Foreeeee!

By: Peter

Generally, this is what I yell after I have hit a really bad golf shot. Then I turn to my playing partners and announce that I am taking a Mulligan (or do-over). Now if you look this up in the official PGA “Professional Golfer’s Association” rules book you won’t find it listed. But it is surely as much a part of golf as the “foot wedge” (a whole other story).

But I think it aptly applies to Lesson Five. After all my struggles with Lesson Four, I was really looking forward to Lesson Five. “Yes, I know Lesson Five isn’t that hard”. Willow just doesn’t always understand that it sometimes takes more than just creativity to complete a Lesson – it also takes organization, analysis, logical thought processes.

“And I am not just a sterile robot blindly following orders” I yell back at her accusation. And I have Lesson Five to prove it.

I read the Lesson from Holly, went through the Technique document she provides, looked at the examples, and even read some of the Q&A with previous students. Then I go on to totally blow the assignment. The Lesson consisted of two different Tools. One of them I thought I grasped pretty easily and went crazy with it. The issue was that I wasn’t supposed to go crazy.

“If you say one more time that my statement is redundant, I’ll…I’ll. Well you know I’ll do something.” Willow just smirks at my pitiful defense and goes back to reading the Hunger Games. I glare and don’t know when to shut my mouth “And quit going tsk tsk” my killer retort. The impact as fruitless as ever.

She makes it very hard for me to concentrate at times; which I guess for a Muse isn’t a bad thing. It helps me get rid of some of the junk that gathers as I am trying to “over concentrate” and the clarity let’s my creativity take over.

Regardless, the assignment was to do just a little with this new Tool to see how it works so it can be used in the future. Instead I tried to force it too much (the IE influence) and didn’t really use it as well as I could have. The other Tool I had a lot of trouble figuring out.

I have a general idea on the second Tool, but still don’t totally get it. I think I need a lot more time to play with it to get a handle on it. After bouncing ideas off of other writers in our forum I came to the conclusion that I had gotten what I was going to get out of the Lesson for now and that I should move on to Lesson Six.

“What’s this?”. I look at the slip of paper Willow put on the keyboard. It says “QUITTER” and then underneath that is written “(OVER)” so naturally I turn the paper over and in REALLY big letters it says “Tsk, Tsk!“. In a meaningless gesture I crumple up the paper and throw it at her. She just leans forward a little as the paper sails past her head. Then totally ignoring me she licks her index finger and nonchalantly flips the page in her book.

If she wasn’t critical to my story…grrrrrrr!

But I am not really quitting, I still plan to play with both of these Tools as I work on future Lessons. Even though I have not mastered them, I can see the great value in using both of them as I develop my story.

Regardless of what Miss Thinks She Knows Everything says I am not quitting. I am told, by other writers, that as I work on some of the upcoming Lessons I will have the opportunity to revisit these two Tools (essentially get a “do-over”). So let’s just say I am taking a Mulligan on Lesson Five. So onward I go — look out Lesson Six. Still looking forward to Lesson Nine where I actually start writing my story :-)

2 Responses to “Foreeeee!”

  1. Kirsten says:

    It helps me to remember that the course is called How to Think ‘Sideways.’ Sometimes the learning process isn’t altogether linear, as I can see that you’re discovering for yourself. :)
    I know the tool you speak of, and it stumped me too. But I think you’ll find that as you put your story together it will come in handy when you’re defining different aspects of your characters and world. Tuck it in the toolbox, and keep writing. You’re doing great!
    BTW, I’m reading Hunger Games myself–finally. I can’t put it down!

  2. Peter says:

    Thanks for that reminder Kirsten. When you get down into the details of a Lesson, and try to get it just right, it is sometimes easy to forget the point of the HTTS course. That it is for me and that not everything is going to work out exactly as it does for others who have taken the course or even Holly herself. Taking each Lesson’s concepts and molding them to my own individual personality and talents is phenomenally helpful in getting me to understand how to not just become a writer but to potentially create a successful career in writing. And Willow loves the Hunger Games — almost through the series (easy read). Though a bit gruesome at times and your heart just pours out for some of the characters. An author with evidently good writing skills.

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