Today was quiet. I had a few hours by myself which I spent listening to YouTube videos of favorite hymns. I started thinking about my Dad singing Steal Away and tried hard to find an arrangement that was similar to the one he often sang when we traveled in the car. I finally settled on a Tennessee Ernie Ford version which was almost identical. I think that must have been the version that my Dad had heard many times.
Flipping through many of the other hymns Ernie Ford sang put me in a bit of a melancholy mood. I sat here alone for a time in Mom’s Carriage House apartment and listened to old hymns — one after another — and just cried. Sometimes, I would ask mom if she remembered an old hymn and she would sing it to me. Such a special memory and one I hold dear to my heart.
All this took place while my husband and his sister met with the minister to make final decisions about the memorial service. Today was one of the difficult days, but full of such wonderful memories. Mom and I had many intimate conversations and I feel blessed that she trusted me with the things she shared with me. I will take them to my grave. That is the bond we had — one most people never realized.
On to Writing
One of the assignments for my class was to eavesdrop on a conversation as part of an exercise in studying dialogue. It sounded very sleuth-like and I was game to go about listening to other people talk to each other.
Hubby and I decided to go to Barnes and Nobel — one of our favorite destinations. We each ordered a peppermint latte (before the holiday season runs out) and I sat down next to a table immersed in conversation. It truly was revealing to listen and apply what I learned in Margaret Atwood’s class.
Afterward, I browsed through books and read jacket flaps. I was suddenly intrigued by what publishers write as the synopsis of the book. Now I am comparing what I write to what others have successfully written and also try to think about how my work would be summarized on the dust jacket of a book.
I decided I needed a short book to read. I flipped through books looking for examples of first, second and third person writing. I am learning so much! I came across Stephen King’s new book Elevation and decided it was the perfect size for occupying a few hours of emptiness.
Tonight I read about 1/3 of it. I may need to re-read it, though, because I am hyper-sensitive to writing style, dialogue, and character development to fully absorb what I’m reading.
I also decided to create a GoodReads account and start giving myself some reading goals for the year. Stephen King made the first cut as my ‘currently reading’ bookshelf.
All in all, it was a full day — a mix of fond and difficult memories and a look to the future. Now it’s time to read a little more, then think about hitting the hay.
“There’s nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood. And understanding someone else.”