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Listening to the televison last night, not watching as I was in the next room. The sound was turned low so I couldn’t hear what was being said, but found myself listening to the rythym of speech. The show was a comedy, American I think, with audience, canned, laughter. I found that I could almost anticipate when the pause for laughter would come. There were two male characters, and although I could not hear the words and did not know which lines were going to be funny, there was a rhythm to it. If conversation is like a game of tennis, where the speech gets hit back and forth between two people, then this was like a game of tennis where every few strokes the ball goes into the audience. By laughing, the studio audience showed that they had understood, and were supportive. They tossed the ball back to the players so that they could continue.
I have also been reading recently The Little Red Book of Writing, by Mark Tredinnick, and he speaks about the rhythm of writing. Read your work out loud, he says, so that you can tell if it flows, or is stilted and unnatural. The best writing is like speech, only you have practiced it and polished it until it has rhythm. I think this is something I have generally done anyway, but it makes sense, and I shall certainly make a point of doing it in future.
I finished Dad’s quilt this morning, the last step being to stitch on a label. I included his name, where he lives, the occasion the quilt was made for (being careful to say given for, not on, since I have missed his birthday by almost a month). I bought a laundry marker to write the label with, a Pilot one here, which is supposed to have a point made especially for writing on fabric, and it is certainly much better for the purpose than a normal permanent marker, which is what I have used in the past. The only remaining thing is to take photos, which I will do tomorrow, and then give it to him. I’ll post photos here too.