The most recent addition to my sewing studio, is NOT the cat!
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.
A year or two ago, I participated in the Happy Squares Swap. My niece Lauraya and I enjoyed making and collecting the blocks. This past week we started sewing them together into a quilt top. 2 rows down, 4 to go!
My nephew Alex fancies himself a cowboy and is very much into horses…real ones and toy ones. He spends hours arranging his toy horses in fences and keeps an eye out at Aldi’s for boxes which would make good barns. In short, he’s horse crazy. Any time he has the opportunity to buy a new toy, he gravitates to additional horses for his herd. This is why when I saw this horse fabric at JoAnn’s a couple of weeks ago I knew I had to get it and use it to make a quilt for Alex.
After I shared the finish of the top and the layering for the Bright Swirls Quilt, several people asked about the pattern. The pattern is very easy and is fun, so I thought I’d work up the pattern and the cutting list for those who want to make a similar quilt. The quilt is constructed using the Rolling Stone Block which I got from EQ7.
For the quilts I’ll be featuring in this post, I started with a nifty feature in EQ7 which allows you to choose a complex setting scheme and then apply blocks, fabrics, and colors to the scheme. I started with a layout for a 47×47 inch quilt…a good size for a lap or baby quilt.
I got a bit bored making hats so decided to take a break and do something else for a while. I found some gorgeous blue, yellow, white, and aqua baby yarn and decided it would make a beautiful baby blanket. I decided it was time to learn a new crochet stitch…having only known single crochet up to that point. So I watched some YouTube videos and learned how to do the half double stitch. This baby blanket/afghan is done totally in half double crochet. There is no pattern…just half double crochet and variegated yarn.
It being time to register for the January 2017 Yellow Highlighter Class and the fact that I spent time last week organizing my teaching schedule for OIRW for 2017 points up how quickly this year is passing, how soon Christmas will be here, and how quickly January of 2017 will be here.
It also provides for a sense of looking back and thinking about previous Yellow Highlighter Classes and what people who’ve taken them have had to say about them. I think rather than summarizing what people currently taking the classes and what past students have said about them, I’ll post some of my students’ words of praise for the classes.