Thursday, November 19, 2009


I love Thursdays. I know, what a odd day of the week to fall in love with. But I've always likened how Thursday feels (for me anyway) to the experience when you've crested the top of the roller coaster and are feeling the exhilaration of heading back down. Whoosh--doesn't that feel wonderful? Friday night is so close, and the weekend will soon be here. Anyway, Happy Thursday.

I have a few things on my mind. Number one, my wedding anniversary is coming up and I always forget about it because we got married right before Thanksgiving and I'm always so busy with the holiday preparations, I forget. It's reverse in our family, The Husband never forgets. This year I am going to remember. I'm so lucky to have him and I don't want the poor guy to get the impression that I don't love him with a capital L. Still haven't decided what to do for him yet. Any cool ideas out there bloggy friends?

Yesterday, out of the blue, I got the urge to paint. I used to be half-assed good at painting. Both my mother and father were artists, so I come by it honestly. I had the good sense to know that I was a better writer than I was a painter. I played piano for a while but stopped taking lessons so I might concentrate on writing classes. In my twenties I decided that if I was going to be raising kids and working in the design field, I had better choose between writerly ambitions, my true love and stronger talent, and painting, because God only knew, time for such pursuits was damn near impossible to come by . So I stopped painting. Gardening is another love of mine, but when I quit designing to write full time, and we sold our house with the garden it took me twenty years to cultivate, (52 rose bushes, I had a chocolate rose!) I stopped gardening as well. A girl can only spread herself so thin. Yesterday, when I got the urge to run out to the art store and stock up on paints and canvases, I stopped dead in my tracks and said, "Self. No way! Finish the story you're working on!" And I did.

What have you given up for your dream? Or, did you give up your dream?

Please note: I lost the name of the artist that painted "Cocktail Hour" posted above, isn't it exquisite? If I couldn't paint like that I wasn't having any of it!

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Call To Action

UPDATE: I woke up this morning with my right eye glued shut by icky goo. My throat's raw, my nose is a leaky red mess, and my head throbs, despite Tylenol cold tablets. I don't care if I'm sick, I'm back at work. No more lounging about for this girl!

So, how much thought do you give to verbs? I know, (is she really going there?) Yes, I am. Because, I caught myself using gurunds too often. For more info, check out, Now that you've refreshed your knowledge about what the heck a gerund is, you should do your best to avoid over-using them. Less ing, more action!

Verbs move the story along. Hattie didn't just FEEL ANGRY. Hattie ENGAGES IN BEHAVIOR TO SHOWCASE JUST HOW ANGRY SHE IS.

Always use strong verbs. Many editors recommend counting verbs, they suggest we go through our work and circle them. Check to see if you've used exactly the precise verb needed.

Matt walks briskly to make the bus because he always leaves the house late. SHOULD BE CHANGED TO: Matt often leaves the house late and is forced to sprint to catch the bus on time. (Sprint says in one stronger word what walks briskly says in two.) MO BETTER!

Think visually. It's fine to get inside a character's head, but you've heard this over and over, SHOW DON'T TELL. Us writer's (mere mortals that we are) fall into bad habits. Verbs propel the reader through the story. We need to increase our verb use, and we need to use the strongest verb to convey what's happening. Sounds easy, it's not. Careful editing is time consuming!

Oh crap. Just one more thing to worry about, right? If you do nothing else today, go through a few paragraphs you've written, and be brave and ditch those gerunds and adverbs. You won't be sorry.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Under The Weather

Here to report, I am officially sick. I caught the flu. I tried my best not to, (washing hands and/or using hand sanitizer as if I were Howard Hughes's twin sister.) I caught the plain-old-ordinary-run-of-the-mill-garden-variety sort. But, I don't care what they say, the flu in any disguise is beyond miserable. Runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, scratchy ear canals, and on top of the bargain, my right eye is all red and swollen. I'm up and hobbling around today, but yesterday I only got out of bed to use the bathroom. The Husband has been extremely attentive. What a doll, he made chicken soup from scratch, kept me in Kleenex, brought me fizzy water and Tylenol cold capsules. Let's hope this doesn't last too long. It hurts to look at the computer screen. God forbid! I'll try to visit some of your blogs today, but if you don't see me, you'll know I succumbed to the siren call of my sleigh bed! I snapped a picture so you could see how irresistible that darn bed truly is. Why bother to make it when you're going to climb back in? See the pile of used tissues (ew, gross) and my Kindle? (Another illustration of my reluctance to put this house in order, I haven't hung a thing on the empty wall over the bed yet.) Got to curl up with a good book when you're sick, I'm reading, Pilgrims by Elizabeth Gilbert, a short story collection I highly recommend by the author of, Eat, Pray, Love.

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.