Here’s a confession: I hate German grammar. Mind you, I’m not overly fond of any grammar and if pressed I’d probably say Latin grammar is worse than German.
The thing is: I’m trying to cash in on German grammar. Together with a German friend I have a project to make teaching material about it. The material involves two sets of cards, and today I got done designing those cards.
I use Excel for want of a proper graphics program and it works sort of alright. My wrist tells me I did more mouse work than it really prefers but I can ignore it.
What really got me hugging the desk in despair is the sheer number of variations in especially pronouns. Of several kinds. Small wonder that my hatred is common among learners.
And now for the happy note: If this material makes the grand transition from project to actual, published and buyable aide, it will change the way pupils and students battle with grammar.
Think I may go for the name “Deutsch ohne Tränen”: German without tears.
I write. Not just this blog (and another one in Danish) but also fiction. Sometimes I write non-fiction too when I describe some of the patterns et c. I make for various craft projects.
And when you write you get – at least some people get – the notion that someone might want to publish your writing. So you send off a manuscript to veraous publishers, big and small.
And then you wait. Watch your mail box for at least an auto-reply that tells you that your heart and soul reached their destination. And you wait some more.
From time to time you loose patience, often as not only to wish you didn’t because the long-awaited answer is a refusal.
And then just once in a while you get a chance. This just happened to me even if it was in disguise: I wrote up descriptions with lots of snaps of a select number of patchwork patterns and looked for publishers specialising in the field. Then I wrote to those publishers. Finally I posted in a patchwork group on Facebook if others had good suggestion of “never fail always good books” from a specific publisher.
That was when chance entered the equation. A group member with a shop wrote to me because she could well want to sell my patterns in her shop.
The lesson I learned from this? Just the usual: Timing is what makes chances occur.
I might have called it scheming. It’s a lot less sinister than it may look at first glance: I hope to finish some writing in time to join a competition to win publishing. And I have to hand in a plot outline.
I’m not always much of a plotter. This time I decided I would at least use the competition to practise making a plot instead of just plodding ahead as is my usual wont.
It took the physical form of pieces of paper. Plot outline on one, locations on another, characters on a third et c. And yes I know there are computer programs that let you do that on-screen. I don’t have those programs. Not one. And it just doesn’t really work in the programs I have and know.
Besides, there is something nice about long hand and tangible notes. This is (at least primarily) a crafts blog. Of course I like and often prefer to use my hands and fingers for something other than tapping at keys. And there is a joy in its own right to spreading out those notes on the table (amid pieces of a pair of short pants in the making) to get an overview.
There are no good snaps in such a process. All I can hope for is that it’ll turn out some really good words. Such as “you’ve won!”