Gratitude in Numbers With a Coda of Writer’s Music

Ever imagine in words?

(My apologies, I’m pretty sure I’ve asked this before, but bear with me.)

Language has become a sort of filter in my life: sensations, reactions, and originations (new word!) must BE words before I can understand what to say, or think. What I want to write. So often I see not only dialogue, but action and setting in words, too. Only after I write them can my brain weave the threads together to wrap around the other senses.

So to receive such words of support and love after I faced The Monster was like a favorite blanket coming round my shoulders after a nightmare. My words back feel so feeble, but please know just how much I glow, I smile, when I say:

Thank you.

Now, not too long ago, the lovely author Shehanne Moore and her hamster crew nominated me for the “3 Days, 3 Quotes” challenge. While I would love to follow the rules to the letter, the War of the Potty means no chance to work from sunrise to sunset lest I miss a new addition of pee-pee water or poop to the carpet. That, and this is my 100th post, so let’s make it special by creating 3 posts in 1!

Oh, and it’s Thanksgiving Day here in the States. With my in-laws, including the battle-ax matriarch.

So.

Gonna bend the rules a bit.

The Rules (without the bending)

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, and share their website. (Done! Click here to read some wicked humor, smexy stories, and writing tips most practical.)

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2.Post 1-3 quotes a day for three consecutive days.

3. Nominate 3 people every day.

Well, I’m only writing on one day, soooo guess I’ll just nominate three people. YAY!

Michael Dellert

Dyane Harwood

George Blamey-Steeden

Time to bend Rule 2.

~The Day of Bash~

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My youngest and most creative, Bash never tires of story-telling. He’ll gather a group of toys anywhere, and he’s in the groove.

Most plots hinge on emotion. His characters ask each other what he often asks me:

“How are you feeling?”

Something happens to make a character sad–he breaks down, another gets lost. The others team up to save the day. The story often ends “And now I’m happy!”, much like after I cry, or after he fights: we sit down, and hug, and smile. And now I’m happy.

Diana Wynne Jones also emphasizes the importance of emotion between writer and character in Reflections on the Magic of Writing:

“If there is one thing I have learned, it is that you must have at least some emotional connection with every soul who figures in a story. You may like them, love them, find them disgusting or hate them, but you must react to them in some way.”

I do my darndest to remember this as I write Middler’s Pride. I hope you can check it out on Wattpad, where the first scene of the story is now available for viewing. I’ve been sharing my character sketches of her on Wattpad as well. When I posted her last anecdote, a wee epiphany hit me:middlers-pride-7

I love Gwen like I love my daughter.

The maternal fibers in me sing when she hits her high marks; other times I want to shake the stupid out of her when she catapults herself into the lows. I roll my eyes at her snotty behavior, and can’t understand how the fruit of MY person can be such a rude pisser.

Gwen doesn’t see it that way, of course. She’s a downtrodden teenager who has finally, FINALLY been given a chance to prove to the world she’s the legend she believes herself to be. She even imagines her own ballad on her way to accept a sword and entry into the Shield Maidens:

At the peak of it all stood a stout manor home of mortared stone paired with the King’s Tower. No man could possibly scale such a thing, but Gwen thought the stones might allow a woman’s fingers.

Hail Gwenwledyr, Protector of the Tower. It was she alone who scaled its heights to fight the Flying Beasts of Evil sent by The Massively Evil Man.

Hmm.

The Massively Evil Behemoth.

Better.

She feels herself superior. Training–and some evil magic–will teach her otherwise.

~The Day of  Biff~

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“READ!”

Like Bash, I spent my pre-reading years creating stories with toys and pictures. Biff, however, can read already, and demands help in this department. “Read, Mommy? What’s this spell?”  He is not appeased with mere letters or pictures. He wants to know.  Those letters clumped together mean something, and he’s determined to learn it all. At times I think of my father, who began every sermon with:

“The Lord, sanctify us with the truth. Your Word is Truth.”

And I see his relentless pursuit of imagination, of faith, of knowing, all in Biff. Will he follow his grandfather’s Divine Calling?

He’d be so proud. Oh, he’d be proud of him no matter what, but to read with him…I can picture my father’s smile, the one that shows off his laughter lines. His absence is always felt more sharply over the holidays. My favorite hymn brings comfort at such times. Tears, too, but definitely comfort. I found a video that provides the lyrics, so please take that as another quote. 🙂

Biff is also my middler by a whopping two minutes. He scared me during pregnancy, so quiet and tucked away while his brother never stopped somersaulting in my womb. Now he’s the one who taunts and fights his siblings without a break. The only time the house is quiet is when he is stretched out on his top bunk, books and bear and blanket around him.

I wish I could read his eyes when I break up yet another fight. His inner workings will likely be a mystery to me until the End Days. Gwen can’t be a mystery to me, though. I have to understand her, inside and out, because otherwise readers won’t get the whole story. Diana Wynne Jones puts it best, of course:

…You can see what an audience, or a readership, expect from a hero is a very serious form of a game, in which the hero is expected to struggle on two fronts, externally with an actual evil, and internally with his/her own doubts and shortcomings. The hero, out there as a scapegoat, has to do the suffering for everyone.

When I set out to write Middler’s Pride, I did so with this very idea in mind: Gwen’s got to overcome more than just a monster out to poison the countryside. She’s got to overcome her pride, too. One victory cannot come without the other.

~The Day of Blondie~

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This toothless wonder loves to help, so today I asked her to help me pick the music I write about. No, no, she won’t pick a “kiddie” song. She knew the lyrics to Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” before “Jesus Loves Me.”

No, I’m not writing about “Sledgehammer,” either. 🙂

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One random trip to the library revealed a collection of music created for various DC Comics shows and movies. Some are old-school, like the theme for the 40s Superman, but others are more recent, like this theme from a Green Lantern animated movie made in 2009. Blondie surprised me when she asked for this track on repeat. Considering my daughter’s lack of interest in creative activities, I took this request as a good sign, and dared to find out why she liked this song so much.

ME: Blondie, what do you see when you hear this music?

BLONDIE: See where?

ME: See in your imagination?

BLONDIE: Me saving someone.

ME: Who are you saving?

BLONDIE: One of the guys from Veggie Tales?

ME: Who?

BLONDIE: Larry.

ME: Who are you saving him from?

BLONDIE: Bad guy.

ME: What’s the bad guy?

BLONDIE: A UFO.

ME: What’s the UFO want Larry for?

BLONDIE: I dunno.

ME: So what happens after you save him?

BLONDIE: I dunno.

BO: (looks up from peeling sweet potatoes) You asked.

ME: (laughs)

BLONDIE: I gave you the giggles!

ME: Yes, you did. You have for years and years and you will for years and years and ever after.

BLONDIE: In Heaven, too?

ME: Especially there.

And for that, I am so very, very thankful.

 

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28 thoughts on “Gratitude in Numbers With a Coda of Writer’s Music

  1. Good to see you’re at ease with the ups, downs and sometimes frowns of everyday life and on top of this writing game we all play for pleasure. Well done Ms Lee…should I tweet…will she mind?…stuff it, ‘tweet’ it is!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. To quote Dyln the hamster Mike…will she mi-ind? I don’t think so…Cos she’s written a fabulous post and she has kids who want to save the world. Happy Thanksgiving Jean and thank you for taking up the challenge is such an awesome way xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • And Seasons’ Greetings to you, O Lovely Lady Shey! Thanks so much for lobbing me an easy one–it was fun to twist the challenge up a bit but fulfill it best I could. 🙂 I hope the hamster dudes got a little bit of carrot cake for their own efforts with the 3 day challenge! xxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I suppose I could love them a bit but on the other hand I might just eat it….. Seriously you did brilliantly oh Lady Jean and it is always nice to see someone do something that wee bit different . Seasons greetings my darling.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful & creative post, my lovely friend! It’s fun to see the photos of your brood and learn more about how they act and view the world…what fantastic quotes too! 😉

    And thank you for the nomination – I’m honored to be in good; no, make that great company!

    As I sip my precious, precious Rocket Fuel (which is still “watered down” with milk, but I’ll get back to my regular black!) I’m thinking of you. It’s a tough day without my Dad being here. I know you understand. I can’t lie – this is my favorite quote:

    BLONDIE: “I gave you the giggles!”

    and this part:

    “ME: Yes, you did. You have for years and years and you will for years and years and ever after.
    BLONDIE: In Heaven, too?
    ME: Especially there.
    And for that, I am so very, very thankful.”

    Everything in this post moved me, but that section had extra-oooomph. Thank you so much for that.

    I’m sending you lots of love, strength (especially in the company of a battle-ax matriarch!) and many gloriously caffeinated days to come.

    I’ve been called by Lady Marilla to find her pillow.
    Of course it’s of the utmost importance. It’s critical, really, and although she’s nine-years-old and quite able to find it herself, she needs an exhausted, perimenopausal forty-six-year-old’s assistance.

    Sigh.

    Gotta have a big gulp of lukewarm ☕️ for the pilow hunt!!!!!!

    XOXOXOOXOOX YOU!

    Happy Thanksgiving, darling J!
    💗 Love,
    SpyDy 🚀

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOLOLOL! Oh, yes. The boys will do that to me. “Get my blanket?” “Biff, it’s right there on the couch.” “You get it!” “No, you.” “NO YOU!” It’s, like, five feet away from him. Turd. 😛 But I know what you mean. I guess the nice thing about a holiday with in-laws is that one’s own family absences aren’t quite so hard. Last year we went to my mom’s for Thanksgiving, and…well, the lack of dad’s laughter made the day really hard. That, and the boys had SERIOUS meltdowns by mealtime, soooo yeah. It was good we hosted this year, especially with the potty training. Relatives never know what to do when half-naked boys run around with their potties so they can sit close to the action. 🙂
      Happy Day-After Day. Drink more Fuel, and revel in this new Christmas Season! MERRY CHRISTMAS, SPYDY!!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for thinking of me. I’m new to this blogging and only know a couple of you so three time three days might be hard in terms of rule 1. The rules bring out the dyslexic in me a bit. I shall try though. Do they have to be quotes by someone else or my own quotes?

    Liked by 2 people

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