Writing about the Grand Canyon

editing, writing

I’ve been working on a piece about the Grand Canyon that I’m hoping to finish by year’s end. Here’s an excerpt.

We walk to the rim after breakfast. A handful of us, me the only kid, gather in morning sunlight that takes its sweet time slanting through the juniper branches. The appointed pastor never comes, so a retired minister on vacation takes charge. I sit on the flattest rock I can find, but I constantly shift my skinny body. I draw in the dirt with a small stick. I bow my head and close my eyes when asked and say amen.

I open my eyes and watch the sun flick a switch, turning on the lights inside rocks that used to rest on the bottom of an ocean.

I have to cut this section, probably. We’ll see.

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What It Was Like: Bible Class Sex-Ed

Christianity, teaching

My Bible teacher is cool. At least I think he is—I’m not the coolest kid in middle school, so my judgment might be suspect. But I’m not the nerdiest, either, and if I compare Mr. Scott with the rest of my teachers, he comes out near the top. He likes to stand in front of his desk and lean back against it, legs crossed and locked, and smooth his thin tie over and over, pulling it flat and taut against the stomach of his short-sleeved shirt. His shoes have pointed toes, and the thinnest laces I have ever seen…

Continued at Magical Teaching

What four-year-olds know about muscular storytelling

editing, writing

Following Friday’s post about adverbs, I want to note what my four-year-old knows about good writing.

Yesterday he was climbing into the bathtub for a pretend bath. I was brushing my teeth and watching him. He was wearing all his clothes, and he brought with him his favorite stuffed animal. Here’s what he said:

“Look, daddy, Tiger is going to take a bath. He is dirty. Here you go, Tiger. Here’s your nice bath. Splash splash splash. Wash wash wash. Play play play. Okay, time to get all dry and cozy, Tiger.”

I like that the entirety of my son’s verbal description of the bath itself was nine verbs in a row. That really is the heart of good story telling, isn’t it? Get your reader to the verbs, and make sure they’re good ones. Now for the rest of my day. Write write write. Edit edit edit. Write write write.