Saturday, April 13, 2013

You Thought I Was Detail-Oriented Before. I Can Spot The Mite On Your Dust Now, Buddy!

Not really.  I have professional racehorse blinders to dust.  I can't bring myself to care about it.  I've got better things to do.  Like write!

But it does bring me to the subject of this post.  I don't notice dust, but I do notice many other details beyond what is noted under normal attention.  I've always been this way.  Sorry, Mom.  :)  My training as a writer has intensified it.  Sorry, Husband.  :)  Specificity makes language, at a minimum, more memorable and at best, beautiful.

Example 1A - a red sedan
Example 1B - a burgundy Crown Vic
==> more memorable

Example 2A - tan spots
Example 2B - speckled faintly as a bird's egg  
==> beautiful, right?

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.... Brown paper packages tied up with string.  These are few of my favorite things."   Listening to that song as a child I was jealous that the songwriter had noticed all those cool things that I had only seen theretofore as mundane.  Maybe that was when my eye for detail was born.
Writing has taught me not only how to articulate my imagery specifically, but to see the world with a keener eye as well.  Think about all the beauty that you can see, all that you can be grateful for if you lower your radar.  I am far from perfect at it.  Your friend, MM Finck, is an extremely tasky, tunnel-visioned chick.  But I try.  Considering what comprises my own list of favorite things is a cherished driving-by-myself past time.  Here's what I came up today with while I drove alone (ahhhh... driving alone.  One of my very favorite things.) next to green pastures on two-lane Virginia roads.

MM'S FAVORITE THINGS, a lifelong work-in-progress 

  1. The glow that emanates from everything green right after the rain before the sun has cleared away the clouds.  
  2. Dilapidated barns and houses, old brick foundations, etc.  I collect discarded wooden shutters and hang them in my house like art.  
  3. When I pass a house built alongside the road and I can see through the front and back windows to the sparkling river behind it.
  4. The fuzz of a baby's head tickling my nose when I caress it with my cheek. (I limit myself to one baby-related thing.  Too easy to get tunnel vision.  I love babies with a ferocity they could name addictions after. :))
  5. Weather that permits long sleeved shirts and shorts.  It is rare where I live and so a gift each time.
  6. The soft crunchy feel of new carpet under my feet.
  7. The annual surprise when perennial flowers come into bloom.
  8. Warm doughy bread.
  9. The certainty after only a few notes or lines that I am hearing a song that will soon become my new crush.  
  10. A great mix tape.
  11. When I turn the last page of a book and my heart and soul swell to push at the outer boundaries of my being.  The need to force the book into the hands of everyone I know and meet.  
Do you want to try it too?  Yes, do it!  Email it to me.  Comment here.  Post it on facebook.  Tweet.  Whatev.  It helps foster gratitude and positivity, and who can't use a big more of that, right?  Plus, it's a fun party game.  :)  Try it! Try it!  One or ten!  However many.

No fair using obvious things like the beach.  If you want to use that, get smaller, way way smaller.  A sea shell clutched in your palm, its ridges pressing into the meat of your fingers.  It doesn't have to be pretty writing.  You can just say sea shells. But try to think about the specifics of why they are one of your favorite things.  Don't be shy.  You never know.  It could show up in one of my characters!

Take care, everyone!  Comment, email, share, post, etc.  Can't wait to hear from you!  <3



  1. Your old shutters are great. I like the old traffic light too.

    I love old glass. Particularly windows. I think it's neat that gravity has such a cool affect on old glass. Windows become thin at the top and very thick at the bottom. This affect also causes them to be wavy. DC has many old buildings, so I've been fortunate to see this many times. Ulysses S Grant's old home in Georgetown has been thoroughly renovated, but the old windows remain. It interests me to think about who has looked through them and what the people witnessed.

    1. I wonder that too! Have you seen Lincoln the film? I live in a particularly historic area. Everywhere I look inspires the same kind of thought. Thanks for responding!!

  2. I love old barns ones that show side boards separation (aging), makes one appreciate the manual hard labor a man/men did to provide for his/their family. Saw a show on TV awhile back about the dfferent types of barns, some are for live stock, storing hay, or equipment storage. Being fortunate living in an area of many I drive by finding myself pointing out that barn is a......

  3. I feel the same way! I remember as a child going to a colonial farm on a family trip and being shown a nail. They had to make their own buildings down to the nails! Native American rope-making is even more impressive. Many scenes in my novel FORGET WE MET take place on a working farm, which meant working farm research for me! I loved it. All the mud, all the ingenuity, all the barns. Thanks for responding!

  4. I love the sound of someone giggling. Not outright laughing, but something more spontaneous that can happen when absorbed in your own thoughts or spending time with some old girlfriends. Reminds me of my fave movie quote, "sometimes I just think funny things." I love mirrors that serve as pieces of artwork. Very simple, nature based or clean, classic lines. I like wide frames and generally, the bigger the better. I love picking colors to paint walls. I know what I like. Colors that are earthy, warm, unobtrusive. Deep yellows and warm greens are my faves. I love picking up sticks in my yard and enjoying the silence that comes with a task few others enjoy, being outside, focusing on one thing at a time and having a clean yard at the end.

  5. Beautiful thoughts! I know what I like too even though I can't describe it at all. I saw a tee-shirt yesterday with Abraham Lincoln riding a dinosaur. If that were described to me, I would have thought it was stupid. Instead I loved it. I'm glad I can't always predict my taste. I'd feel be too penned in. I do know that I love the mirrors that you described too. :) Thanks for responding!