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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wre-vise, Wre-write, Wednesday: emotions

Writing techniques that help convey feelings:
  • Describe how your body reacts to emotions
  • Show how feelings translate into behavior
  • Dramatize the emotion of the moment by capturing it in a scene--describe it like a movie.

I rewrote my story from Monday--it hardly sounds like the same story. I wanted to share the emotion--giddy to begin, exasperation with the prep work, dejection at the rain, and complete despair with the mortar, but slowly coming out of it.

I hopped out of bed and flew through the morning routine, singing my way around. Finally TODAY I was to start putting the rock on the house. Before I knew it I was on the porch roof doing the prep work. Sweating, I wrestled with the long sheets of black tar paper and unruly chicken wire. I was as determined to finish quickly (and get to the rock) as the chicken-wire was determined to stay in a curled up roll. It took most of the morning to prep for the upper level rock—frustrating, but now it was FINALLY time to put the rock on! I loaded the tractor bucket with an assortment of rock sizes and colors and maneuvered it into place. I mixed my first batch of cement to attach the rocks and crawled out onto the porch to begin—just as it began to rain. Determined, I started anyway—it wasn’t raining THAT hard. I was working on the south side of the upper level portion—right under the valley of the front roof. Before I’d finished even three rocks, the water was pouring down on me. Dejected I gathered my tools and the cement and crawled back inside to wait out the rain. After a couple of hours the sun came out. I thought arranging my round rocks would be simple—compared to the Welker’s square rocks I’d helped with to prepare—but it was a little difficult to find rocks to fit. Nevertheless, I was excited as I quickly finished the south side—about 5 square feet. It looked so awesome! Now for the mortar. I had Dave’s special tools, but I just couldn’t get the sticky cement to stay in place! I worked near the top—but it didn’t look any better. I worked near the bottom—still no improvement. My cement was drying fast and it was looking really crappy! I wanted so badly for my mortar to be smooth, but I just couldn’t make it look right. All I could think about was the 1100 more square feet of rock that was all going to be a mess. The more I messed with it, the worse it looked—there were gaps around the rocks & the cement was far from smooth. I sat in my still damp clothes and cried. I called Dave (my husband) who called Dave (my contractor) who didn’t have time to do it—nor did we have the money to pay him. But he did offer to teach me AGAIN. I had dried my tears and was attaching rocks to the front of the house when he had time to come teach me. It made a lot more sense as we worked on it together and I quickly caught on to how to seal the concrete to the edges of each rock and then smooth everything out. My spirits soared as the amount of “done” grew. Afterschool Dad came to help. I was working up high, with room on the ladder for only 2 or 3 rocks. That meant I was traversing the ladder every couple of minutes to get more rocks. Having him hand me rocks in the right color and shape speeded the process drastically. After a while we switched places.
Then next morning I didn’t hop out of bed: I was still excited about the rock, but my arms felt as if they’d fall off. Too much lifting 50 lb bags of mortar mix, and 35 lb buckets of cement, but mostly too much lifting 5 lb rocks above my head. Three days later at 10 pm, we’d finished the upper floor portion so the porch could be roofed. But putting the rock on had just barely begun…

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