Sunday, May 11, 2008

Eye Mysteries, Mother's Day and Vonnegut

Babyman's eyes haven't changed their color yet- they are still baby blue-grey. But the transformation is beginning.

It is always so interesting to watch their eyes evolve, shifting tones and blends, changing in specks and starts until finally settling in on their final color choice.

Littleman's eyes ended up sparkling blue (which pleased his blue-eyed Grandpa no end), and Mr. Sweetcheeks settled on rich chocolate brown (with a single, odd little chunk of blue in one eye). Billy's are clear honey-brown, and mine are hazel green. So thus far, we are all diferent. What will Babyman's eyes be?

Care to place a bet?

* * *

I hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day. Hallmark holiday it may be, but I'll take what I can get. :) Yesterday we honored Grandma's wishes and joined a family work crew at her home, cleaning, weeding, landscaping and performing other odd jobs. My sister in law and I organized food for the gathering. It turned out to be a nice day for all. (Well OK, perhaps not so much for my SIL and her husband, who got the tough job of scrubbing down the porch ceiling. They were working their asses off). But the food, company and weather were good. I bet there are more of these days in our future. Hmm, maybe I'll plan one! Think I could convince everyone to come tackle my "honey do" list?

Maybe not.

Maybe I just need to start me a Grrlz Co-op. Yeah, that's it.

ANYWAY, back to Mother's Day. I had a very nice day. I had a nice shower this morning, Billy brought me flowers, and Mr. Sweetcheeks gave me a bracelet from Bead for Life, in a decorated bag (he decorated the bag, the bracelets were a charity project of his Montessori school, and it was all organized by his teacher). It's a cool charity, and really quite a pretty and well-made bracelet. Check them out.

We went to REI, where I got to pick out some coveted items: a sigg water bottle, a new frying pan for car camping (pancakes, here we come!) and a good map of the area where we will be camping this summer. We ate out for a late lunch, and went to the park. The boys played while I went off and had a pedicure.

Babyman needed to eat just as I was getting ready to go, so the timing was great. Billy (distracted) managed to roll the stroller right over my freshly manicured toes, but luckily the nail salon was happy to give me a touch up. (LOL.) I got coffee at the coffee shop and we all went home! Now I am doing laundry and playing on the computer rather than doing dishes, listening to the remarkably strong winds outside.

* * *

I'm giving thumbs-ups today to Bead for Life, and to this list from writer Kurt Vonnegut:

8 Basics of Creative Writing

Kurt Vonnegut created some of the most outrageously memorable novels of our time, such as Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast Of Champions, and Slaughterhouse Five. His work is a mesh of contradictions: both science fiction and literary, dark and funny, classic and counter-culture, warm-blooded and very cool. And it’s all completely unique.

With his customary wisdom and wit, Vonnegut put forth 8 basics of what he calls Creative Writing 101: *

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.

* From the preface to Vonnegut’s short story collection Bagombo Snuff Box

(I found that list at this site.)

1 comment:

foolery said...

Hi Kit!

Man, those are some beautiful eyes. I admit I never looked that closely as my girls' eyes were changing. Smedley's have the faintest violet undertones, and when she wears indigo she's a miniature Elizabeth Taylor. But blonde, ha ha.

Thanks for the Vonnegut list; I'm copying it. Not that I write fiction (I don't), but what a great guide. God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut.

Thanks for the nice comments today, and happy Memorial Day!

-- Laurie @ Foolery