This one is about finished. I hope to have it finished and ready to package up for Sacred Shawl yet this weekend.
These are the first 39 of the 200 items that I pledged to send to Pine Ridge at the start of the 2016. A while back, mid-year, I began to wonder whether I’d be able to send 200 handcrafted things…and the whole 200 may not be handmade, but the majority will be. I’ve got quite a few more hats to send, quite a few crayon rolls finished and more ready to sew. I’ve also got crocheted wash cloths and some purchased dolls, some homemade doll clothes and a couple of quilts and another baby blanket that I think will go there because they are needed there.
Unlike subject focused classes, like how to write emotion, or how to write sexual tension, where you take a class, learn what you can and move to the next class, Yellow Highlighter classes start where you are and you grow through each post, each markup.
Those of us who have been writing for any length of time have been warned of the folly of including too much backstory at the opening of the story…and indeed this is good advice. But in this particular Yellow Highlighter Class my suggestions regarding backstory were mostly advising participants to include more backstory or more detail to explain the character’s current situation. What’s with this? It seems totally at odds with the “Thou Shalt Not Backstory Dump” that we’ve all been taught and internalized…. So…let’s take a step back and talk about backstory and see if we can make some sense of it.
One of the things I’ve wanted to make for a while are some of the crayon rolls that I’ve seen around the internet–especially on Pinterest. I’ve thought that they would be great to send to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Since I’ve been browsing the internet looking for patterns for crayon rolls, and trying to figure out what I need to buy to make some of them, I thought I’d share some links to some of the patterns that are out there. I’m sure this is something I’ll refer back to again, as there are quite a few different ways to make these crayon rolls…and well…I like variety. 🙂 I get bored if I do too many things that are too much the same…even if I do like the security of knowing what I’m doing and knowing what I need to have on hand to do it.
Rather than being focused around a given topic (like emotion, plotting, sexual tension, and so on) the classes are focused on giving feedback on actual works in progress that participants post. The feedback isn’t specific to just one area, like emotion, sexual tension or plot points. Instead, the markup highlights weaknesses of many types and offers suggestions for strengthening problem areas. A single markup may address a point of view problem–the need for a beat of silence to break up a line of dialogue–suggestions to strengthen emotional and sexual tension–suggestions to strengthen character motivation–an order problem–miscellaneous verb tense issues–and sentence structuring changes to make the sentence stronger or the flow smoother.
One of the things that came up in the class was the concern that if we used metaphors and associations with color, texture, movement, resonance, temperature, shape, smell, solidity, and sound to describe emotional experience we’d introduce purple prose into our writing. Since this seems to be a common concern which comes up in many of the classes I teach on emotion, and since just the fear of introducing purple prose might be holding some people back and keeping them from writing strong, emotional experiences for their characters, I thought I’d address that concern here.
In classes, participants post a 700 word excerpt each day of class and receive a thorough markup of the excerpt each day that class meets. The markups that are given provide the same kind of feedback that I provide to authors that I am editing for publishers prior to publication. In fact, you may see authors who are editing their manuscripts for publication in the class as there are usually authors working on edits for Black Velvet Seductions in the classes.
I just finished teaching Intensifying Emotion in the Romance Novel for OIRWA and have just started teaching Developing a Vocabulary for Writing Emotion so I thought I’d share a bit about using empathy to create emotional reactions in characters and in readers for those that weren’t able to take the class.
I spent some time last night quilting the first Scrappy Stars Quilt. There is a second Scrappy Stars Quilt in the works but it is made with black stars and scrappy centers. This bright colored one has been in the works for a long time. You may remember seeing it a year or so ago on the old site. The top has been finished and the quilt has been layered and waiting for me to quilt it for about a year.
Early in 2016 I committed to sending 200 items to Pine Ridge. It was that commitment which initially inspired me to learn to crochet. I started with cotton dishcloths and then went to winter scarves and then to hats. After about 30 hats I got a bit bored with hats and needed a bit of a break so I decided to make a baby blanket. The first blanket I made using Lion Brand’s Lemon Swirl Big Scoop Ice Cream Yarn. This one is made using Lion Brand’s Cotton Candy Big Scoop Ice Cream Yarn.