Evelyn Chartres Author
Random – Page 8

On the Topic of Age and Perspectives

When looking through old photographs of my daughter,  I have trouble reconciling that she was that person. I do remember how small her hands were when she was born and how helpless she was at first.

However,  one look at my child as she rides her scooter through the house takes me out of such nostalgia-filled moments. In see her as-is,  the talkative, bright-eyed and sassy girl that she is today.

In many ways, this mirrors my own experiences in life. We were all children once and remember key times in our youth. However I tend to view it through my eyes, filtered through a veil of adult experience.

This might explain why children in novels sometimes seem disconnected from reality.  Unless you have a three-year old wreaking havoc in the house, you may not realise the unrealistic wisdom in their words or their excellent grasp of grammar.

Not that children that age are incapable of that sort of thing.  There have been some golden nuggets of wisdom that my daughter said that threw me for a loop. Still that is a couple of instances over time, not a consistent affair.

The same applies when writing the world through a child’s eyes.  When I was roughly my child’s age, I remember spending hours picking hazelnuts from the trees. My parents had a big advantage over me.  However, I could find hazelnuts lower in the tree than they could for the same reasons they could not and that was size.

I was reminded of that fact when she asked me for my phone. My daughter wanted to take pictures of the squirrels running about and instead opted for a video.

It astonished me to see how close she was to the ground, how near her feet were and how much bigger the world seemed.  Sure it’s all obvious when one thinks about it and I cannot help but wonder how much harder it gets once our own children have flown the nest.

One of my memories as a child was going to my grandparents. I remember a huge hill upon which they built a church and the trek that had to be made to ascend this great peak. When I returned decades later for a funeral, the hill was nowhere to be seen!

Now the church and the house had not moved. What had changed was my height and perspectives in life.  In that one moment I was forced to reconcile memories of youth with current perspectives, but such opportunities can be rare.

So let your kids be kids, take plenty of pictures and never pass up the opportunity to see the world through their eyes!  Doing so will certainly create more believable children in literature.

Upcoming Book Titles Use the Word Girl

I came across an article on the National Post today.  Seems language is shifting away from woman and lady due to associated baggage.  Instead, girl is used and there are a LOT of novels of late using that term.

Here is a quote from the article:

The word “girl” has become as practical as “guy,” its male equivalent — an all-purpose term that doesn’t carry the baggage of “woman” or “lady.”

While this is likely a marketing ploy now.  It is interesting to see how the language has changed in use in a short period of time.

Though I have to ask, what is the baggage associated with woman or lady?  Did I miss something?

Overlooking the Grand

I was away on business for the past week, which is why some of my updates took a while to propagate onto Google+ and Facebook. Despite flying over endless cloud cover for most of the trip, it managed to clear up just as we reached the mountains.

Interestingly enough, this mountain chain is where I envisioned the Grand to be!  I always loved this part of the world and this was the first time where I managed to get the right mix of snow.

Pulling a Fast One on the Tooth Fairy

My child tried to pull a fast one on the Tooth Fairy!

Earlier this week my child woke up to discover she lost a tooth overnight.  This tooth had been bothering her for a couple of days, so one would think she was relieved.


Shot which includes the suspect tooth

However, that secondary when compared to a visit from the Tooth Fairy.  Since my child was supposed to switch parents after school, I placed the tooth in a plastic baggie so she could keep track of it.

My child then asked to switch nights so the Tooth Fairy could see her room here.   So when I picked her up after school, she was in good spirits and looking forward to her payout.

On the way home she spoke children who lost their teeth while showing them off and could not complete their transactions with the Tooth Fairy.  She described how heart striken they were and how lucky she was.

Since she successfully transitioned from one household to the next without incident before, I paid no need.  She went about her day and let her stay up a bit later so she could brush the tooth.  She seemed insistent that the Tooth Fairy get pristine and shiny booty that night!

Later in the evening, I pulled out the baggie from under her pillow then noticed the bag was different.  This caught my attention, latet my suspicions were confirmed when I switched out the contents.

Upon closer inspection, I discovered that it was a white rock.  Small enough and similar in shape to a tooth to pass muster at a glance.  So yes, my child tried to pull a fast one on the Tooth Fairy!

Curious, I left a note with the money.  The following was inscribed:

Payment of one rock accepted in lieu of tooth.  — Molar Mae

The message was purposefully cryptic she would ask me what the note written in cursive script said.  When I read out what the note, she shrugged her shoulders then acted convincingly confused.

Eventually she came clean on the switch.   Unfortunately for her, I now have a story that can be brought up at family gatherings and whatnot.  To think that my child is an incarnation of Moriarty!

Is blackmail at the tender age of seven lucrative?

6 Hard Truths Every Writer Should Accept

A friend passed on this Writers Digest article about 6 Hard Truths Every Writer Should Accept and mentioned there should be a seventh.  For them —you’re not half as awesome as you think you are— is a lesson all authors need to know.

The list of truths is as follows:

  1. It won’t be your first novel.
  2. First drafts always suck.
  3. Your husband, mother, sister, best friend, co-worker or the neighbour who is a high school English teacher does not qualify as a critique partner.
  4. Your journey will not be the same journey as your peers.
  5. Being good isn’t good enough.
  6. Pay your dues.

Personally, I do not agree with a couple of the points made.

Pay your dues

In all industries there are people that are so well connected or at the right place and time that success is immediate. For some people, easy is the only path they follow since they have never tasted hard.

Sure there are always challenges, since those are inevitable in life.  However, one cannot help but wonder if some people are playing the game of life on easy, while others are on nightmare mode.

Now should we plan on such an outcome?  Hell no!  But it’s not a universal truth.

Your husband, mother, sister, best friend, co-worker or the neighbour who is a high school English teacher does not qualify as a critique partner.

I disagree with using people to critique who are not writers.  We all have a voice and it may click well readers (those who buy) and not other authors.  Another author may be experienced in writing a novel, but not work for what you have in mind.  Again these are not universal truths.

A good example of this I found while reading a National Post article titled Why America’s greatest humorist was Mark Twain in public and Samuel Clemens in private.  A quote from the article makes my point:

He (Twain) thought little of George Eliot or Henry James, two novelists still considered first-class, but he often praised the books of his friend William Dean Howells, who is now nearly forgotten.

mark_twain_underwood_1907_33433512Mark Twain was an icon who had tapped into the nerve of the literary public and yet denounced authors who made it.  It could have been personal, it could have been style, but his praise or scorn did not determine their place in history.

My friend commented that there are folks out there who are well schooled in certain genres and are willing to beta-read.  It could be just a matter of it being a hobby or even their passion.  Getting another writer you are chummy with is also asking for trouble, since its like asking a friend to say —tell me I’m brilliant.— That may not be your intention, but that’s how they will probably take it.

You’re Not Half as Awesome as You Think You Are

Likely one of the most poignant truths any author can discover.  However, this particular author may have assumed that such revelations need to be made by the author.