How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spring Cleaning Writer's Tag

Spring is my favorite season, and where I live, most of the trees have burst out in brilliant green and wildflowers are peppering the thick grass with color. I really should be working on spring cleaning my actual house . . . but Deborah O’Carroll’s blog tag is far more fun! She created this challenge and tagged me.

1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Share the picture
3. Answer the questions (naturally...) or even pick and choose which ones you answer
3.5 Tag 3 other writers and inform them that you tagged them

1. Dust-Bunnies and Plot-Bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)
In my first post of the year, I listed a few goals. They haven’t changed much, but at least one of them is getting more concrete: publishing my retelling of “The Bremen-Town Musicians.” (I really should set a calendar date for that, but that calendar has to be very forgiving if I do.) The other goals – working on my longer novels and exploring short story ideas – are a little nebulous, but I poke at them now and then. I do have two new goals: 1) finishing the first draft of another animal fairy-tale retelling (any guesses as to what it is?) and 2) getting as much as I can out of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in May (so excited about going!).

2. Which Stage Are You At?
Everyone’s writing (and spring-cleaning) processes are different, and at different stages. Pick the one that most applies to you and tell us where you are in your writing process!
a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in the vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet . . . just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

I pick b – painting the walls. Most of my editing is done with the Bremen-town musicians story (that’s going to have an official title soon, I promise!), so I’m having fun writing my newer stories, particularly the Six Cousins novel set in Prince Edward Island and the other fairy-tale retelling.

3. Treasure from the Back of the Closet: Snippet Love
How about some snippets from my children's story “The Bremen-Town Musicians”? These contain each of the main characters: Etzel the donkey, Jäger the dog, Katarina the cat, and Rüdiger the rooster.

Etzel the donkey just couldn’t face walking to the mill this morning. His knees and back ached as if the heavy sacks of grain or flour he often carried were already on his back. His master, Herr Hoffmann, stood at the doorway to the shack, clucking his tongue like an angry woodpecker.
Ach! Are you coming or not, you insolent, lazy beast?”

The sun had reached its peak about an hour ago and was slipping now. Its blinding warmth lay like a blanket on Etzel’s back, as if tucking him in for sleep. Ah, it was like sunning in the pasture; he ambled so rhythmically he felt he was standing still. It had been too long since he had walked this far without aching from a burden. When they first started out together, Jäger had gone from tree to tree, rejoicing in the freedom of new sights and smells; but now he kept a steady pace beside Etzel.

Instead, the cat gave a tremendous sneeze and cough, spraying water all over Jäger, who leaped back and fell into the stream as if he’d been shot. “It—it—it’s alive!”
The cat raised a bleary-eyed head, blinking at Etzel and Jäger with a green, filmy gaze. It coughed again, delicately this time, and ran the tip of its pink tongue around the edge of its mouth. “Of course I’m alive, Dummkopf. I’m a cat, aren’t I?”

Who’d have thought a rooster was so smart!” Jäger exclaimed. “You talk smarter than Etzel; I almost can’t understand you.”
Thank you, my good fellow. I merely quote the wisest of them all, the great animal storyteller, Aesop himself.” Rüdiger’s red crest stood high and his gold, green, and brown feathers puffed out, swelling his size.

If you want to do this, consider yourself tagged and please let me know! You can visit Deborah’s original post for more information on the challenge.