Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Baa Baa Ho Dee Ha?

Our boys are a little bit left of centre. The multi colored crayons in the box of life. I don't know where they get it from...
Tonight at the dinner table our toddler shared his version of Baa Baa Black Sheep. In Cyrus' version there are no sheep mentioned whatsoever. Whether these sheep produce black wool or not, we can't say for sure. Cyrus leaves that part out. It's extra detail. Apparently. We are also unsure if the sheep visit the master the dame or the little boy down the lane. These details are also omitted. What we can confirm is that these sheep sing. Yep. They sing. At the top of his little off key voice Cyrus belted out, "Baa baa, Baa baa. Ho ho ho dee daa. Da da dee da, three bags ool. One da da da dee da two da da deeeeee.... " And then the song repeated.
The Baa Baa's sing a little ditty! Brilliant. Much better than producing wool for nameless masters, dames and little boys. Nasty business that wool producing. Far better to be a singin' Baa Baa.

You might wonder where I am going with this post. But I am going somewhere....

See Cyrus' song got me thinking about what I do when I'm writing and I just can't find the word I want to use. Cyrus has never been one to let words get in the way of telling a story or asking for something he wants. He invents his own language all the time. And he is quite comfortable singing Baa Baa Black Sheep minus the black and the sheep if he doesn't remember those words either.

I do the same when I write. I sing on. I keep going. I write the word, 'something' in the middle of the sentence and then highlight it so I can come back to it later. I don't want to stop the flow of several perfectly good sentences that are backing up and banging into each other behind that one stuck word. Later when I come back to these highlighted 'somethings' the word I want is sitting there twiddling its thumbs saying, 'What took you so long? I've been here for ages."

What about you? Any tricks you pull when words get stuck?
Any singing Baa Baas at your house?

PS- Matt (husband) is responsible for the creative dinner (pictured above). Yeah, I wonder where our boys get their singing Baa Baas from?

PSS- I will announce the winner of KM Weiland's book tomorrow :)


  1. I do exactly the same thing as you! I write the word "something" when the right word is hiding away and doesn't want to come out yet. Alternatively, I also leave a line where there are gaps in the sentence, so that I can literally come back and fill in the blanks later.
    Writing is actually more fun like that. There is something gloriously urgent and rebellious about writing imperfectly. :)

  2. I'm guilty of sitting there, wasting precious time, thinking about the "right" word!!!! That is SO not good! I hope this next time around I can let go and just write "something" when I am stuck!

    Your boys are Sooooo cute! :)

  3. LOL! Sometimes I do that, using caps to mark a spot. :-) Very cute about your kiddos!

  4. That is excellent advice. I too often let myself get stuck on words. I need to not do this. Especially as I prepare myself to write my rough draft very soon. I'd like to crank out the wordage, but that won't happen if I focus on getting it perfect the first time.

    Very cute story!

  5. Tira, cool :) Hey, I can't find the button to click on your posts and comment. Am I blind. I love your blog and go there all the time, but I can't leave a comment. sorry. I can't find the button...

    Sherrinda- Yes, cute boys and sooooo naughty :) Nah, they are pretty good too.

    Jess- Caps works too.

    Katie- yes, sing on girl. Let it flow :)

  6. I leave an empty underline. As you said, once those backed up sentences flow out, the word I was looking for pops right up. "I was standing in line," it says, "juggling from one foot to the other because the line was ever so long."

  7. My two-year-old sings "Happy Birthday" "Happy to you. Happy to you. Happy to Mommy. Happy to you." It's cute when he does it-- I promise.

    I definitely write gibberish sometimes when I can't find the right words. Sometimes is works to get me back on track and sometimes it doesn't. :)

  8. Your boys are cute! When I get stuck, I do something similar. Usually it's when I need a description or a filler paragraph and it's just not working. I'll put "Mary went over to the door to do something...fill in later" and then continue. Or say "put description here" and then I'll continue. And you're right, whatever it is that we couldn't think of is always back there waiting for us as if it were so simple!

  9. When I get stuck, I have a hard time moving on. I am working on that, though.

  10. Great pictures, and I really like your lead into the lost word issue. I stick the closest word I can come up with at the time - usually a boring not-so-showy one - and eventually the right one will surface.

  11. I'm a highlighted 'something' injector too. I also like specific tags like 'the guy' 'the scientist' or [insert techno babble], makes them easier to search out:)

  12. I usually put the closest word I can think of and change it later, when it comes to me. I'm afraid if I let myself use "something" as a placeholder, my whole manuscript would be a placeholder...and called Something too ;)

  13. Tabitha I must borrow you 'something' word technique! That is what is hanging me up so much lately. That one right word that I cannot find in my slushpile head and then everything after that is gone!

    Thanks so much- this really blessed me! I will need this, especially as I gear up for Nanowrimo!

    Blessings to you...

  14. Very cool "something" idea. I will be using it from now on and stop wasting so much time on the "perfect word" hunt. Many thanks for sharing your great ideas and cute pics of such darling boys.

  15. "Ba, ba" are just the best words of the whole song. It all gravitates around "ba, ba" so why care about the rest?

    And those diner plates look very appetizing. I bet my child would love her mom to be so food creative. Doesn't happen much over here.

  16. Thanks all for the comments.

    I hope the 'something' word bring peace into some writing lives :))

  17. I do that too, don't want to mess with the flow, but I use blah, blah, blah. All I have to do is go under the edit bar and put in my three B's and then I can work on coming up with just the right word.

    What cute dinner.

  18. Up until recently when I took my son to Nursery Rhymes at the Library, I thought that Baa Baa Black Sheep had a boy who lived down the DRAIN!! Oh well! Guess its not just Cyrus who makes it up as he goes along!