Monday, April 19, 2010

I have come down from the mountain

I've been very quiet the last several weeks as I have been wrestling with a long-standing inner conflict of mine. I have scoured my soul and I now know my mind. I am ready to make my public statement about...

[ominous fan fare in background]

ending a parenthetical statement with the smiley face icon.

Often, I want to soften a strong statement or add some context to a comment by putting a self-deprecating or explanatory comment with terminal smiley face in parentheses at the end of the sentence (as if my sentences aren't long enough :-))

See!!! See the problem? Is that Mike smiling inside parentheses or is it Mike with a double chin?

I sometimes solve it by using an em dash instead of the parentheses--in this case a double hyphen, but that sometimes offsets the contextualizing comment too much :-)

So I've decided to let the smiley face icon serve as both a smile and a closing parenthesis (thus saving ink in these oh must be so green days :-)

At any rate, problem solved for me.

BTW, went to the Atlanta STC Currents conference this weekend. Wow, I like my chapter.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Afternoon in the Garden of Good and Evil

This week I visited with a ladies' book club in Pine Mountain, Georgia, to discuss my novel, Iron Hoop. It was a classic Southern experience right out of "Midnight in the Garden..." The group were well-to-do retirees who lived in a very upscale neighborhood situated on Piedmont lake. Well dressed, genteel, and with Southern accents that flowed as sweetly and lazily as praline.

Needless to say, they all liked the character Grandmother Tillman--all being grandmothers themselves--and envied the relationship she has in the book with her grandson. The general conclusion was that they needed to tote guns as she did so they would be remembered for being more than just someone who said, "wash you hands" all the time.

The book deals with racism, and we had some interesting discussions about that common aspect of our Southern heritage.

And as many people are, they were interested in the process of creative writing. "Where did you get your ideas?"

It was a marvelous afternoon, sipping wine, having a light dinner, and being the center of attention in a room of gracious Southern ladies.

It's good to be a writer.