July 9: A Post in Which Nothing is Concluded

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I’m going to do some writing this morning, followed by a stop at Milwaukee’s Bastille Days with my son, then toilet shopping to replace our pre-WWII toilet that finally sprung a leak (we’re consider this one), and, in the evening, a reception where I work, at MSOE’s beautiful rooftop sculpture garden, in honor of Dr. Roger Frankowski, who hired me (gulp) 21 years ago to teach my first college classes. I am forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me.

A good day, but not one with much time for elegant or substantive blog posts!

That said, here are my humble, scattered, offerings:

First, if you are a blogger or web designer or just someone who loves creative and beautiful designs, check out the 10 Beautiful Free Hand-Drawn Icon Sets from Mashable. Here’s a taste:

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Second, here is my paragraph based on the Edgar Sawtelle exercise from yesterday:

The Edgar Sawtelle paragraph: “The four of them stand in the weeds behind the barn, gazing upward. A ragged patch of shingles the size of the living room floor hangs from the eaves like the flap of a crusty skin, thick with nails. A third of the roof lies exposed, gray and bare. Before their eyes the barn has become the weathered hull of a ship, upturned.”

My original paragraph from a work in progress: Her eyes move from the girl to the open window, where a yellow bird looks in from the low hanging branch of a willow tree, its smooth head tilted to one side. The dip in the road behind the barn is lined with willows. Their sleepy branches fall heavily to meet the ground. She and her cousin play in the coolness of the willow canopies when the Nebraska wind blows hot and dry. They sit with their legs crossed and eat mulberries and wild cherries until their stomachs ache. The wind through this window is a different kind of hot—heavy, wet, pregnant. That other old wind is as dry and light as the summer dust she sweeps off the front steps every morning after breakfast. Henry would know who she was. The thought comforts her.

My revised paragraph in the style of Wroblewski’s paragraph: Her eyes move from the girl to the window view, where a yellow bird sits on a willow tree. The sleepy branches fall to touch the ground like the hem of a work dress, weighted with mud from a walk into town. She and her cousin play in the willow canopies, cool and hidden. The wind is becoming that old wind, the summer dust she sweeps off the front steps every morning after breakfast.

It was good to try to condense some of the information. One of the things I realized is that my style, at least in this work in progress, isn’t too far off from that of Sawtelle. It’s something I’m going to think about more and try to improve.

Finally, an entry from Hattie for July 9th:

3 Pts. of Gooseberries

July 9, 1920 (Boyd County, Nebraska): Was a nice day. Will helped finish Bradstreet’s hay at noon in p.m. They went to Sherlock’s for Binder then Will took it to town for repair. I got cherries ready to can, also canned 3 pts. of Gooseberries. Got afraid because some one was looking for work and Will was in town. I went to Bradstreets in the evening until Will’s return at 9 p.m.

~ From the unpublished Great Plains Diaries of Harriet E. Whitcher




1 thought on “July 9: A Post in Which Nothing is Concluded

  1. Happy Friday! I agree with your second point. Condensing is a good thing. I usually type in a lot of detail into my novel then go back and cut out the unnecessary verbiage.

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