My Writers Circle

Workshop => Review My Work => Topic started by: Lieutenant Dan on January 19, 2006, 05:34:56 PM

Title: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: Lieutenant Dan on January 19, 2006, 05:34:56 PM
Lin had suggested that I try submitting a little something to the Circle, so here's a little excerpt from my family newsletter from when my wife and I married in March.  If I have a 'style', then I guess this bit will sum it up  :) 

(Context:  we were married on a 1940's choo-choo in a VERY small, informal ceremony with family and close friends...about 50 were in attendance)

Meanwhile, final preparations were being done for the bride and Maid of Honor in the lounge car, which the groom was scarcely allowed to even glance at for fear of catching a glimpse of the bride prior to the wedding.  He was thus requested to stand in a corner while search parties were dispatched to locate the ever-wandering Kevin, who had the honor of escorting his daughter down the aisle (and later holding Dan’s lei for ‘a second’ in the post-reception mini-van scramble).

Britney was running up and down the aisles, screeching at each guest to “SIGN THE MONKEY!!! DID YOU SIGN THE MONKEY YET??? SIGN THE MONKEY!!!”  Clutching the monkey in one hand and her Sharpie in the other, she dashed up to my dad and screeched “DID YOU SIGN THE MONKEY YET???” to which he calmly replied, “For the seventh time, yes, I signed the monkey.”  She smiled, said “Oh!!” in that over-caffeinated Britney way, then whirled and bolted towards another victim who had doubtlessly already signed the monkey.

Once signal flares announced the discovery of the elusive Kevin, the wedding was ready to begin!  Tyler dutifully started the music and his stereo struggled to life, playing the beautiful, delicate theme from “Practical Magic”.  After the Moms went down the aisle, I did my stroll to stand next to Father Ken, looking out at our closest family and friends, and watching the rest of the party come forward.

Then Lani gracefully walked down the aisle….looking as lovely as I had ever seen her, wearing her beautiful Mandarin style dress and lei, with a single orchid in her hair.  Her smile warmed my heart and calmed me.  Kevin presented her, and the ceremony was underway. 

Father Ken said a few words about marriage and then we had a brief prayer, which was to be followed by the playing of a song on the stereo.  After the prayer I motioned to Tyler to play it, and he pointed the remote at the stereo, trying to get it to go.  Lani stepped aside so as not to block the remote’s efforts to awaken the sleeping CD player.  After some effort, the song was aborted, which, though the episode of trying to get it to play was amusing, was also a sad loss for the ceremony.  The song in question is beautiful, and very appropriate for our relationship and this moment, so I’d like to at least share with you all now the lyrics for that song.  (lyrics go here in the newsletter)

We went on to exchange rings and repeat our confirmations with Father Ken, as the stereo finally sputtered to life, Don Henley singing to, and through, Father Ken’s oratory while Tyler frantically tried to turn it off (Lani ultimately reached down and put the stereo out of it’s musical Teret Syndrome). 
Father Ken and I had been in communication for some time in the prior months; I had kept him informed of Lani’s condition and he and his fellow ministers prayed for her to get through all the kidney stone stuff.  I also informed him of my plot to make Lani cry during the ceremony. 

Ok, it wasn’t a PLOT to make her cry…but I really did want to say a few words to her, for all to hear.  If you’d like a refresher, here those words are: (insert my drivel here)

After my little speech (thanks for the public speaking tips, Mike F!), we went on to finish the ceremony.  Father Ken presented us as man and wife, and as the stereo sat in a retarded silence, refusing to play ANYTHING on cue, we all marched back down the aisle.  When I reached the rear of the car, I asked my co-worker,Kate, if she could hear everything ok.  “Yes!” she said thru tear-stained eyes….even her Texas twang was wavering in that moment :^)

--Well, that's a bit of my wedding :^)  I know it's informally written, but it's just a family newsletter...but do you think there's any 'there' there?  Or should I stick to newsletters and posting on message boards?  :D

Thanks so much for reading!  Dan
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: Lin on January 20, 2006, 03:40:10 AM
Dan as an informal letter it was a lovely story.   Dont worry too much about writing informally, some of us prefer it, but you will have an editor and you can learn from books on the subject.   Amazon have LOADS!!   so give it time I think you will make a writer you just need to learn the system!!

Keep posting stuff and with time you will get the more experienced writers to talk to you and help you further your amibitons.  I think you can do it, but try to practice writing things in a fictional context as well as the real world, its good practice to just write all kinds of text.

When I was at Creative Writing Classes our tutor presented us with a picture and we had to write a story all about the picture.   That made good practice and helped me a lot with fiction.   Imagine you are in the picture looking out.  Just open a book with illustrations and find a picture you like and write about it - make something up.  Looking forward to the next one now!!

Keep up the postings
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: Lieutenant Dan on January 20, 2006, 09:13:25 AM
Thanks a lot, Lin!  I'll be sure to take a swing at some fiction and see what comes out.

I loved my Creative Writing class in college, too!  It was a blast...much more interesting than 'regular' English and Composition classes to be sure. 
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: tigger on January 20, 2006, 10:17:34 AM
Hey Dan,

Lin's suggestions to you are really great!

The fact is, the more you write, the more natural the process becomes. So, if your heart is set on having your very own book some day, hop to it!! READ everything you can about writing, every chance you get (like anything you really want, the more you immerse yourself in it, the more ingrained into your systerm that thing becomes...:)

Best of all, enjoy yourself as you work~that way it won't seem like work at all!!

(You might like to start with Nick's 'Write Any Book in 28 Days'  :) His recommendations are constructive and solid, providing a terrific base from which you can begin your work. :)


All the best to you!!
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: Lieutenant Dan on January 20, 2006, 10:35:58 AM
Thanks Tigger  ;D  I have Nick's course, and I've gone through about half of it.  It's very inspirational!

I keep saying that someday I'll get's a challenge with my schedule and four kids, plus no quiet place in the house  to write.  However, the kids are getting older and one is moving out to go to college in the summer, then another one will be going next year on to whatever awaits him, so I'll be able to get back into writing and playing music again as well as having time and space for writing! 
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: Symphony on January 20, 2006, 07:06:35 PM
Hello there,

I really enjoyed your description of your wedding. Some lovely touches in there - I laughed out loud at the picture that formed in my mind over that little SIGN THE MONKEY cameo. That leapt out at me as a great start for another story - a fictional one. Use this little snippet of real-life and weave a completely fictional tale around it. What's the monkey? Why's it being signed? (not at a wedding) What's inside it, if anything? - That sort of thing.

Dunno - just pitching an idea of the sort of thing that could get you started on your fictional journey. As has been said before, the most important thing is that you enjoy what you're doing - and what you're writing - so



p.s. I agree - pictures are great for inspiration.
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: Lieutenant Dan on January 21, 2006, 12:25:06 PM
Thank you kindly, Symphony!  Karma for you!  Thanks for helping me see where other ideas can come from (THE MONKEY)...that helped to open my eyes to possibilities.  :)
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: goldanon on January 22, 2006, 01:46:45 AM
I loved this description about your wedding and it had me laughing out loud several times - the monkey scen, teh turrets sterep that became retarded - it was GOOD!  I would like to be added to your mailing list please.  As far as style goes, as long as you write in your natural voice, your style comes through naturally.  Dont' ever try to "write," just write - and then re-write and re-write and re-write...  you'll see, it  happens naturally.
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: Lin on January 22, 2006, 04:15:47 AM
Hi Goldanon,

Yes this is the way I do it too and I just got better, be yourself and improve with time.  I've still got a long way to go yet and I admit it, but at least I now know it can be done if you just apply yourself and mingle with the in crowd!

Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: Lieutenant Dan on January 23, 2006, 02:46:10 PM
Thanks so much Goldanon!  I'm so glad you liked it!  There is a lot of natural comedy being in this family, so the newletters almost come across as a sitcom script at times  ;D

Thanks also for the tips!
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: mary on January 24, 2006, 08:41:20 PM
Hi Lt. Dan,
Loved the monkey !! Why is he important at a wedding no less? Who's the curious maniac on caffiene? Maybe we should get to know her in another story. Lots of possibilities here. I'm half through Nick's course also but I'm stuck with the outline. I can't seem to find the right outlining formula for my story. Will you try this for your stories?  Be sure to let me know how it works for you. I will wrestle with it til I get it to work right. :) mary
Title: Re: Is there any hope for me? :^)
Post by: Lieutenant Dan on January 26, 2006, 02:14:35 PM
Hi Mary!

Thanks for the comments!  Glad you got a kick out of it...that's the aim  :D

Monkey-girl is my 14 year old, exuberant daughter.  Instead of a guest register, we had a stuffed 'signing monkey' for our guests to sign.  It sits in our bedroom on our media shelf where we can see it everyday.

Outlining...what a pain, eh?  I like the way Nick goes over it, and I'd have to review that section again.  Perhaps you should start a seperate thread about it, and I'm sure he would chime in with some clarification or ideas that might kick-start you.  I haven't taken a swing at writing an outline yet for a book...just the outlines I would write for essays and compositions.  Seems to me the only real difference is that instead of writing a paragraph for an outline point, you write a page or several pages about that point. 

Good luck!