Thursday, February 28, 2013

Faded blue jeans, or what happened to my 501's?

This is this months, Absolute Write, blog chain's post.

 This month's prompt: 


We have so many good prompt ideas that don't get used, so it's now time to mix it up. Posters get to suggest a prompt for the next blogger in line! 

Faded Blue Jeans, prompted by meowzbark 

A short one-- 

My first thought when reading the phrase, faded blue jeans, was oh, a nice pair of 501’s and a hunky guy to go with them—in or out of them, your choice.  Then, I wondered, do blue jeans even fade anymore?  While I like the new “jeans” with their stretch fabrics, I miss the old jeans, that over time conformed to your body as they aged.  You had your favorite pair, the ones with a rip across the knee and that hole by the pocket on the back—wear the black underwear, it won’t show!—and that fade over time.

Now, I don’t even know what size to get, the new 9 is the old 12 or 14, and what fits in the store, isn’t going to fit 3 hours later when they have stretched themselves to the point of falling around your ankles if you don’t hold them with one hand as you walk ala “styling.”  And if they get a hole, forget it, they rip like a magical elf took a scissors to them the moment you get out of the car.  Note: that elf never slices and dices at home as you get in the car, no, only when you get out, already late, at your destination. 

I have jeans I wore in college.  Some of them, don’t have holes, they are only faded a little and still maintain their shape—if only I were so lucky.  The oldest pair of these new “comfort fit” things I have is less than a year old.  Why?  Because they don’t last for shit.  Who ever heard of jeans snagging? And they don’t fade.

I have to wonder, have belts also adapted this new way of thinking?  Have the sizes of belts changed?  Last time I went to buy one, to hold up the now sagging jeans I had on, the women’s belts were now x-small, small, med, large, x-large, xx-large and so on.  So I have to think that manufactures have adopted the same mind set, and changed the sizing labels on them as well.  No more, well my waist is this big, so I get a belt this size.  My daughter was laughing her ass off as I tried to figure out what size belt to get, only to discover that the belt loops on these new so called jeans, were not designed for a good thick rugged belt, no, they wanted a little thin dainty belt, that wouldn't work at staying up any better than the dang jeans!

Somehow, I think I will only have fond memories of those old faded blue jeans that I loved so well.  These new ones, just don’t have the same appeal.  Unless of course you luck out and find some at a yard sale—oh, for winter to be over.    

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 - (link to post) Yuppies Who Hate the Family Business
ConnieBDowell - (link to post) Unexpected Library Encounter
bmadsen - (link to post) Cupcake Disaster
MsLaylaCakes - (link to post) Unfortunate Sports
HistorySleuth - (link to post) Less-than-fortunate Foods
writingismypassion - (link to post) Blind Date with a Ventriloquist
katci13 - (link to post) Evil CupidKitCat - (link to post) Hunting with Hounds
Angyl78 - (link to post) A Ghost's Bad Day
randi.lee - (link to post) The Wrong Bar
Lady Cat - (link to post) Visitors
pyrosama - (link to post) What the Leprechaun Said
Ralph Pines - (link to post) Under the Bed
dclary - (link to post) Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty, Evil Ball of Fur
meowzbark - (link to post) Road Trip
SRHowen - (link to post) Faded Blue Jeans

Amanda R. - (link to post) Topic
Briony-zisaya - (link to post) Topic
CatherineHall - (link to post) Topic

And for my prompt for the last three-- 

Cyber Launch Party: Celebrating Wild Child Publishing & Freya's Bower

Cyber Launch Party: Celebrating Wild Child Publishing & Freya's Bower: Today on our Cyber Launch Party Blog , we're celebrating the latest releases for Wild Child Publishing  and Freya's Bower ! CLASS ...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Literary Boot Camp with L. William Gibbons

Please Welcome Guest Blogger L. William Gibbons . . . .  

Literary Boot Camp with L. William Gibbons

Upon my return to full-time college attendance at the age of sixty-three, after decades absent from a university environment, my first class was English 103, Freshman English. The professor was a feisty, authoritative, knowledgeable lady who explained, in no uncertain terms, what would be expected of all students.

The others, none of whom were over nineteen years old, seemed unsure of what they had stepped into. I was the old man – in fact, older than the professor – but I began to relax when I recognized the professor. Granted, her face was not the same, her build and stature were different, and she was not a man. Physical appearance aside, she was the embodiment of my drill instructor in boot camp when I joined the Air Force in 1965. I began calling her Sarge when talking to her without other students around.

I soon realized that the course would center around discipline – more to the point, self-discipline, one of the primary goals of military boot camp – when writing in an academic environment.

Positive responses to my writing from the professor and other students prompted me to tackle a work of fiction that had been teasing my mind for the previous ten years. During Thanksgiving break of that semester, I put pen to paper – uh, fingers to keyboard.

After writing that novel and several short stories, it became apparent that self-discipline is required not only in academic writing but in any writing intended for publication. Of course, proper grammar, punctuation, verb tense, and other fundamental aspects should be obvious, even to the untried novice. But self-discipline is also required to stay within the character's mind and mindset, to remain conscious of voice and style, to develop and maintain plot arc and, where appropriate, character arc.

During editing, self-discipline is even more critical. The writer must adopt the roll of reader, with an eye toward preventing lectio interruptus, interruption of reading. Frequently lethal to a writer's work, jarring the reader out of the story can be caused by factual inaccuracies, repetitive word usage, boring narrative, gratuitous scenes or dialogue, and other literary sins. As Stephen King noted in his highly-regarded book, On Writing, "Description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's."

Among other writers of note, King also suggests that writers "kill your darlings." In other words, passages that don't contribute to furthering the plot, enriching the scene or dialogue, or serving some other significant purpose, should be cut from the manuscript, regardless of the attachment that the writer might feel toward them. That can be painful – and requires self-discipline.

Being aware that self-discipline is required in writing is one thing; internalizing it and making it second nature is quite another. For my latest publication, Marrow Bone Road And Other Tales, I learned that the serious writer would do well to create an imaginary drill sergeant, named Sarge, who looks over the writer's shoulder at all times during the creative process.

Where to find more of L. William Gibbons

Check out L. William Gibbons newest release