Tag Archives: photo

Photo finish Friday: “The caper”

Somebody's hoppin' mad ... or crazy.

Somebody’s hoppin’ mad … or crazy.

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Photo finish Friday: “Why?”

"And this was a good idea, why?"

“And this was a good idea, why?”

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Photo finish Friday: “Pitch in”

It takes a village to mulch a park.

It takes a village to mulch a park.

Pick up a pitch fork and come pitch in.
Bring a rake — we’ll show where to begin.
Bring a wheelbarrow to move stuff around;
there are weeds to pull and mulch to lay down.
From 2 to 4 come down to ONK park.
We’ll work some, but not up to dark.
Stop by on Sunday with your pair of gloves
and show this little park a lot of love.

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Writing tip Wednesday: “Character Dimensions and Sketch”

On Saturday, February 1, 2014, I took a workshop sponsored by the Knoxville Writers’ Guild (www.knoxvillewritersguild.org) and led by nationally published author Pamela Schoenewaldt (www.PamelaSchoenewaldt.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pamela-Schoenewaldt/158580547517755?ref=tn_tnmn).

Answering questions beforehand could save you heartburn later.

Answering questions beforehand could save you heartburn later.

The workshop was on character development. What you have below is the third of the three handout exercises from the workshop. The first one, “Who are you?” was posted two Wednesdays ago. The second one, “Conflict Worksheet” was posted last Wednesday.

Each previous worksheet / exercise could be done in ten minutes or less, and oftentimes not pondering too long is best. This worksheet may take a little longer, but like the others can be used for the both the protagonist and antagonist of the story or novel you are working on, or just about any character you want to use it on. It might also be helpful if writing a memoir or biography.

CHARACTER SKETCH EXERCISE

Answer without worrying about grammar or logic.
• NAME your character

• LEARN your character by considering these dimension (writing notes on each or most is ideal)

• REMEMBER that your goal is a rounded character (not all good or bad) with a capacity for moving action.

• SKIP dimensions which repeat information.

• BEWARE of main characters who are very young, psychotics, or whose condition severely restricts their capacity for change.

• KNOW everything about this person.

CHARACTER DIMENSIONS

1. Age, physical appearance and attitude to body.

2. Significant health issues.

3. Distinctive physical signs: scars, handicaps, beauties, tics, tattoos, gestures.

4. Manner of speaking (level of language, accent, peculiarities). Manner of dress.

5. Living situation (where, with whom, how living space reflects character).

6. Socio-economic level and attitude to this level (satisfied, indifferent, ambitious?).

7. Work/ profession/ main activity.

8. Performance in Work/ profession/ main activity.

9. Sexuality and relationship to it (fears, doubts, longings, obsessions).

10. Quality of childhood.

11. Current relationship with family – how does it affect the person?

12. Significant intimate relationships and how they reflect the person.

13. What friends does character have? Attitude to friends, their attitudes to him/her.

14. Significant interests, hobbies, passions, obsessions.

15. Religious/spiritual practice and faith.

16. Fundamental belief about life/self (“The most important thing is . . . “)

17. How does the way the character sees him/her self compare to others’ views of him/her?

18. Major strength (include hidden strengths which could be mobilized).

19. Major success/failure or secret of past. (Any significant patterns?)

20. Typical way of dealing with stress or crisis… (Does it work? Should it change?)

21. Major weakness and fear.

22. Ambitions and blocks to achievement.

23. Shaping force/person/event of past.

24. What is not working for your character now?

25. What would your character sacrifice or fight for?

26. Where does your character experience a major conflict in values?

27. Where does your character draw the line: s/he wouldn’t do this….

28. What might push your character up to the line?

29. What conflict, choice or crisis faces the character now?

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Photo finish Friday: “Decor”

Brad looked over at Jim. Brad was holding his sixth beer in one hand and paint brush covered in pink paint in the other. "I think it blends right in, don't you?"

Brad looked over at Jim. Brad was holding his sixth beer in one hand and paint brush covered in pink paint in the other. “I think it blends right in, don’t you?”

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Photo finish Friday: “Symbolic”

Buddha on a plate.

Buddha on a plate.

There is a Buddhist saying that if you are a Buddhist and you are you meet Buddha on the road, kill him. This is an old koan (Buddhist parable) is attributed to Zen Master Linji, (the founder of the Rinzai sect).

It is not to be taken literally. The three elements: road, killing, and Buddha are symbolic. The road is the road the Buddhist is traveling toward enlightenment. The Buddha is whatever concept of Buddha he or she might be carrying. That concept is wrong, a false idol, if you will, and to kill it is to ditch (by the symbolic roadside) that false concept as part of the road to enlightenment.

But it does bring up an interesting corollary. To wit: if you find Buddha sitting on your plate, are you supposed to (symbolically) eat him?

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Photo finish Friday: “Bridge to nowhere”

Another wrong turn.

Another wrong turn.

She came down to the bridge to end it all, to jump off into the cold March waters. To feel her weight and the weight of her burdens become weightless as the water lapped over her in one last shivering embrace. Then she saw that the bridge was closed. The pylons and arches were there, but the platform was gone. There was nowhere to jump from. She sighed. It was just another in all the wrong turns in her life, and like all the others, she would just have to learn to live with it.

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Photo finish Friday: “Won’t last”

Bear and Skeleton talk about their relationship.

Bear and Skeleton talk about their relationship.

They said it wouldn’t last. Friends, neighbors, even strangers on the street when asked would immediately react to the announcement that a skeleton was dating a stuffed bear. Often with disbelieving looks and the wry comment: “It won’t last.”

But thus far, the relationship has held together and so has Skeleton.

“Oh, sure, we’ve sometimes had a bone to pick with each other,” Bear said.

“But it never got so bad, we couldn’t bear it,” Skeleton said, finishing the bear’s thoughts as couples often do.

They sometimes still get hate mail or calls in the middle of the night where the caller yells something hateful and then hangs up. Once a woman walked up to them in public and said they should be hanging out with their own kind.

“But we are,” said Bear. “We are hanging out with those that care.”

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Photo finish Friday: “Nobody gnomes the trouble I’ve seen”

The rare albino gnome.

The rare albino gnome.

The rare albino gnome is not easy to capture on film (or digital), but these gnomes are on a quest to capture the pooka that turned them albino. They said the pooka did it on a dare from a puck. They did not think it was a hockey puck, but they weren’t 100 percent sure. After all, they have been on this quest for several centuries now, with little success in finding the pooka. And only the pooka that made them albino can turn them back. Because they have had no luck in finding the pooka, they are turning to you for help. Should you come across the pooka that turned these gnomes albino, please contact them. Leave a message under a rock by a stream running backwards under the light of a new moon on a Thursday. It is important you use this exact gnomeclature when contacting them. Otherwise, the message will be lost. Thank you for your help.

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Photo finish Friday: “Fix me!”

I need help.

I need help.

Forlorn and sitting on the couch
a friend in need about the house.
A note, a fix, a hope today
that the friend can still play.
Attempts are made but none work.
Attempts are made but dog inert.
Forlorn and sitting on the couch
a friend in need about the house.
A note, a fix, a hope today
that the friend can still play.

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