Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box...

I wage a fierce battle against housewife schlubiness.

Okay, maybe not fierce. Mainly I just try to change out of my sweats after my morning walk or workout. There are days when doing this is a total victory.

Last week, on one of those days, I grabbed a skirt and t-shirt that looked at least as comfy as my sweats, slid on some flip-flops and wandered downstairs. My husband looked up and said, "You look cute, honey!"

I looked down at my bright pink shirt, pink and red skirt (yes, pink and red), sparkly pink flip flops, and said, "Thanks. I feel like a giant crayon." I confess, I sounded a bit peeved. Blog appearances to the contrary, I'm not a pink kind of gal. I own only five things that are pink and I have a lot of clothes.

Then I grinned and Kenny, with a lifted eyebrow, took in said grin and asked mildly, "Imagery day?"

"Imagery day."

Imagery day is a bizarre activity that started a couple of months ago when I referred to a nearby freeway as "the time suck corridor". Then Kenny threw in his own metaphor and we were off and running for the rest of the afternoon.

On imagery day last week (and I choose not to capitalize because it is not worthy of Proper Nounship), we ended up with people squished into Costco like raisins in a box and the cars weaving in and out of traffic as dancers in an incomprehensible modern ballet.

The images are rarely profound or even good, but it's fun to look at ordinary things and find a way to make them different. I fall into the trap sometimes of thinking I'm writing in a genre that doesn't require much imagery. And yet I really do know better, so this week I challenged myself to inject more imagery into my work. I don't need powerful imagery, like for describing battle scenes. I don't need majestic imagery, like for sweeping vistas. But a subtle image can determine the degree of my protagonist's nervousness; is her stomach full of butterflies (...meh...) or dive bombing hedgehogs (hm...). The guy she likes is pretty hot, so I vote for hedgehogs.

So I'm throwing open imagery day today to my small and slightly daft readership. Can you help me with a couple of images for some scenes in my WIP?

First image:
“I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” Only one person on the entire floor could inject their tone with such complete condescension. Knowing it was Craig before I even turned around, I uttered a quick plea for patience.

“What can I do for you, Craig?” I asked.

“I just wanted to make sure you’re okay,” he said, sounding about as sincere as ...(?).

Second image:
How could I consider Craig my competition? My crusade to raise people’s awareness of Craig’s hack status was as superfluous as (designer duds on purse-sized doggies?). What was the point? Everybody already knew and was smart enough to let me take the heat of Craig’s competitive ladder climbing.

Third image:
I don’t usually pay attention to the passage of time. I work until the job is done or I fall asleep, whichever comes first. Then I start again the next day. Watching time drag by on a clock was a Ben-related phenomenon. The last twenty minutes before I knew I would see him were always the worst. Imagine, then, how painfully slowly the next week passed. (This sorry piece of writing needs some kind of image, any image at all, to suggest how slowly the week goes. Cuz this little piece of prose is not doing the trick).

If you want to play along, just make a suggestion or two. If you don't want to play along, maybe you can do it anyway so this blog post isn't a lonely wallflower with no comments in her trail.

Ha! Another image.

P.S. Imagery day doesn't happen every week. It just shows up every now and then.


Kimberly said...

You're so cute. I'm in a weird mood though so I'm afraid that's all I can up with...weird stuff.

as sincere as the proverbial wolf attempting to pass himself off with nothing more than a couple dozen cotton balls glued to his fur.

as superfluous as the contents of the local Toys'R'Us.

the next week a snail trudging through molasses.

Yeah, not so good. I'll mull it over some more.

Melanie J said...

No, you're cute! I originally had "as sincere as a bird to its prey." Um.

Anything helps.

charrette said...

I LOVE the idea of Imagery Day. (I'm giving it proper Nounship). My husband teaches screenwriting. I bet he could use it in his class. (But we'd definitely have more fun with it at home.)

Aristotle said, "The soul never thinks without an image."

Unfortunately my enthusiasm for it doesn't necessarily equal my expertise. (Read: these will be lame.) But I like Kimberly's. You can tell she's a writer.

As superfluous as watering plants in a rainstorm.

As sincere as the popular girls in high school doling out compliments on a bad hair day.

The next week passed with seconds pulled like taffy, time stickily stretched beyond recognition.

Melanie J said...

Good images but I love the taffy one! I'm putting it in my story!

Iguana Montana said...

I love the idea of Imagery Day myself. I think I may have to adopt it into my life as well.

Here's my one, lone, solitary contribution: sincere as a politician on Hallowe'en.