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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Monday, July 23 2001

The hanging thread

Most writers working through projects resume their work by first reviewing the previous output. It's natural to attempt a running start, to need to know where you left off, but you're always hoping too to find a hanging thread, a pregnant proposition that must be carried through gestation into a live delivery. Such threads can be woven into a whole new rich plane of color or shadow for your tapestry.

Some novelists work from a detailed outline but others let the muse lead them. I've never sold a work of fiction, but in my class experience I've found the "muse" works for me. I outlined my Nanty Glo novel with some enthusiasm but found when the actual work began that the writing itself seemed to take over. A character may have been just a name, put in somewhat like an extra in a movie scene, but the name or a descriptive phrase may unfold layers of plot material and take the project into unanticipated directions.

These jonal entries were never envisioned as pages of a book, but like any journal—diary—after enough of them accumulate they start looking like a "volume." While it gets easier to turn them out by dint of repetition, they get harder at the same time by the need to show improvement day to day and week to week. Fear of running out of topics or becoming repetitive also counter the "getting easier every day" syndrome.

A hanging thread, whether it's sticking out of yesterday's jonal entry or the last written scene of your novel, can be woven back in as something of substance. But sometimes a hanging thread when pulled can undo a total fabric, leaving the writer bare, exposed, and vulnerable—cold. Sometimes, like hangnails, they're best nipped off at the base.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

12 Great Excuses for Not Going in to Work...
(collect 'em all)

1. If it is all the same to you, I won't be coming in to work. The voices told me to clean all the guns today.

2. When I got up this morning, I took two Ex-Lax in addition to my Prozac. I can't get off the hopper, but I feel good about it.

3. I set half the clocks in my house ahead an hour and the other half back an hour Saturday, and spent 18 hours in some kind of space-time continuum loop, reliving Sunday. I was able to exit the loop only by reversing the polarity of the power source, exactly setting clocks in the house while simultaneously rapping my dog on the snout with a rolled up Times. Accordingly, I will be in late...or early.

Sent by Sallie and Dominic Covolo

Seven wonders of the world, truly

A group of geography students studied the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of that section, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following got the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids, 2. Taj Mahal, 3. Grand Canyon, 4. Panama Canal, 5. Empire State Building, 6. St. Peter's Basilica, 7. China's Great Wall.

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list.

The quiet girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many."

The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."

The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are, 1. to touch, 2. to taste, 3. to see, 4. to hear." She hesitated a little, and then: "5. to run, 6. to laugh, and, 7. to love."

It is far too easy for us to look at the exploits of man and refer to them as "wonders" while we overlook all God has done, regarding them as merely "ordinary." .

Sent by Sallie and Dominic Covolo

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