Although friends discussed it, you never completely understand the joy of holding a grandchild in your arms. This month the experience became reality as our youngest daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in California. Over a four week period we watched Hannah blossom. Her cheeks got bigger and her frame filled out. One of my favorite moments was to have her nestle frog-like under my chin and fall asleep on my chest. Much to our amazement we found it really does take a village as my wife and I supported the care of Hannah.
My writing became secondary since the focus was on our new grandbaby. I did get some research done and wrote down ideas on plot and characters when they popped into my exhausted brain. On the last day of our stay, I participated in an online workshop (first of eight) led by my writing coach, Alida Winternheimer. The focus of this first session was character development. There were a total of ten participants ranging from as far off as England and as close as a Minneapolis suburb.
My major take away involved how the description of a scene could give the reader insights into the nature and background of the character. I smiled to myself remembering an initial attempt when I wrote an extremely detailed explanation of a character. In the margin, next to this paragraph, Alida wrote “2×4” as her edit. When I asked her what it meant, she advised that I was hitting the reader over the head with a two by four. Hopefully, I have evolved to using more description rather than a wooden plank as my novel continues to progress.