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.


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7 responses to “EPIPHANY

  1. Steve Carples

    Now, this is good writing. You shared a very meaningful experience in your life, and this divulged a great deal about your character. No 2×4, just straight, heartfelt sentiment! I think your writing coach would concur. And, MAZAL TOV again on your new granddaughter.


  2. kohlrogge@comcast.net

    Thanks for the cool update.



    We haven’t talked since the baby was born. All my best. Sounds like all is good. See you soon.


    Sent from my iPad


  4. Nice post, Mark. I agree with Steve–your post was evocative, simple, moving. It zoomed me back to the births of my own grandchildren and those early hours and days. Your remark about using a scene to develop character was very helpful–not to mention witty!


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