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JPC Allen Writes

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Father’s Day

Writing Tip — Gifts for Father’s Day

stars-1697416_1280Father’s Day is less than two weeks away. If you want to give a gift of writing, like I described in my post for Mother’s Day, now is the time to start working on it

One thing I didn’t include in my Mother’s Day post was writing down humorous stories involving the person you want to give the story to. In my post on Christmas disasters, I described writing down holiday mishaps that have passed into family legend. I was reminded how meaningful these stories are when my sister, our kids, and my parents got together for an early Father’s Day party.

We asked the kids to think of stories involving their grandfather or just what they liked about him. Two of the grandkids actually took the trouble to write down what they thought. The sharing of a few stories led to other stories, which entertained the kids as much as my dad, and the kids weren’t even alive to participate in most of them.

So if you lived through a humorous incident or a comic adventure with a particular male relative, write it down. Not only will the person you give it to appreciate it, but it preserves family history for the next generation.

correcting-1870721_1280Don’t forget to edit!

I wrote this in my Mother’s Dat post, but it bears repeating: never give a first-draft as a gift. Always edit it. Write your piece and then got back over it. If no changes come to mind, leave it a day or two. I am often surprised how many ways I can improve a piece if I take a break from working with it.

Writing Tip — Writing in Time — June

class-1986501_1280More than January, I feel like June is the start of new things, the month of great possibilities. With the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation, the month signals throwing off our normal routines and preparing ourselves for something new.

June seems perfect for starting an adventure story, especially if your main character is a kid or a teen. The freedom from school seems to call for a story where something radically different or exciting happens to the main character. You can have the story take place over a summer, wrapping up before school starts and normal life takes over again.

one-hundred-days-baby-1616112_1280Father’s Day is in June.  It can be a setting for exploring male relationships within a family. Like I wrote in May for Mother’s Day, you can write a story, only set on Father’s Day over a number years, to show how the male characters change.

This year the summer solstice is on June 21. Many traditions are associated with this solar event, making it a perfect time for a story of speculative fiction or historical fiction. In the little bit of research I did, I read in The Summer Solstice by Ellen Jackson that the Chumash of California and the Anasazi of New Mexico created ways to mark the sun on the solstice. She also tells an abbreviated version of a solstice story involving Maui, “a mythological hero of Polynesia.”

summer-solstice-1474745_1280According to Farmer’s Almanacthe new year in ancient Egypt began on this day because the Nile started rising. Europe had many traditions to celebrate the day, the best known being the one immortalized by Shakespeare in a Midsummer Night’s Dream: fairies were out and about at this time.

With the coming of Christianity to Europe, the pagan celebrations were given new meaning because now they honored John the Baptist, St. John’s Day, on June 24.  Still superstitions persisted.  In The Folklore of American Holildaysif girls in North Carolina “pare an apple round and round without a break in the peeling and throw the peel over the left shoulder, it will form the initial or initials of your future husband.” On June 23, Midsummer’s Eve, in England “great bonfires were built” in which “people threw herbs, gathered by moonlight, as charms against witchcraft.”

June has such wonderful possibilities as a setting.  Let the adventures begin!

 

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