we will be trying out "seven secrets" on one specific manuscript, and see what it does for us.

It will be an adventure.

I believe I will take each secret out of the box, one at a time, look it over carefully, analyze it, and then implement it into the story. Then I will erase lines and fill in others so that the new addition will seem to be undetectable: a seamless part of the whole. Then I will wait – like Dr. Frankenstein – for the moment when I can say of my creation, "It’s alive!"

We’ll start tomorrow with a lively discussion on hooks: the main purpose of which is to snag something. You bring the chocolate, will you, Ann?

"I’d be glad to."

And Professor, do you think you could bring some sort of a demonstration from your laboratory that would help us to better visualize the concept?

"I’ll see what I can do."

Lilly – if you would be so kind as to donate the manuscript.

"I would like to contribute the one about Stella and the Fat Man."


What’s happening on the farm today: Everyone is gone for the next two months and I am left on my own for the morning chores. At the moment, the animals are like naughty children when there is a substitute teacher in class. The horses play musical stalls as if there weren’t enough to go around, and the dogs hide their food bowls in a different place every day. Colonel Peabody has decided I am an invader in his yard and somebody to get in the ring with. After a week, he is no longer interested in food, freedom, or even girls. To open the hen house door now has the same effect as the bell at the beginning of a boxing round. Wings spread, he leaps into the air, talons forward, and attacks. We are at war.

Habit status: Day 2 of the second round (so far, no conflicts)

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