Monday, March 31, 2008
10:52 – 11:00, 12:23-12:40, 12:49-55
Today I am still in the word choice chapter of The Revision Toolbox. Today I am going to focus on verbs and nouns. First of all, the textbook says that sentences are the engines of sentences so they should be strong, powerful and specific. I will look over my story and my goal is to change 5 verbs from dull, mundane ones to strong, specific words.
Came into (The world) = entered the world
Grew and matured = blossomed
Landed = obtained
Told him frankly = stated frankly
tease and taught – harass
The chapter also states that nouns are the wheels on which the engine rides, therefore, one should use specific nouns to help the sentence flow.
I will try to pick out five general nouns and replace them with more specific ones. Here goes again:
Tall = towering
I am having a problem with this one. I can’t find too many very general nouns. Even the one I replaced was a adjective.
I read this story to a friend of mine and she says that I need to add a little more description to the scenes. I will try that. . . . . . . Those additions are in the final story in green font. I only added a little bit of description to one scene. I either don’t really know how to do this or I don’t think that it needs that much more description. Please tell me as you read it, do I need more description? And Where?
Other than that, I actually think that I am pretty satisfied with my story now. The only thing that I haven’t done to it is the proofreading. I need to make sure that all of my verbs are in agreement and then I think I will be satisfied with it, at least for my purpose, which was to have a story to share with my daughter. Anyway, I will edit the verbs and then next week I think that I will work on the hat story about my Granny. I know my assignment was to work on one story, but I feel pretty done. I am going to refer back to my mentor text and see how that author handles verb tense. I know that the whole story is in the past, but the way I have arranged it (from sweeping through time, then stopping at specific instances, focusing on them then sweeping again.) I want to make sure that the sweeping and stopping are the same tense. I know in Spanish they are not, but I think in English they will be.
On August 20, 1921 a little baby girl entered the world on a small rural farm in Martha, Oklahoma. The first child of Barney and Beaulah S, she was born into a world with no televisions or computers. Her home did not have a bathroom, a telephone or even electricity. She was also born into a world where women in Oklahoma had only recently gained the right to vote. But Joyce would one day accomplish much more than what was expected of a women in her day.
As Joyce grew up she faced many difficulties. After Joyce’s family moved to Texas at age three her mother abandoned the family, so Joyce and her younger brother, Alvis, were sent to live with their grandparents. There Joyce remembers Grandma making biscuits on the wood stove and Grandpa quoting scripture. Joyce learned a lot from her grandparents, but her father would soon remarry and Joyce adjusted, once again, to a new home life.
Over time little Joyce blossomed into a beautiful young woman. Joyce met and married a handsome fellow named John. As their family began to grow with the addition of two baby girls, Alice and Barbara, John obtained a crutial job driving a Dallas city bus. In 1941 the United States entered World War II and by 1944 John was drafted into the US Army. Joyce was pregnant with their third daughter, Linda, when John was shipped off to France. Joyce then decided to drive a city bus, making her one of the first lady bus drivers in Dallas.
“Your husband must have already showed you how to drive this bus because I am amazed you caught on so fast.” Said the instructor who taught her how to maneuver the vehicle.
Driving a big bus could be challenging, as Joyce discovered one bright Spring morning when she drove the large bus out of the bus barn where the buses were stored overnight. In those days, milk was delivered to a person‘s house in glass jars by a fleet of delivery trucks. As Joyce approached an intersection one of these milk delivery trucks raced to try to make it through the intersection and he was directly in her path. Joyce tried to bring the big behemoth of a bus to a halt, but she couldn’t. As the two vehicles collided, glass milk bottles crashed onto the pavement and a beautiful white river of milk flowed down the street.
Another time, on a chilly Autumn day amid towering buildings Joyce made the rounds of her bus route in the dusty downtown of Dallas. At a designated stop a scruffy old man began to ascend the stairs of the bus. Looking up, he saw that the bus driver was a woman and he abruptly stopped, not quite on, not quite off. Moments passed. He stood on the stairs and continued to stare at the rare lady bus driver.
“Either get on or off of the bus.” Joyce stated frankly. The rumpled man continued to just look at her from the bus’s stairwell, not moving an inch.
“I have to close the bus doors, sir. You need to find a seat.” Joyce informed him.
The disheveled man still did not move.
While he stood frozen, Joyce explained, “The bus has to continue the route. You can’t hold it up any longer, sir.”
Finally, as her words had not effect Joyce stood up from the big driver’s seat and, holding onto the shiny metal support bars of the bus, she abruptly put her foot against his chest and pushed him off of the bus. Then, she casually returned to her seat and finished the route. She had a schedule to keep and nothing would stop her from doing her work.
After John returned home from the war they both operated city buses but they eventually changed jobs to driving dump trucks instead. One cold grey morning, Joyce drove just outside of Dallas to Copelle, a small town with a train depot, where carefully, without tipping the truck over, she backed her truck onto a small platform that overhung the boxcars down below. Although this task was difficult, Joyce was not afraid to do this because she knew that she was very skilled. After Joyce finished dumping her truck she parked her vehicle and stood by the coffee stand with the other drivers, all men. A bearded guy, wearing a flannel shirt and overalls turned to the group.
“That the platform is too narrow for my truck. I will have to go somewhere else to dump my load. It’s a shame I drove all the way out here for nothing.” He said.
“I can do it.” Joyce found her self saying aloud. She knew she would be able to steer his truck onto the skinny platform.
“You? A woman? You think you can drive my big truck onto that narrow platform? It can’t be done and you’ll make a fool of yourself if you try.” The man answered.
“Then I’ll show you and we’ll see who’s the fool.” Joyce retorted and before the man could answer she jumped into his truck and began to carefully guide it where it had never gone before. All the men stared.
“It can’t be done. And you‘ll pay for my truck when you mess it up!” The bearded doubter yelled after her.
But Joyce showed him it could. She skillfully backed it up with only a few small inches of leaway on each side of the tires. She dumped the load. All of the men stood in utter disbelief, mouths gaping open. But after the men shook their surprise, they began to harass the bearded guy who doubted it could be done. Joyce jumped out of the truck and glided back to the group, triumphant. From then on no one doubted what a Joyce could accomplish.
In 1953 John and Joyce decided to go into business for themselves. They bought two green dumps trucks of their own and started a business called J. L. D*** Asphalt and Paving. Joyce ran the business by collecting money and doing the paperwork while John and their employees paved airplane runways, driveways and roads, built bomb shelters, put in swimming pools and much more. The business would expand and they added five red trucks. Their family would also expand. The whole time Joyce was running this business she had three more children, two boys and a girl.
Side note/deleted portion of story:
One day while roller skating with her friend she met a handsome and charming fellow named John. John was a wonderful guy, but he was sometimes tricky. The day she met him he pretended he didn’t know how to roller skate. All the girls crowded around him to show him how to skate, but soon he laughed and skated away showing that he had known how to skate the whole time.