As I mentioned yesterday, while I let my manuscript rest from my rounds of cutting and stitching and appending, I’ll be working on a portrait. Many times my artistic talent became my savior in school. Standing in front of my classmates to give an oral report was a guarantee that I would end up pale and sweating, with my heart beating so hard my barely audible voice sounded as choppy as the worst of cell phone connections. So, whenever possible, I opted to fulfill my “report” obligations by using paint, paper, clay, or fabric.
So, you say, thanks for the colorful childhood memory, but how does that relate to writing? Simple: I have more confidence in my editing skills than my draft writing skills.
Faces or figures have always been my favorite subjects. As children do, I began as an impressionist, but being the perfectionist that I am, I developed my talent toward photo-realism. But the hard part is already done in portraiture. I don’t have to create the faces, you see, I just interpret them.
So I sweat and shake, whimper and rant, push and pull to get that draft down, but then when I have the complete story—the face, so to speak—I can rub my hands together in joyful anticipation and start editing. I can sketch and delineate, shade and lift, I can take my Berol Turquoise 9H and polish that skin until it gleams. That’s the easy part.
That’s the fun of editing.
9 thoughts on “A portrait in words”
How wonderful that you have this talent, on top of your gift for writing. I can’t wait to see your work!
I’m working on it now. I’m definitely rusty, but I think it will come out all right. I regret that I gave Jalal curly hair, though.
You’ve become such a prolific blogger! I need to catch up on all your posts here and keep up in the future. 🙂 I think that editing and painting realistically are two talents that many would envy. I think there are a lot of people with interesting stories in their heads, but very few with the patience and skill to turn them into a polished masterpiece.
Prolific? Oh yeah, once you get me started talking, I don’t know when to shut up! I hope you’ll enjoy My Perfect Day and Sight Unseen, when you get around to them.
I too think everyone has at least one story in them, but it certainly is hard work to write it out.
I really relate to this. When I was writing fiction, I loved the editing part and had to stop myself so I could get to the end of the story. And many pieces are unfinished because I never got there.
Hey, need a volunteer?
You may soon get to edit more fiction than you bargained for, Pamela. 🙂
I love the metaphor (and I love the editing part, too). You should check out this link, it’s so cool:
Well, shoot, that would have been a perfect graphic for this post. I wish I’d seen that tutorial earlier.