Good Tools Clueless Werewolf

A bad workman blames his tools, so they say.  But then again, if you haven’t got the right tool for the job…

When I moved back to England twelve years ago, my remaining worldly possessions crammed into an international shipping container, I realised I was woefully short of a decent tool set.  All that ‘stuff’ got left behind with the ex.

I never thought I would be so keen to buy my first Phillips electric screwdriver, cool black storage case and everything. It came in very handy; who knew that putting together flat-pack furniture could be so therapeutic?  Although I’m sure It would have been a different story if I had struggled with a manual screwdriver.

Having the right tool for the job, so to speak, makes for the best possible productivity,  providing it’s used correctly: a hammer is great for banging nails into a wall, but not so good if you smash your thumb with it in the process.

I’m left-handed, so trying to use a potato peeler had its limitations when it was my turn for that chore growing up.   After a while, I forced myself to use it with my right hand so that by holding it at different angle, it did the job.

At first it felt awkward, but I trained myself so well that now, to this day, I would find it impossible to use a peeler with my left hand, even though I am a total leftie; hands, feet, everything.

At school,  it was a challenge to keep from smudging my writing, and I often came home with the entire side of my left hand and wrist covered in splotches of ink.

But, leftie or not, there are some great writing tools to help us along our way, including NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place throughout November.  In addition to providing some great links to bloggers who have tips and unique takes on the theme, Charli gives us this for October 28th’s flash fiction prompt:

‘In 99 words (no more, no less) include a tool in a story. How can it enhance the character, tension or meaning? It can also be a story about a tool or a character’s obsession for tools. Go where the prompt leads.’

At a heavy-duty revising juncture of her ‘Rock Creek’ WIP, Charli has invented her own writing toolkit to work with alongside her fellow writers: NaNoReViSo.

So inspired by this, I took up the challenge with her so that I too am using the month of November (and up until the middle of December) to revise, rewrite, cut, paste, chop, hammer, rip, shred, burn (whatever it takes) the first draft of my memoir into something publishable, I hope.

Three hours a day.  One hundred twenty thousand plus word count to deconstruct.  Unless I deconstruct first.

And I’ve already discovered what you who’ve gone before me already know so well, that while the first draft may be a wild animal, running free across the pages, never caring where it might roam, trying to tame the beast and rein it in through revision is another thing altogether.

Speaking of untamable beasts, I wonder what Fred is up to?  Will Ethel be able to tell her clueless, hairy husband the truth about his little problem, or does she have other ideas?  Let’s find out in the next 99 word flash fiction installment:

Panther - The Exmoor Beast at Exmoor Zoo. Hand raised, this beauty now lives at the zoo. He looks like Eddie's very large uncle...except he would make mincemeat out of his smaller nephew... (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

The Exmoor Beast at Exmoor Zoo. Hand raised, this magnificent panther now lives at the zoo. He looks like Eddie’s very large uncle…except he would make mincemeat out of his smaller nephew…     (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

 

To Trap A Werewolf

Full moon rising, but Ethel had a plan.

“Rabbit pie tonight Luv?” Fred yawned, scratching at his chest

“No, it ain’t…come with me …”

Fred gawped at the large cage in the garage.

“What that’s for then?”

“That beast thingy, wot everyone’s muttering on about, I built it, to catch ‘im, get the reward like.”

Moonlight beamed.

“Gawd, I left the toolbox inside, get it for me will yer?”

Fred poked his fangs, ripped his clothes off and bolted.

“Oi, get back ‘ere or I’ll ‘ave yer guts fer garters!” screeched Ethel, with only a distant howl in reply.

*******

 Wishing everyone taking part in NaNoWriMo and other projects the very best.
As Charli will be the first to tell us: ‘We’ve got this!’

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Writing Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Good Tools Clueless Werewolf

  1. Such a cool post, Sherri. I love how you tied your tools with the NaNoWriMo experience. Hope you have a productive, successful writing period.

    Oh, Fred and Ethel are back. What fun! I really enjoyed your little story. 🙂

    Like

  2. Heyjude says:

    I love the way you create a link between a factual tale of your life and your fiction. Well I hope Fred is fiction! Good luck with the revision and editing Sherri, probably harder than the initial draft as now you have to decide what to leave out or change as well as checking grammar and punctuation and spelling. A few hours a day sounds about right so you don’t burn out. Good luck my friend and I hope your summerhouse is heated!

    Like

  3. Oh, the “new” Fred and Ethel. Only you could do this, Sherri! 😉
    I love the new and improved NaNoReViSo plan as well. I’d reached a similar conclusion and given myself until mid-December to finish two long-waiting short stories, and also to keep chugging along on a new novella that’s been keeping me awake at night. For me, this makes much better sense than committing to the regular NaNoWriMo.
    I have three friends who signed up for it this year, and already, on Day 3, one has dropped out; one of the others swears she’ll make the deadline this time even if she has to pay her 4-year-old granddaughter to write some of the pages in crayon. 🙂
    Ah, the writing life…

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…I wonder how much longer I can keep going with Fred and Ethel and maybe I should run a separate blog for them 😀 Thank you so much Marylin for your wonderful ongoing support, and I’m so glad you have also set yourself goals for your two short stories and novella. I feel good with this set-up, and it’s best to go with what works for us individually. I’ve never done NaNoWriMo, having never written a novel, but I do so admire those who are attempting it, or who have done so in the past, but I’m sorry about your friends who dropped out (perhaps she can find a different way that works for her) and I did have to laugh about your other friend’s plan to rope in her granddaughter! Love it. The writing life indeed 😉 And I’ll be thinking of you as you write on.. 🙂

      Like

  4. What a relief, the rabbit was spared…at least for now, 🙂 You know me, I’m a big fan of NaNoWriMo. I’m also using the month to revive my 2012 NaNo project into a proposal for my editor. NaNoWriMo is all about disciple. If you can commit to writing 1667 words every day, even if it’s crud, you’ll meet the challenge. For me, it’s like a fast start to a draft. Good luck with your revisions!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yep…again and Fred needs to get over it 🙂 That’s great advice for NaNoWriMo Jill, you have that discipline for sure and as you say, it is about getting it all down no matter what. I’m thinking of you as you write your proposal and hope it’s going well, and thank you so much for your wonderful ongoing support and encouragement. Keep cracking that whip (I got chapter one cracked, after four revisions. Woo hoo!!!) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m enjoying Fred and Ethel more and more!

    Like

  6. Loved the trap Ethel set. I think underneath it all Fred obviously had his own suspicions or else he was a man that hated being given tool tasks to do and it was off to the pub for him.
    Good luck with your NaNoReviso. I’ll be keeping up with your progress. I wrote so many versions of my manuscripts. Make sure you keep a copy of the original and then each full version after that. Sometimes you find what you wrote in one of the earlier revisions you want to go back to. I looked at starting point, scene, dialogue, body and active /vs passive voice, uneccessary story, unnecessary words, better words……….. How are you approaching yours? 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…love it! I think Fred would have fallen for it, but certainly not to do any tool tasks, he would definitely much rather be down the pub 😀 Thank you so much Irene for your great advice and wonderful support, I need it!! I have had a habit in the past of deleting entire chapters in revising and then regretting it, so now I do just what you suggest by keeping a copy of the original at all times. After four revisions, I now have my first two chapters. I really agonised over it, but until I could get that right, I wasn’t able to let the rest follow on. Scene and dialogue is a biggy isn’t it? As for all the other ‘stuff’, yes, yes and more yes! I’ll keep you posted 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Tom Merriman says:

    I very nearly signed up to NaNoWriMo this year, Sherri, and then thought to myself that if I’m going to do it (write a novel), I should just do it…so didn’t sign up. I have the ‘urge’ to write… I merely need to rearrange the time to do so… I will. I’ve been promising myself that for a while now…
    Fred’s a clever werewolf… he wouldn’t fall for such an obvious trap. Would he? 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      That’s the thing Tom, always the time. I really hope you get to that point when it’s right for you, so you can sit down and type that first sentence…and the next…. Haha…well Fred isn’t one to fall for a trap if he thinks he can get out of something…and it was a full moon..again 😉

      Like

  8. restlessjo says:

    Sounds like a great idea to use Nanowotsit to help you revise, Sherri. You get the bonus of moral support along the way. Good luck, hon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Luanne says:

    I love that you’re going to use the month for your memoir!! What a great idea to take the “prompt” and twist it. And as for Fred and Ethel I have prickling on my arms and back . . . .

    Like

  10. Marlene says:

    Good luck with the revising! I know you’re up to the challenge!

    And it appears that Ethel is no match for Fred. I wonder what they’ll get up to next?

    Like

  11. Dang it, Dan! That Fred was too cagey by far!

    Like

  12. Charli Mills says:

    Revision is almost as hairy of a beast as Fred! I feel like Ethyl, trying to cage it… 😀 Keep at it, keep polishing, keep on!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yep, that’s a great analogy Charli, you might think I meant it subliminally! 😀 I hope you’ve managed to tame the beast a little today. I’ve roped in that first and second chapter at last but that dough is still mighty sticky 😉 Thanks so much Charli for your inspiration and wonderful support 🙂

      Like

  13. Pingback: Tool Time « Carrot Ranch Communications

  14. Pfftt, I never even knew you could get electronic screwdrivers!! Shows how much I know xD Ah yess, there is much woe for lefties, so I hear. Scissors, for one. I remember when I was in Middle School, we had this stupid seating, which was all very well I suppose… But I was sat in between two people on this long desk. The person to my left was right-handed. The person to my right was left-handed. Which meant I had elbows jabbing into me and my work from both sides, and I was always so squished and frustrated. Hehe, it’s funny what you remember!

    Like

  15. jennypellett says:

    Yep, I’m a leftie too. I’ve never mastered a potato peeler so respect to you on that one. There are so many things for which we have to concede to the right handed world in which we live but some things – like my iron, for instance, with the cord flex coming out of the back of the iron instead of one side (the wrong side for a leftie) are invaluable. People just don’t realise. Oh I feel a rant coming on. I’ll join forces with Ethel I think…teehee😄

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh that’s great! Go lefties 😀 Now it’s funny you mention ironing, and I have often wondered why I’ve never had an iron like yours, it would make life so much easier, but as with the potato peeler, I forced myself to iron right handed even though it feels so darn awkward. I really need to do something about that…and yes, I agree, there are a lot of things we have to put up with. I think you need to do a ranting blog post about this Jenny, you will do it more than justice. And I’m sure Ethel will be delighted 🙂

      Like

  16. Haha! I’m loving these two. Another great flash.
    So true about “a bad workman blames his tools”. I blame my computer sometimes. 😉 I’m thrilled you’re NaNoReViso-ing with Charli. Do what you gotta do…rip, shred, burn…then polish and shine, lady. ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yay, so glad 😀 Oh don’t even go there with computers, I totally blame mine, especially with all the hassles of not so long ago. But that’s okay…sometimes it’s justified to blame our tools, so to speak 😀 Ahh, thanks so much Sarah…you always make me smile 🙂 Oh, I need the accountability, knowing Charli is hard at work with her revisions in Northern Idaho keeps me motivated to keep going with mine in Somerset, England. Isn’t blogging great? 🙂 ❤

      Like

  17. Amy says:

    What a clever way to tell a story, Sherri. I totally depend on those electrical tools to get some of the housework done. 🙂

    Like

  18. dgkaye says:

    Hi Sherri. It was interesting learning about your potato peeling with your right hand as a lefty. I always felt I was weird with my strange dexterities. I’m a ‘righty’ mostly, lol. I write and do all the regular things with my right hand, but when I throw a ball, it’s with my left hand only. As though that’s not weird enough, when I was younger and played the odd baseball game, I found that I could only throw AND catch with my left hand. This was not handy playing the outfield when I’d have to catch with the left, take off the glove to throw it back, lol. Needless to say, that sport was never something I excelled in. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Debby! Thanks, and yes, I so get those issues with dexterity! I would have been just like you in a baseball game with taking the glove off to throw the ball, but that must have quite a surprise for you to discover that as a rightie 🙂 I grew up playing ‘Rounders’ which is similar to your soft-ball, so I came to learn, but although I enjoyed playing it and was known to hit the odd ball and even catch one, I never excelled at either, but I don’t know what my excuse was, lol 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Seyi sandra says:

    You certainly don’t strike me as a leftie, and now you’ve mastered peeling potatoes with your right hand? That’s no mean feat! I believe left handed people are geniuses so I have no qualms reading your memoir, even the first draft would be a bestseller, judging by the way you write here, it should be great.
    Are you participating in Nanowrimo? I tried it once and didn’t finish. I even lost the story too, about 12,000 words! I was tempted this year but knew with my everything I had on my plate, I might not finish. And I must say I love your choice of words in the flash fiction, cleverly written. 🙂
    It would soon be a reality, that memoir! Then we can do the big London launch!! Take care my friend and enjoy the rest of this grey day!
    Much love to you. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I had no choice really Seyi, I just forced myself! Oh, you are so lovely with all the amazing encouragement you give me with my writing, thank you so much my friend. But trust me, my first draft would be far from a best seller! I’m not doing Nanowrimo, just my revisions. I would like to try it one year, give a novel a bash, but I do think memoir is more my thing, although I love writing flash fiction. Oh that’s such a shame you lost that many words, oh no! It is a temptation isn’t it, but then with so much else going on, sometimes it just isn’t the right time. Oh when you mention the London launch I get so excited I get tummy ache, haha 😀 I am revising and how…and what a challenge. I hope your writing is going well too! Have a wonderful weekend dear Seyi, and I hope that the rain eases off for a lovely, sunny, late autumn few days and much love right back to you 🙂 ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seyi sandra says:

        I once had a friend in high school who was a lefty. I really admired her and wondered how her handwriting was so beautiful. She told me that writing with her right hand was torture, so for you to have trained yourself to use your right hand is pretty amazing.
        I truly enjoy your writing and I understand the plight of a writer, we always want a polished, mistake free manuscript, you’ll get there!
        My writing is going on fine – that is when I remembered to write! 🙂 I have other projects that had taken precedence and I didn’t want to torture or kill any characters that could rise up from the dead again (that always happens when I’m stressed) Within the next two weeks, I’ll get back to it before the maddening Xmas rush.
        Do enjoy your weekend my friend, a sunny day would just be heavenly.
        Much love to you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        I can only do the potato peeling and ironing right handed, thanks to forcing myself, but writing right handed, no way. To think that teachers used to force kids to do that, I can’t even image how hard that would be. Ahh…thanks again Seyi, and yes, it takes a lot of work to get our manuscripts as polished as can be 🙂 I did have to laugh about you torturing or killing off characters when you’re stressed! That’s the good thing about fiction, you can have free rein, but of course it has to be within reason 😉 I hope you are soon able to get your other projects finished and back to your writing, that maddening Christmas rush is rushing towards us way too fast. Sunny days indeed…bless you dear Seyi, much love to you, lovely to chat 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Like

  20. Seyi sandra says:

    My first sentence was contradictory, I hope you know what I meant though! It always fascinates me when I see people using left hands. I believe it takes special ability to be able to do that. Blessings to you my friend! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I have too take my hat off to you not only for learning to use a potato peeler with your righthand (I’ve tried writing with my lefthand and found it impossible) but for also incorporating Charli’s prompt word into another great episode with Ethel and Fred. You had me chuckling again, Sherri. These two really do need their own TV series (just like George & Mildred). Please keep them alive 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Well I thank you very much for that Hugh, what a lovely thing to say, or should I say things! I’m so glad the ongoing Fred and Ethel story had you chuckling. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep going with them, I might have to just for you though! Oh yes, how I remember George & Mildred, and your wonderful post! Have lovely weekend, see you soon 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Sherri, amazing you!! Right handed potato peeler:) All the best on your memoir revisions too. Tisn’t an easy task, but you will be so happy with the results.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hahaha. That Fred has morphed into some kind of fearful monster, Sherri. I’m not sure that Ethel isn’t also following in his footsteps. I suppose living with someone like Fred can really affect a person. 😯 I find it fascinating to watch a left-handed person writing. Good luck with your memoir. I’m sure it will soon be ready fro the publisher. Happy weekend. xx 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      It’s going to his head Sylvia 😉 Ethel is getting more than a little frustrated. I think she just needs to tell him outright and see what happens…I wonder if Fred is a lefty? 😛 Thanks so much Sylvia for your wonderful encouragement and support, it means so much to me. A happy weekend to you too 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  24. You are not only a writer but methinks a teacher. You have such a way of expressing yourself and I admire, always, your perseverance whether in dealing with being left handed, various trials or writing. How many obstacles have you overcome my friend!!? Too many to number. As for Fred he is naughty just like Shiloh Baggins, both escapists! 🙂 Love the story and those of us who are wives haven’t we all been as frustrated at times as dear long suffering Ethel or is it just me? 😉 Please keep these coming, I am hopelessly hooked. xoxo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…what a sweet, lovely, comment from you, dear Diane 🙂 I’m not so sure about being a teacher though, I don’t think I’ve got the patience 😉 😛 Haha…Fred and Shilo Baggins would get each other into loads of trouble wouldn’t they? And yes, Ethel does put up with rather a lot…hmmmmm 😉 So glad you’re enjoying this ongoing hairy adventure…hopefully Naughty Shilo Baggins won’t get any ideas! Thank you so much my dear friend… 🙂 ❤ xoxox

      Like

  25. Norah says:

    Great post, Sherri. I really enjoyed your description of a first draft and wish you well with all the crafting you will carry out in revising it over the next few weeks. It’s going to be an amazing read. I am looking forward to it.
    Love these stories of Ethel and Fred. I thought she was going to outfox him this time. But he’s not a fox, he’s a wolf, so he was out of there in an instant. So funny! Maybe someone else will be after him for the reward, but they’ll never capture his adventures the way you do!
    Thanks for a great read, Sherri. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Norah! Your ongoing support means so much to me and helps me no end in my battle to tame the beast of revision! And too, I’m always so glad to know that you are still enjoying reading about these two. Haha…yes, no out-foxing here 😀 I thought Ethel was going to tell him outright, but she changed her plan 😉 I don’t know what Fred’s up to at the moment…will have to chase him down. I do hope he isn’t looking for another white nightie… 😮 Thanks for putting a big smile in my step today Norah, I needed it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  26. ilkae2014 says:

    Hi Sherri!

    I wish you all the best and lots of success using your precious tools while polishing your memoirs 🙂

    I am feeling excited with you, Ilka

    Liked by 1 person

Lovely to chat...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s