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Archive for May, 2010

I got to shear Angus!  Me!  He couldn’t find anyone else.  And I did a wonderful job.  Even Angus agrees and he’s picky.  He’s gotten quite opinionated since he got here.  The Person says that not’s surprising; who does he hang out with the most?  She also added who bothers him the most, but I choose to ignore that.

I got my best knife for the job and sharpened it.  I have lots of experience taking hair off hide.  It’s how I make my buckskins for when I go hunting and wandering around the town.  No one can think you’re a rat/mole/weasel/mouse/bat/whatever if you’re wearing clothes.  Usually.  Okay, so not all the time. 

Then I got Angus to sit still.  I was kinda hoping he’d faint, but when you want him to, he doesn’t.  Then I went zip, zip, zip, zip and there he was all – all gross and wool less.  I tossed him his shirt to put on.  First I had to poke him with my digits because bare skin feels so funny.  He said if I did a good job I could hug him, but I’m waiting until his wool grows back.  He’s skinny too.  Picture an oval wool blob, then picture a stick.  That’s the before and after.

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Dear Hamish,

It is getting warm here.  I am glad I shall be shorn soon. I only need to find someone to do it and so far the only candidate is Pawnee Kitty.  She says she has ‘experience’.  She never adds that she has no experience with sheep and I hate to ask what experience she does have.  I have talked to the local veterinarian.  He is very nice, but he has had little work with sheep.  Make that no work with sheep.  He has worked with goats.  I am not a goat and have told him that.

But enough about that although I will mention that Pawnee Kitty has found a shirt for me once I’ve been shorn of me wool.  She is worried I shall be sun-burned to a crisp whilst playing footie.  It may be also she does not care to see naked skin.  It troubles her when she sees my ‘noodle’ arms and legs.  She herself, in her opinion, has a wonderful pelt.

I have gone to the cinema to see ‘Furry Vengeance’.  It did not get a good review.  The twins will love it.  They wrote me they colored their legs purple.  Mum was not happy.  She wrote me too.  She said they said I suggested it.  Naughty twins.  I’m not even in Scotland and they get me in trouble.  As if I care what color their legs are.  They have noodle legs and they are more noodly then me own.

Me mini football team has done well.  We did not play another team, but that is fine with me.  Baby skunk has temper tantrums and when she has a fit, she lifts her tail.  That’s when we all run or fly off the pitch as fast as we can.

That’s is all now, Hamish.  I shall write you soon.  Pawnee Kitty is going on about ‘Iron Man 2’ a film I do not think is suitable for timid sheep like ourselves. I am sure the twins will love to see it.

Your friend,

Angus.  McSheep.

P.S.  According to the person, there will be holidays made to Niagara Falls in New York and the Natchez Trace Trail in Mississippi.  I will accompany.  I must make good use of my time in the colonies.  Will send postcards.

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Revising

I sometimes wonder how authors can let go of their manuscript.  Every time I read something I’ve written I see something that needs to change.  Maybe there’s a grammatical error I’ve missed or maybe I have just decided that the paragraph will have more impact if I change this and that.  I think, this needs to be cut and I really should add something right here.  It’s like I can never get it right.

My initial writing is done on notebook paper although I’ve found myself also typing on the computer more and more.  My morning and evening writing is handwritten on loose leaf paper or in a notebook.  I try to write neat, but when the words start pouring out, they get small and sloppy.  That can cause problems later on when I retype it on the computer.  As I type I revise, correcting spelling, grammar errors, and flow.  Here I make note of discrepancies.  Did I leave something important out?  Change a name?  Forget someone?

I let my writing sit awhile before I look at it again.  Then it’s rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. 

What I have currently up for critiquing, I’ve rewritten several times.  I rewrote it again just before I posted the first chapter.  After it had been critiqued, I ended up rewriting the first chapter which meant rewriting every thing else.  It’s all a good learning experience.

Another story, one I’m getting ready to send off, is also in the process of being rewritten.  I’m going over all my notes and changing this and that.  I really don’t know how I’ll manage to let go.  It’ll never be finished.

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Got new glasses and they’re making my eyes go all wonky.  Here’s an interview with Pawnee Kitty and Angus.

 Transcript of an interview on reading with Pawnee Kitty and Angus.  McSheep.

What do you two like to read?

Angus:  I like to read Croft and Pasture Magazine, Open Pasture Magazine, and All That’s Football!

Pawnee Kitty: Anything.  I like Angus’ magazines.  But he reads them so slow.  Honestly, one page a day?  That’s it? 

What have you read last?

Angus : An article in Croft and Pasture Magazine about foot rot.  I inspect my hooves everyday.

Pawnee Kitty : You mean what I read last that’s worthwhile or what I read last?  Because if you want what I read last then it’s the back of the cereal box and that was boring.  I don’t even remember what it was all about.  Then I peeped over Angus’ shoulder.  He was reading about foot rot.  And he seemed very interested in it too.  The last thing I read that was worthwhile… what do you mean I’m talking too much?”

Angus:  They just asked what you read last and you go blathering on.

Pawnee Kitty:  And?

Angus:  Next question.

What is your favorite book?

Angus: Ooo, that’s hard.  Although, personally, I prefer magazines over books and my all time favorite is Croft and Pasture.  Everything is it in!  Funnies, articles, crafts.  I find it very educational.

Pawnee Kitty: My all time favorite book is The History of Furs of North America which is the history of my ‘people’.  I say that with quotation marks because we’re not a people, we’re ‘cat’ like beings.  I say ‘cat’ in quotation marks because technically we don’t look like cats, cats look like us, but people persons don’t think that way so I have to word my words carefully.

Angus: You make absolutely no sense.

Pawnee Kitty: I’m answering the question.  Tribe.  It’s the history of my tribe.  And it has funnies, crafts, and stories in it, and it is also very educational.  I also like reading my old newsletters.  I write travel newsletters.  Angus writes for Open Pasture.  He’s writing about his adventures in the U.S.  Do you have anymore questions?  I love answering questions.

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Irene Hunt wrote this book a few years after writing ‘Up the Road Slowly’.   I have to say I enjoyed this one more than the other.  There’s much more showing then telling.  ‘No Promises in the Wind’ is about a boy, Josh, who leaves home after an argument with his father.  It’s set during the depression and he is the only one working, selling newspapers.  He leaves Chicago with a friend, Howie, and is joined by his younger brother Joey.  They aim to earn money through their music.  Howie plays the banjo and Josh plays the piano.

Since the story didn’t gloss over months like the other book, I was able to get to know the characters better and feel for their plight.  It got me thinking that if I write a story that spans more then a year (like ‘Up a Road Slowly’) to either break the story up into more than one book or spend a bit more then a few pages on a particular period and keep the telling to a minimum.  Several pages of telling will want one to skim over the pages.

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