Sarah R. Callender

Homework

In Writing on May 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Dear Readers,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news (just as I hate to be the wearer of bad shoes) BUT this blog comes with a homework assignment. For you.

As some of you know, my novel is with my agent, Rebecca, perhaps going to Fat Camp . . . probably getting Botox injections. . . . definitely spending a few afternoons with a fashion consultant before Rebecca tries to sell it to a publisher. It is a long process. I used to wonder why so many writers were mild-to-moderately nutters. Now I know.

Meanwhile, while I (try to) wait ever so patiently, I have been cleaning our garage, sorting through Buddy’s and Sweetie’s closets, plucking my chin whisker,  purchasing books like String Theory for Dummies and When It Gets Dark: an Enlightened Reflection on Life with Alzheimer’s (apparently one of the narrators of my next novel is a ten-year-old physics nut; his grandfather, who seems to want to co-narrate, has Alzheimer’s). In between feeling lame that I can’t understand a Dummies book AND feeling like I most certainly have early-onset Alzheimer’s, I have also been thinking about doing a book trailer for my book.

Which is where YOU and your HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT come in.

My friend Janna and my other friend, Midge (along with her husband John), have great book trailers. They also have fabulous, published books . . .

. . . which I do not.

BUT! As someone who was nutters enough to spend so long writing one book, I am also nutters enough to believe, suspect, hope, pray that it will get published. At which point, yes, I will need a book trailer.

The skinny nutshell of my novel:

Between the Sun and the Oranges is narrated by thirteen-year-old Lucy Bains, a precocious and socially awkward high school freshman. When Lucy is not working on creating the mathematical equation that will help her understand Love, or honing her original mime skits such as Climbing Mt. Everest! and Chased by My Own Shadow!, she focuses on her most daunting task: earning the affection of her emotionally distant mother.

And so on and so forth.

But here’s my plan. Because I don’t think I can get this guy to just talk about the plot of my book, I think it would be cool to have a book trailer that includes a bunch of LOVE EQUATIONS and LOVE THEORIES and LOVE DEFINITIONS.

Please? Will you help me? Some of you are writers, other of you are science and engineering and math people. There’s a lovely array of artists and musicians and Moms and teachers. A few of you are probably cats, so yes, you’ll bring an interesting perspective to the Love table. Some of you are my parents (Hi, Mom and Dad), and others are former students who, if you managed to sneak through my class without actually reading any novels OR if you perhaps didn’t work to your potential (and you know I know who you are), this is a good time to redeem yourself.

I don’t care if you’re not a “creative person” or a “smart-in-that-way” kind of person. That’s a load of carp. Everyone’s creative. Quit your whining and do the darn assignment.

Some of you recall that I floated this assignment a while back, via Facebook, and got some great ideas. Thank you! You are excused from this assignment.

For those of you who still need to complete the assignment, here are some suggestions. You might come up with a poem/limerick (as the lovely Audrey R. did). You might do what my teacher-friend, Laura, did when she asked her eighth graders to do her homework for her. Those kids had brilliant theories. You can create some sort of math or science equation, an acrostic poem, a visual symbol, a haiku, the name of a new Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor . . . anything that you think helps define, explain, elucidate, measure, calculate, clarify LOVE.

Feel free to ask your kids or your grandmother. The young and the no-longer-so-young are great, untapped wells of wisdom. Ask your teacher or your rabbi or your gardener. The more the merrier, the more the richer.

If you want to post your comment in a private way,Friend me on Facebook and send me a private message. Need some inspiration? Read this.

Many thanks to you all. I know I say this often, but it means so much to know you are reading.

Love, sarah

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  1. Wow, I can’t believe I’m the first to respond over here. I guess homework is really something to be avoided. 😉 Writing has always been a weakness of mine. I’m more of a scientific/mathematical thinker. However, I will share what I think love is…Love is sharing a sunny day. This was from my kindergarten homework while living in Hawaii. I hope this isn’t considered cheating! 😉

    • Thanks, Midori! Not cheating at all. I really appreciate your feedback . . . a few others have commented via FB, but yes, I knew responses would not come fast and easy. 🙂

      • Now I can’t stop thinking about how I would explain, define, clarify, measure, calculate, love. Love can be complicated, but it can also be so simple. I have a picture in mind, but not sure how I would weave it all together. Hmmmm…

      • Yes! This is why I adore you, Midori! No rush on this. I would LOVE to see whatever you come up with. And yes, of course it could be a photograph.

  2. oh dear i believe you have stumped the audience with this one!

  3. I can’t really help with the homework assignment, but I can help with string theory. Um, that being that string cheese squared = consant in tasteless. But solve for salty tasteless = oddly comforting (factoring in childhood memory).
    This is a brilliant idea btw to get going on your book trailer. In fact, I think I’ll get going on my trailer before I write my book.

    • Ha! Thanks for the laugh, Jennifer. But you don’t get a free pass just for being funny . . . and clever . . . ask Sam and Rick; I bet one of them (or both) would have a very good response.

  4. Ok we are working on it!!

  5. Love is sitting on the porch with my husband in silence listening to birds and the sound of a train in the distance and not wanting to be anywhere else.
    Love IS NOT arguing as we have done much too often the first 56 years of our lives.
    Love is God. He showed His extreme love for each one of us when He died on the cross for our sins. His love needs to be received before it’s ours. This may be true of all love!! It could be that all love needs to be received before it’s really ours.
    The Bible describes love in 1st Corinthians 13. Love is greater than faith or hope.
    Love IS NOT about what we do or don’t do, love just is.
    Love is what brought my mother and father together seventy four years ago. The end result of that love was me.

  6. While reading your description, I thought of a girl braving the windstorms of Mount Everest, followed by a completely silent screenshot of the same girl sitting in the living room with her mother.

    Love comes through service. We love those we serve, which is why I love my kids so much. If you don’t sacrifice and give for those you love, then it’s not really love, IMHO. That sounds more like you’re using the person. Even giving your time and thoughts and prayers is a form of love.

    Also, the word love is sometimes synonymous with charity.

    Service over time = increased love

    • Oh, this is so great, Emily. Thanks so very much for sharing this. I love what you say about the connection between love and service . . . so true! In this, our “find true love” society, it’s also so easy to forget that connection between love and service. I so appreciate this!

  7. I’m late to the game 🙂 What about a “periodic table” that defines each element of love… giving in a value. And when the elements are combined they form compounds that make up complex relationships that bind us all, change the makeup of our being and on a macro level… affect the universe. By the way… I’m in awe of your genius. Can’t wait to buy the book. Lots of love to you.

    • Should be giving “it” a value. See… that’s why I’m not a writer!

    • LOVE this! In fact, the narrator of the book has decided that of all the elements, her mother is most like Oxygen, O2. Combustible but absolutely necessary. Your addition would fit in perfectly. Thanks so much! Hugs to you and your gorgeous family too.

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