Posted in author's life, blogs, Health, the writer's life, writing

A Writer’s Hands

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Hands

Have you ever noticed those photos of hands that some people use for blog headers or advertising? You may have seen an ad for an editing service or a proofreading business that shows a pair of hands on a keyboard. Anyone who sees the ad would likely be convinced the company knows how to edit. The text in the ad would explain about the service. Schools many times use hands in their ads or on their website. A photo of hands on a keyboard or a hand holding a pen are common. Sometimes all you see are the fingers on the keyboard, not the whole hand. I could expand on types of ads, but I will stick to those writing-related.

Learn to type, Learn penmanship, learn cursive!

The hands are usually young hands with manicured nails polished in pretty colors. Some wear jewelry to show their individuality, whether tastefully conservative, artistic, boho, glittering jewels or antique. The hands you see typing or using a pen to write in a notebook can be neatly summed up into one category. Color. The hands are usually White.

One of the images often seen shows a woman typing on a laptop as she works at her favorite coffee shop. Another image marketers use features a young girl sitting cross-legged on her bedroom floor, writing in her journal with purple ink pen or pink gel pen, whatever they use these days. The girl writes by hand in cursive, sometimes for the world to see, or other times for her eyes only. But the hands are usually White.

The setting can vary from a library, a classroom, a woman writing on a park bench, or a young girl at the beach. The girl is spread out on a blanket typing on the laptop she brought from home. She’s writing a novel, or a short story, a poem. Slowly, no hurry, yet her hands stay busy. They are tan from her days at the beach, but they are White.

Busy moms are a common theme in advertisements. Moms who write at the kitchen table while their young child plays happily on the floor; Moms writing at the bookstore cafe while their daughter or son searches the shelves; or Moms sitting on the sofa, writing on a tablet, the coffee table serving as a desk. A bassinet over in the corner represents Moms who write while their baby naps. One Mom’s hands busily type the article she’s submitting to a magazine today. Her hands, all the Moms’ hands, are White.

You may come across a photo of an older woman writing her first book or her tenth, maybe a letter to her grandchildren, or she’s recording her memoirs which she plans to publish one day. Advertisements with women taking classes at the Community Center are common. Ads that promote self-improvement and a better life use strong language and large fonts.

Start A Blog! Start Your Online Business Today! Go Back To College!

Of course, hands are prominent in the photos. These are directed at retirees, empty-nesters, or anyone at a quieter time of life, possibly unemployed. A gray-haired woman sits at her desk with a blank notebook in front of her. She gazes out the window while holding a new pen she bought for her first day as a writer. What is she thinking about? The blank paper represents so many chances to begin putting her thoughts down on the page. The hands that hold the pen are White.

This post isn’t meant to be a thesis on race, inequality or poverty, although those are important topics. In my opinion, the advertising world is getting better but they have a long way to go in selecting models to represent products and services. All these examples are stereotypes, someone’s preconceived notion of what a writer looks like. Maybe it’s just a habit. Those are the types of hands and the color that’s always been used. 

I just wanted to analyze the images of hands I see so often and explore my observations. Why do I notice the color of these hands? Why does the subject of hands pop into my mind when I see these types of ads or images? Why is this topic relevant enough for me to write about in a blog? What do hands mean to me? The characters I write about, not all, are white. Like me. I’ll try to go beyond color. 

I’ve taken several art classes. I love to draw and paint. A teacher once said that hands are the most difficult part of the body to draw accurately and I believe it. The hands on my drawing page looked nothing like the model’s hands!

Children have an easier time with art and writing because they don’t censor themselves. If they feel like using a pink crayon, a blue one or a white crayon, they just do it without thinking or debating. Color plays no role in their life. Color just IS.

Maybe I notice the color of hands because I’m a writer. I notice  people who later become inspiration in my stories. Voices, mannerisms, facial expressions, hair, eyes-these have given me inspiration to base a character on or to deepen that character’s personality. I think it’s also difficult to write about hands. I don’t want to only write “He reached out with his hand” or “She folded her hands together.” I admire writers who describe people and their actions with originality, who go beyond the usual.

Ten years ago, I broke my wrist when I fell. It was my fault because I was standing on the toilet seat to reach the top of a cabinet so I could dust up there. Who was going to inspect anyway? The seat was down but it slid, then I fell, hitting my head many times. I can still remember the sound of my right hand smacking the wooden cabinet over and over again like I was doing it on purpose. The surgeon placed eight screws and two titanium plates in my wrist. During the six weeks I wore the cast, I learned to do everything with my left hand. Things I used to do so easily such as brushing my teeth, combing my hair, and showering were difficult. Holding a fork was impossible so I ate with a spoon. I never realized how many times I used my hands until I tried to drink my morning coffee and dropped the cup on the floor.

I was so worried that I would never be able to write with my right hand again although my left did an okay job scribbling. Typing with the fingers of my left hand was better. At least people would be able to read whatever I wrote. My physical therapist probably thought I was too concerned with being able to write instead of daily activities of living that a normal person needs.

I’m not normal. I’m a writer, and the ability to write is something I’ve always loved. If I couldn’t write, it would make me feel hopeless. Sure, I could speak into a microphone and let the computer type my book. But that wouldn’t be fun. I wrote on my blog about things a writer does and talking to a computer wasn’t one of them. Maybe I should update that post. https://bookplaces.blog/what-does-a-writer-do/

My wrist healed and it works the same as ever thanks to God and my talented surgeon. The scar isn’t ugly. I see the scar every day when I reach for my coffee cup, when I brush my hair or put lotion on my hands and of course, when I write.

Posted in Christmas Novels, Foodie Romance Novels, Holiday Books, Reviews, Romance novels, Romantic Comedy

Review of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar by Isabella May

Isabella May’s novel, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bar, is a fantastic story with quirky characters, a collection of Christmas food treats such as gingerbread men, frosted reindeer, and decadent hot cocoa made with exotic flavors and spices. There’s a bit of mystery and unanswered questions to keep you interested until the end. Will Zara admit Bruno into her heart? What did Aunt Sheba leave to her heirs in her will? Will River and Alice stay together? The reader will hang on to the little subplots that make stories on their own.

Plenty of heat and romantic tension builds throughout the story. The little catering van with the troop of characters traveling from villages and small towns in England is a perfect backdrop for this novel. I loved the people the author wrote into the novel-chefs, cooks, musicians, bartenders, bakers, and talent show entertainers. It all blends into a romantic suspenseful ending that you won’t forget.

Isabella May’s writing is new to me and now she has a new fan. I plan to read all of her books!

Posted in blogs, Catholics, Faith, family, healings, Health, Jesus, Pilgrims, RELIGION, Saints, The Cross

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe

To those who say Mary is not important.  Mary is certainly important because she is Jesus’ mother. They give that old, tired argument without bothering to investigate whether it’s true or false. Catholics honor Mary. We do not worship her. We worship God. Jesus said as he was dying on the Cross “Behold your Mother.” John 19: 26-27. He said that for all of us! Here’s a reply I made to a friend from my church back in Indiana after she shared this image.


 

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son”, and to the disciple, “Here is your Mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.

 

Suzin, we have visited Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico City twice. It was amazing. There are three churches-the 1st built on the hill of Tepayac soon after Mary appeared to Juan Diego; the 2nd farther down which was built in the 1600s, and the modern one built in the 1950s. The modern church is where the Tilma is kept. The Tilma is the cloak of Juan Diego’s with the image of Mary. When Juan Diego went to the bishop as Mary requested him, the beautiful image appeared where previously it had been Juan Diego’s peasant covering (serape or cape he wore at night.) Roses fell out of his tilma, real roses. Mary’s image remains on that Tilma to this day! I’ve observed it with my own eyes.


One beautiful thing was when we drove there from our town which is about 600 miles from Mexico City. You could see thousands of pilgrims walking from all over Mexico in groups while singing and praying the rosary. People in towns along the highway set up free food and drink stations, sometimes letting the pilgrims rest awhile. Doctors and nurses follow the procession ready to give aid if needed. Signs say “Careful! Pilgrims Ahead!” Semi drivers flash their lights, signaling caution to vehicles, warning drivers to slow down. And so you follow.

Some people push their disabled family or friends in wheelchairs. Some on hospital beds. I watched a man walk on crutches because he had only one leg. A children’s confirmation class, girls in white dresses, boys in white shirts with ties walk behind their teacher. A soccer team. A small group of eldery nuns. Old people, young, mothers carrying babies, fathers, pregnant women, and the pilgrims who crawl on their knees!!!!!

They are all making a journey, traveling to visit with their Mother. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray For Us! 🙏🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺