Friday, August 14, 2015

The Importance of Transitions - in Writing and in Life


Early in my writing career, my transitions weren’t obvious to my readers. In my mind, I knew where I was headed with a story or an essay, but on paper I didn’t always signal to my reader that something was about to change. Choppy, bumpy, and confusing were some hallmarks of my early works.

After learning about the importance of transitions, I tried to plan ahead and use transitions to make my writing clear, concise, and understandable. 
 
Just as smooth transitions in writing can help a reader find his way, planning ahead for changes in life is also critical. The past summer has been especially hectic and filled with some significant transitions in my little world.

Earlier this summer, my granddaughter enrolled in an online college course, which required dozens of writing assignments with short deadlines on her part and editing assistance on mine, also with short deadlines. While successfully completing her intensive course, she and I accomplished another important feat. We assisted family members in pulling off a surprise 50th anniversary party for one of my sisters. Also a success!

In the midst of that whirlwind of activity, everyone in our house pitched in for her big move back to her junior year at Mizzou, and her first apartment. Translation: hours of shopping online and numerous trips to several stores, along with packing and repacking and loading two vehicles.
 
During the move, her brother was a huge help. Not only did he help my husband load up her car and his own SUV and do the heavy lifting by carrying her belongings up two flights of stairs, he also put together her desk and chair.

As my grandson’s summer vacation came to an end, he got ready for his junior year in high school. He’s an easy shopper; we were in and out of the mall in less than an hour, and his entire back-to-school wardrobe cost about the same as his sister’s new comforter set.

The afternoon of his first day at school, we received a call from his guidance counselor that he had been accepted into a local tech school program.
 
That brought about a major change to his schedule.
 
Now, he attends morning classes at high school. Then, after a quick lunch break, he rides the bus with several of his friends to the tech school, where he will learn a skilled trade. He loves the outdoors and working with his hands, so he is excited about this opportunity to do something he enjoys that will also provide a promising future.

Transitions -- in writing and in life -- are not always easy, but they can help pave the way to smooth beginnings and happy endings.  

16 comments:

  1. Love this post, Donna. And you are so right. Transitions -- in writing and in life -- are sometimes difficult to navigate, but with experience, planning, and patience, they can be accomplished. Congratulations to both your grandbabies as they head in new and exciting directions.

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  2. Thanks, Theresa. Hope you had a great summer with your grand babies.

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  3. A busy summer now transitioning to a brand new school year. How exciting!

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. Thanks, Pat. You've recently had a big transition in your life as well. Hope you enjoy your well-deserved retirement.

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  4. Wow! Time does fly. Our grandkids are heading off to school, leaving home for college and driving. So many transitions, all part of life. Our oldest, was much like your grandson, and attended a trade school, then started his own lawn care business, and is wealthier than us, and he is only 22. I am learning about retirement. They say it's a time to slow down and relax. Hasn't happened yet.

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    1. Hi Linda,
      With your retirement, you have a lot of changes going on. It's great that your grandson has his own lawn care business and is successful. That's wonderful and so inspiring!

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  5. All of your busy days at least sound like fun or challenging things...glad it was full of "good stuff"!!! May your autumn be the same way!

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    1. Hi Claudia,
      It has been a busy summer, but a fulfilling one. I'm looking forward to cooler days. Hope all is well with you.

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  6. Donna--Both of your grandchildren will have an exciting year at school this year, Did you enjoy the shopping you did with your granddaughter more, or did you prefer the "get it done" shopping your grandson was happy with? (Boys are so different, aren't they?)

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    1. I like to have options, but I'm more of a get it done type shopper.

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  7. Such an exciting time in their lives! I'm sure they both will thrive.

    First apartments are a big deal. One of the final steps towards independence. My son moved into his first house this month, sharing with 3 other guys. He is already shocked that things go wrong with rented houses.

    Great news on your grandson's tech school acceptance. Our school only has a certain number of slots for the tech school, and there's always a waiting list. Those kids are thrilled if a spot opens up for them.

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    1. How exciting for your son and his first apartment. My granddaughter also has 3 roommates and so far, so good.
      My grandson is excited but a bit anxious about this change. There is also a waiting list for the school. He was on the list but got in on the first day of school.
      Good luck to both of your boys this year.

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  8. How true and how beautifully put. All the best to all of you in your new endeavors!

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  9. Thanks, Tammy. Hope your kiddos have a great year. You had a transition or two of your own this year.

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  10. My goodness, Donna, lots of changes! And you're right, it is best to prepare, and frustrating when things happen in such a way that we can't. But you and your family obviously offer each other a wonderful support system. When it comes to transitions, there's no better way to ride it out than that. :)

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    1. Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for your kind words. Sorry I'm tardy with my response. You've had some exciting times in your life thus summer with your new book coming out. It's great to keep busy.

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