Sunday, December 7, 2008

Legacy: A Tale of Pennleah

Well, I got Aisley and her two clansmen traveling companions across the scary bridge over the mountain river gorge. One villain took a nasty fall...yeah, into the ravine. But not to worry, another nasty guy awaits.

I continue to scribe by hand. This weekend I managed a couple of chunks of time to work on the story, so that was great.

I'm reading the final book in Cornelia Funke's trilogy: "Inkdeath" ("Inkheart" and "Inkspell" are the first two books). Inspiring and discouraging. Her books are so rich and imaginative that I wonder why I even try. I could never write like that. On the other hand, we write OUR books, not someone else's. And when I've put a draft out for first readers, they seem to think I have a good imagination.

So I'll keep at it.

I'm finding my first drafts are more like a detailed outline. I go from scene to scene with "this happens" and "then this happens." Instead of peeling an onion, I need to ADD layers. Things like sensory detail, revealing character, etc.

And, by handwriting my first draft, the writing seems to be more ME. Not censored through the keyboard. I've done too much business writing directlty on the computer.


Yay! I've got my cards printed and in hand. With envelopes...that fit!

Over the years I've had trouble with empty-headed front counter workers. I bring in a drawing and state that I want to print a greeting card. So the vacuous counter worker thinks I want the drawing printed on 8-1/2 x 11 paper and folded in the middle to go into a business envelope. Sheesh! Hasn't she ever been to Hallmark?!

Then there was the time that the card was printed correctly (card stock, picture on the front of the card, blank on the inside), but the envelopes provided were the interior envelopes used for wedding invitations. No glue on the flap!!

Both my parents and I used to take our drawings to Zapp's in close-in east Portland. No explanation required, they knew exactly what we wanted. But they were bought out by one of the big companies that I used to have trouble with.

So this year I tried the Wilsonville LazerQuick. Lo and behold, they understood what I wanted, made intelligent suggestions, and produced exactly what I had in mind for a reasonable price.

What cards I have left over I use for other occasions -- thus the reason I leave them blank inside. I've tried selling some, but without much success. I'm not really that good an artist, and I print on the cheap, not via fine arts venues.

I also got smart and put our addresses on sticky label sheets this year. My mother's handwriting is deteriorating because of arthritis, which is a shame. She has beautiful writing. But this should make things easier for her. I also write the dreaded annual Christmas letter. But this saves us both from writing the same news over and over to the folks we don't see very often.

So I'll be in Christmas Card World for a few days instead of Pennleah.

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