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Labor protest sparks clashes in Brussels

AP Top news - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Labor protest sparks clashes in Brussels Associated Press - 4 April 2014 08:18-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Protests and demonstrations, Labor issues, Labor unions, Political and civil unrest, Social issues, Social affairs People, Places and Companies: Brussels, Belgium, Europe Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Kerry: Mideast peace talks not open-ended

AP Top news - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Kerry: Mideast peace talks not open-ended Associated Press - 4 April 2014 07:19-04:00 News Topics: Government and politics, Peace process, Diplomacy, International relations People, Places and Companies: John Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas, Morocco, Palestinian territories, Israel, Middle East, Rabat, United States Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mali reports 3 suspected cases of Ebola fever

AP Top news - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Mali reports 3 suspected cases of Ebola fever Associated Press - 4 April 2014 08:25-04:00 News Topics: General news, Disease outbreaks, Hemorrhagic fever, Public health, Health, Infectious diseases, Diseases and conditions People, Places and Companies: West Africa, Mali, Africa, Guinea Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

3 who raped journalist in India sentenced to death

AP Top news - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
3 who raped journalist in India sentenced to death Associated Press - 4 April 2014 08:02-04:00 News Topics: General news, Sentencing, Sexual assault, Violent crime, Legal proceedings, Crime, Journalists, Law and order, News media, Media People, Places and Companies: New Delhi, India, Mumbai Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Young voters have numbers to set India on new path

AP Top news - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Young voters have numbers to set India on new path Associated Press - 4 April 2014 06:09-04:00 News Topics: General news, Elections, National elections, Voting, Hiring and recruitment, Government and politics, Television, Technology, Economy, Personnel, Business, Media People, Places and Companies: Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, India, New Delhi, Bangalore Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

2 ships hunt for black boxes from missing jetliner

AP Top news - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
2 ships hunt for black boxes from missing jetliner Associated Press - 4 April 2014 04:49-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Search and rescue efforts, Lost at sea, Aviation accidents and incidents, Aircraft parts manufacturing, Oceans, Accidents, Accidents and disasters, Transportation accidents, Transportation, Aircraft manufacturing, Aerospace and defense industry, Industrial products and services, Industries, Environment and nature People, Places and Companies: Angus Houston, Tony Abbott, Australia, Malaysia, Indian Ocean, Kuala Lumpur Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Crimea side-effect: Addicts deprived of methadone

AP Top news - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Crimea side-effect: Addicts deprived of methadone Associated Press - 4 April 2014 04:29-04:00 News Topics: General news, Drug addiction, Heroin addiction, Addiction and substance abuse, HIV and AIDS, Health, Methamphetamine addiction, Diseases and conditions, Drug abuse, Human welfare, Social issues, Social affairs, Infectious diseases People, Places and Companies: Crimea, Sevastopol, Russia, Ukraine Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Napier trying to shed Walker's shadow

AP Sports News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Police: Man on field during Pirates' pierogi race Associated Press - 3 April 2014 12:27-04:00 News Topics: MLB baseball, Professional baseball, Baseball, Men's sports, Sports, Oddities, Crime, Arrests, General news, Law and order People, Places and Companies: Pittsburgh Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Labor protest sparks clashes in Brussels

AP Business News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Labor protest sparks clashes in Brussels Associated Press - 4 April 2014 08:18-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Protests and demonstrations, Labor issues, Labor unions, Political and civil unrest, Social issues, Social affairs People, Places and Companies: Brussels, Belgium, Europe Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bouygues in 11th-hour bid for mobile operator SFR

AP Business News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Bouygues in 11th-hour bid for mobile operator SFR Associated Press - 4 April 2014 06:56-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news People, Places and Companies: France Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Better weather may have lifted job growth in March

AP Business News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Better weather may have lifted job growth in March Associated Press - 4 April 2014 04:32-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Labor economy, Economy, Home sales, Weather, Unemployment, Employment figures, Home selling, Real estate, Labor issues, Social issues, Social affairs, Leading economic indicators, Residential real estate, Lifestyle People, Places and Companies: United States Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Relics of NYC World's Fair: Eyesores or icons?

AP Business News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Relics of NYC World's Fair: Eyesores or icons? Associated Press - 4 April 2014 06:07-04:00 News Topics: General news People, Places and Companies: Philip Johnson, Queens, New York City, New York Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Better weather may have lifted job growth in March

AP US News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Better weather may have lifted job growth in March Associated Press - 4 April 2014 04:32-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Labor economy, Economy, Home sales, Weather, Unemployment, Employment figures, Home selling, Real estate, Labor issues, Social issues, Social affairs, Leading economic indicators, Residential real estate, Lifestyle People, Places and Companies: United States Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Fort Hood gun store again linked to base rampage

AP US News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:32am
Fort Hood gun store again linked to base rampage Associated Press - 4 April 2014 03:38-04:00 News Topics: General news, Gun violence, Gun politics, Crime, Shootings, Violence, Social issues, Social affairs, Political issues, Government and politics, Human rights and civil liberties, Violent crime People, Places and Companies: Nidal Malik Hasan, Killeen, Texas Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Andromeda: Why It’s So Hard to Read and Revise Our Own Novels, Part II: More Than One Kind of Time

49 Writers - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 9:49pm

Part II of a series. Part I is here.

To re-read our own work in preparation for a major manuscript revision, and especially to check its pacing and accumulative effects, we have to get into the mindset of an imaginary reader, which is hard to do for many reasons. One of them is the fascinating fact that time has many faces.As the French theorist Gerard Genette explored in great detail, there is story time—the actual duration of the story events covered (a day, a year, a lifetime), which we can never experience directly—and then there is discourse time, the amount of time taken to actually tell that story. Story time (duration) can vary radically: a novel can be about a man going to lunch for fifteen minutes, or about three generations living on a family farm for a century. Discourse time is often measured spatially, as words or pages. A story about a man going to lunch can take up 10 pages of discourse time, or 300, why not? (Nicholson Baker’s Mezzanine manages to make an entire novel of lunchtime by being a vehicle for the narrator’s absurdly digressive associational thoughts with occasional dips into personal memory; Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, which has a story time of one day, is nearly as expansive, but leans even more heavily on memory.) 

A 1:1 story/discourse time novel about a man's life would take a lifetime to read, just as a 1:1 map of the world would be as big as the world itself (both may score points for realism but not for helpfulness or artistic effect). The difference between story time and discourse time gives us lots to play with as writers. We can compress and expand, and we can alter pacing throughout, summarizing years into sentences and shifting into “slow-mode” and stretching high-intensity scenes across many pages.

In revision mode, if we note that our writing seems to plod along, too evenly, with little variation in emotional effect, we can see if we’ve overlooked those compression and expansion possibilities. Even if we’re already aware of time’s flexible potential, we may still not utilize time to maximum advantage. In error, we may compress where we should expand, because we arrive at a scene that is emotionally hard to write about, or some part of our story we haven’t sufficiently imagined (or researched). We may expand where we should compress, simply not realizing (until a kind first reader informs us) that we’re spending way too much time on boring details or slow-paced dialogue or anything that doesn’t advance the story.

On the page, that’s story time and discourse time – complicated enough.
But think of all the other ways we experience time, as writers and readers. This is where things get even more interesting during those final manuscript revisions.

Let’s say I write a scene about parents coming to visit their daughter, an anxious mother and her new baby and the husband the parents don’t like. The story time covers dinner and post-dinner visiting -- about three hours. The discourse time is, let’s say, about 4500 words.

On a good day, I write about 1000 words; in a good week, maybe 3000. So I can guess this scene would have taken a week and a half to write. Maybe longer. I could label that “composition time.” I can unscientifically guess that many before-bed readers open a book for 20 minutes before turning off the light. At less than 2 minutes per page over 15 pages, my imaginary reader might not have time to finish the scene in one quick reading session. (Should it be shorter? Or is it just right? And what about the great majority of the book’s scenes, which are only one-third to one-half as long? Which will have insufficient impact due to their brevity? Which will have insufficient impact because a reader can’t process them in one sit-down reading time, or can I write a scene so riveting that the reader will stay glued to the end, even after her spouse complains about the light?)  

Now that I’ve forced myself to do the math—which I wouldn’t have done, if not for this blogpost—what does it tell me? What can you tell first readers to look for if they’re helping bring fresh eyes to your manuscript?

·    Watch out for tics and repetitions: If I use the same words or repeat a metaphor, the reader will experience those repetitions only hours apart. I may not realize that I use certain words or types of punctuation too often (semi-colon or em-dash addiction, anyone?) but a fresh reader will.
·    Watch out for repeated information: Do I trust my reader’s memory enough, especially when she can read so much more quickly than I can write? How many times do I need to remind her that so-and-so is the narrator’s sister?
·    Watch out for pace of character development: It took me months to write the process by which my narrator fell in love, learned to cope with a first baby, became jaded with life, found new hope (and also some dark truths). Does each stage happen too quickly in my novel? Does the progression feel real for the reader? Do I build up to the climax sufficiently, or hit it like a huge speed bump?And on the other hand…·     Do I space information and revelations so far part apart that the effect is too subtle for the reader? Can he hold clues and cues in his head, which are strongly imprinted in mine only because I’ve spent so much time writing this novel? What happens too slowly? When does the reader say “enough already, I get it!”These are only a few things you can think about in terms of composition speed (slow), reading speed (fast), and also the mind of the writer (heavily invested, possibly obsessed) versus the mind of the reader (less invested, less patient, more easily irritated).

In reading for revision, we must be aware of time’s many faces, and the many ways we experience story as it’s imagined, written, and read, by ourselves and others. We can learn, as authors, to become our own best editors. And we can recognize the need to make use of another set of fresh eyes when the time is right.

Andromeda Romano-Lax is the author of The Spanish Bow and The Detour. She is a co-founder of 49 Writers and teaches in the UAA MFA low-residency creative writing program. She is also a book coach with a special interest in revision, narrative structure, and the lifelong development of the writer. Contact her at aromanolax@gmail.com for more info on her book coaching services.
Categories: Arts & Culture

The Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 9:39pm

TheGreat Sand Dunes between Crestone and Alamosa, Colorado is 30 square miles at the base of 14,000+ peaks

I will learn to take weekends off on a regular basis from creative endeavoring work.  Weekends are a luxury for the self-employed and it’s about time I incorporate this type of luxury, (though in the next two months I have a major deadline to complete the Chilkat robe I am weaving), so I am postponing regular weekends until AFTER I deliver the robe!

Having at least one day off from work helps rejuvenate and revitalize our bodies, mind and spirit.  We need this type of “food” to nourish and support us.  It helps keep our creative juices flowing!

I appreciate a great travel partner who instigates simple great adventures and is attracted to the same subtle and not-so-subtle images, energies and beauty in nature.  Of the many places Dan and I have traveled to and through in Western North America over the past 5 years, from the American Southwestern states up through Montana, Alberta, Yukon and Southeast Alaska, the early evening day trip to the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado last weekend captured my entire being.  I felt as though I were walking on holy ground, sacred ground…vulnerable yet spiritually and physically powerful.  I am happy I followed Dan’s lead to this place of mysticism and sacredness.

Patterns made by the wind

These are the highest sand dunes in North America up to 750 feet covering 30 square miles at the base of the Colorado Rockies between Crestone and Alamosa.  We arrived in mid-afternoon when the sun was lowering on the horizon for better contrast of light and dark.  I complained like a kid “…are we there yet!?” because the straight highway drive was absolutely boring, especially after driving through phenomenal scenery driving down from the Leadville area the day before!!

The Great Sand Dunes National Monument Park has excellent signs guiding visitors to respect the environment with do’s and don’ts

I yearn to return to the Sand Dunes.  I imagine just to sit and be there.  In peace.    Alas, I have other commitments and major deadlines one right after the other; I have a Chilkat robe that I have to finish weaving by June 1st, then I have to deliver it, then I have 6 classes to teach in Yukon and Alaska and I do not return back to Colorado until mid-Summer when the Sand Dunes Park will be cluttered with too many people!!! — So alas, we must wait until AFTER Labor Day weekend because we will avoid the crowds.

Dark and light waves has been imprinted in my heart and mind inspiring me to want to paint, draw, charcoal images of nothing but sand dune language!

Dan soaks up the sunset, the silence and stillness

I know Dan and I must return to this place.  Not just for an afternoon but for at least an entire week.  Camp out.  Hike. Bike.  Play flute.  Play a hand drum.  Do Tai Chi.  Take photos.  Paint.  Draw.  Sit and be still at the top of one of the 750 ft. peaks.  I have even imagined living nearby just a few miles South of the dunes, or make a yearly trek in a camper van and just hang out.  I have never been to a place that has tempered me like the way a camp fire tempers me.  I feel a large solid heart filling my entire chest and abdomen – it is obvious the spirit of the Great Sand Dunes has filled me to no end.  We shall return.  Soon.

Who would walk with their back against the sunset?

Click Here …..to view more photos of the Great Sand Dunes…and better yet, the next time you are in Colorado, check out the power and spirit of this magnificent place!

Categories: Arts & Culture

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