Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Show versus tell

Wednesday update: G'day, mates. I'm going to leave this up, unless I get a better idea. :)

Yesterday, I put up a photo of a tornado, and in the comments Beth reported there had been one only half an hour away from her. Maybe I'll be more careful what I put up today. :)

Quick post, cause I have to take my car in for repairs.

In writing, we're told to "show," not "tell." Show through action. Show through dialogue. Don't just tell readers what happened, put them on the scene as it happens.

Today I'll have a birthday lunch (mine is tomorrow, hers the next day) with my oldest friend. In our lives, we exemplify Show versus Tell. I am, sigh, Tell. I only write, while she actually does. She has walked the Appalachian Trail, alone. She has bicycled from the West Coast to the East Coast, almost entirely alone. She has camped out in the mountains of Mexico, alone. She has rafted the Grand Canyon, definitely not alone. She's not anti-social, not at all; she's just brave and adventurous. She's incredible. She awes me.

But there is one thing that does scare her to death. Public speaking. Isn't that funny? I know it's the most common fear, but really, it is funny when you put it in the context of a life like hers.

Okay, now I'm off to the adventure of car repair.


Nancy P said...

One bare tire, no turn signals, needs an oil change, wish me luck!

GhostFolk.com said...



[ Sorry for any confusion about who I am - but, I am BEING FORCED to create a webpage interface thing which has one bare tire, no signals and needs at least a face lift.... ]

AndiF said...

Happy, happy birthday Nancy!!

(I have nothing more to say but when a comment starts with celebrating your birth, what more needs to be said)

Kelly McCullough said...

Hippo Birdie!

Today's tea (via teasource.com):

Keemun Hao Ya A

The highest grade Keemun; slight elements of roastiness balanced with delicate undertones and an exceptional finish and aftertaste.

It's yummy, though I think I actually like the Empire Keemun better--my favorite and the one they fought the tea wars over.

FARfetched said...

Woohoo, happy b-day, Nancy! And to your friend too!

I'm glad everyone liked the "mental kudzu" thing from yesterday. I guess that went over better than what I'd planned to say in the first place: "hmm, tornado, you live in Kansas, write what you know, looks like you're all set." :-)

I think over vacation, I managed to write a little over 2000 words, including part of an upcoming FAR Future episode, some of the novel I mentioned yesterday, and something that I have absolutely no clue about (but I have a feeling it will work itself into something or another).

You definitely need to get that car dealt with. No turn signals? You don't drive a BMW by any chance, do you?

olivia said...

Nancy, I hope your car repair person realizes it's your birthday and makes sure that if you're going to get a surprise it's a good one ... :)

GhostFolk.com said...

Hey, Far, a novel you mentioned?

Please mention it again for me. I am horribly curious and delighted, btw.


Nancy P said...

Thanks, guys!
My best bday gift is my good, honest mechanic who won't break my bank. Yay! Turn signals. My left arm was getting wet in the rain. To think we all used to drive like that!

Green/Ghost, awwww. So cute, but do you ever look like a guy who didn't want his picture taken.

Nancy P said...

Far, it's a 1998 Mercury Mystique which I still love to drive. As my good, honest mechanic who won't break my bank (GHMWWBMB)says, "It's a good little car."

FARfetched said...

Nancy, the best car is the one that works for your needs. Sounds like you have it, and a good mechanic to boot! The "BMW" crack is part of a running joke in the Atlanta area: very rarely do you see turn signals on a BMW actually operating, so the assumption is that they're either b0rk3d at the factory or an option that nobody orders. (BTW, I'll be needing a new rear tire on my motorcycle, probably by 3000 miles. Grrr.)

Green, yeah I'm working on a novel that I can't really pigeonhole into a genre. I'm about halfway through it (estimated) now. I have notes about how I expect it to go, but there's a lot of meat to put on the so-so-thin bones. I have a fantasy novel actually completed, but never sent around (it's a tad short), and a couple other projects wanting occasional attention. A user manual I've written (and revised constantly) for work has about 11 million copies in the wild though. :-D

Apropos of nothing: tomorrow is also the 25th anniversary of the smiley. Wow, Nancy, I'll bet you never knew you shared your b-day with such illustrious company… and you both turn 25 tomorrow, right?

Nancy P said...

25! Smiley face is snorting.

boran2 said...

Long may it run, Nancy. (Isn't that how the Neil Young song goes?) I've got to take my old Mazda in to check an o2 sensor. Inevitably it will run into many dollars.

Anonymous said...

Toyota, folks, Toyota. I don't HAVE a car repair guy...and you know how much I drive!

I THOUGHT that was you, green!! Nice to see you!

Glad you had a good day, Nancy. I'm staying an extra one in P'cola. Having too much fun with my girlfriend. Wondering why I didn't move up here...(because too much fun and getting lots of work done don't go together...)

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Jen said...

Happy Birthday, Nancy! xoxo

olivia said...

Happy bday Nancy! :*

Nancy P said...

Thanks, guys!

Boran2, I'll take that "long may it run" to apply to myself, too. :)

Nancy P said...

I just read over at katiebird's blog that she couldn't get on blogger all day, which is why nobody heard from her. But that paled in comparison to the fact that she spun a complete circle on a highway ramp and ended up facing backwards!! We had a downpour yesterday, so I expect she got caught on slick highway.

Katiebird, so glad you're okay!

katiebird said...

(singing energetically if not totally in key)

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday DEAR NANcy .... Happy Birthday To YOU!


(PS, I'm fine -- but ask me later about the kids with the highway-cones on their heads.)

Nancy P said...

We WILL ask you that, later.

And thank you, katiesongbird!

Conda said...

Happy B'day--a friend of mine says the older you get the more you should celebrate (I won't say why...)so party away, Nancy!

Kimberly Frost said...

Happy Birthday, Nancy!

Over the coming year I wish for you to have health, wealth, and the free time to enjoy both. :)

Kelly McCullough said...


Joins singing...Happy Birthday.

Katiebird, glad to hear you're all right, and want to hear the story to.

Relurks-Syllabus and Book.

Nancy P said...

I appreciate all the birthday greetings! I'm managing to get taken to lunch three times this week. Did I work that right, or what? All that, plus my mom made my fav lemon cake.

FARfetched said...

So how's the b-day going so far? Hope the answer is, "GREAT!".

Man Eegee said...

¡Feliz CumpleaƱos!

Nancy P said...

It's going beautifully, far! And in the odd five minutes when nobody in RL says "Happy Birthday," I can come here and read it to my heart's content.

Life is good, thanks.

Nancy P said...

Gracias, Man E!

katiebird said...

I'm so happy your birthday is going well. I think it would be fun to have International Talk Like a Pirate Day as my birthday.

Argg! It would make it special. Plus it would make it easier for friends to remember from year to year.

"I wonder what's Nancy's Birthday," says one.

"Hmm," says the other, "Isn't it September, 19th -- International Talk Like a Pirate Day?"

Nancy P said...

Hi, KB! Arrr, Matey. Was today less stressful than yesterday? And what was that big thing you accomplished at work?

katiebird said...

Yes, I guess today was better. I'm sure it was better than my sister's day. Or the Coneheads.

I was going to do some visiting after my walk. But, we've been doing some home-repairs. So, I've actually just gotten back.

It's very frustrating that I haven't had a chance to get to ghostfolk.com yet.