Dear Matilda,

First off, I absolutely loved your letter! It was so well written. The part about wringing the cloth out for a drop of water was fantastic. It’s so funny how we’ll come back to things for the smallest bit of joy, even when it costs us.

I feel like I have so many things to tell you. Where do I start?

Betsy is the most unreliable hunk of metal I have ever witnessed. She died and had to get new parts the first week of school and this morning was making very concerning droning sounds. If I don’t die from sheer anxiety, I’ll surely die because of that car.

I forgot to tell you about Slush! Slush, is all the unused stuff in your writing I guess. The bits and pieces you decided to exempt from the rough draft. Pound says he keeps his slush and goes through it later to pick out anything that might be worth while. I definitely keep mine but for some reason it’s never occurred to me to look through it later. I feel like a lot of these writing tips can be transferred to life tips. I have tons of life slush I should go through, so I can throw out the bad and unnecessary stuff once and for all. I also  feel like my mom could use this lesson, but for the mounds of junk that she stores away.

Today we talked about characters. How do you make a good character? How do you bring a character to life and make them interesting to a reader? There are five things you should be considering; appearance, action, thought, speech and experience/history. Its impossible to capture everything about someone’s appearances, and experiences etc..so these details can not be chosen at random.  It’s best to pick the details that truly show something about your character. As for appearance, we discussed that the things that are voluntary (ie, their clothing choices) are more revealing than things they are born with. Of course there are exceptions. The appearances we are born with can be a huge part of our identities.

Pound said that we have two lives. The one we are living, and the unlived. These lives touch each other and intertwine with another, each influencing the other. I pictured it as two race cars, neck in neck. The driver of the living keeps glancing to the side at the driver of the unliving and quickly whipping their head back to face the track infront of them. You can be focused on the life you have now but the unlived life is going to be right beside you, the whole time. (I could totally work on that metaphor there) The choices we make or do not make in our life are our turning points. They make the small and grand changes that shape our persons. These are the interesting details, the regrets, the right decisions, how we got to where we are. He also said that when people get older the unlived life is more accessible than it is to young people. WARNING SIGN. I don’t want the unlived life to be more accessible as I grow, even though that seems like a kind of natural process. It reminded me about making the best of my opportunities.

Missed opportunities always make me so anxious and sad. And stressed. You know when you can feel opportunities slipping away infront of your eyes because you’re not acting on them? I tend to do that a lot.  Life is like the ultimate video game. We’ve been granted with so many chances to start over before we finish the game. (Er I could probably work on this metaphor too)

I must be psychic by asking you to descirbe to me a new person you have met as in class today we had to describe a person as well.. so your job is as follows: To describe a significant person in your life using physical details. This is going to eventually build up to be a character profile. I think we are eventually going to be interviewing these people. We got warmed up for this but taking a questionaire they use on hot shot celebrities in Vanity Fair. The questions were actually pretty fun to answer. Your job: Fill out the questionaire yourself! I posted mine under this.

Also, girl, you have to get out and start doing some things. If you were gunna hide away in bed all day you could have just stayed here!

Let’s work out over skype sometime.

Sweat-ingly yours,

Harriet.

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