Monday, March 30, 2009

Too Many Options

Choosing paint colors should be easy, right? Not if your name is Susan. I'm standing in front of a wall of paint chips at my local home improvement center. With a sample of my rug in hand, I start the process of elimination.

Did you ever notice the names they give rather non-descript colors? Off-White becomes Wedding Silk. Two shades of brown are called, "Bird's Nest and American Bronze." All these choices are making my head pound.

Sometimes I feel the same way about words. Like colors, I enjoy a wide variety. Yet selecting the perfect phrase to show a character's emotion makes me want to curl into a fetal position. Should I say, "Sylvie gasped at Jerome's boldness?" Perhaps Silvie slaps Jerome's face. What's a girl to do?

My carpet swatch gave me a basis for picking out a paint color. Since my decorating style leans toward neutrals with accessories providing punches of color, I ignored all the bright, hit-you-in-the-face shades. Eventually, I settled on a nice tan for the woodwork and the palest yellow I could find for the walls. (I know. I know. Yellow isn't neutral, but a little surprise doesn't hurt.)

With Silvie and Jerome, I must discover that reference point to build upon. Is Silvie a timid type? We can hit the backspace key on the slap. Is she sophisticated? She might lift her chin and come back with a withering retort.

Hmm, I never realized selecting paint colors had so much in common with writing. :)

16 comments:

Jessica said...

LOL! Great comparison, as usual. I rather like the slap, only because it's something I would never have the nerve to do. :-)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I love the comparison you made!Choosing paint colors, even the right shade of white, can be a daunting task just as picking the right descriptive word can be in your writing.

Your choice of colors sounds warm and inviting.

Jen and Kev said...

Susan:
Excellent analogy here!

I think yellow is fine; it is friendly, and lends warmth to the room. Nowadays, anything goes in decorating-- unless you are selling the house soon! Even then, the palest yellow should be fine. What do I know? I like wallpaper!
LOL!!!
---Jen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Donna -

When sorting through paint colors, the analogy jumped out at me. It's interesting how the Lord turns around the frustrations of life for some useful purpose.

I'm hoping the room will look nice when finished. It's a massive job, especially when my neighbor and I are painting it piecemeal.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Your comment brought a chuckle because I'd never do that either.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Stina Rose said...

Wonderful comparison! I don't know that I had thought of it that way before. I will never look at paint the same way again. :)

quietspirit said...

Susan:
I don't care for the change in color names. In the mid 1970's, I bought antique white for our living room. It was WHITE. Now it's sort of a beige.
Abt Silvie, what's her background? Her education level? Where does she work? All these could determine how she would react.

Cindy said...

I think that's a great comparison and I never thought about it like that before! There are definitely people who choose to write in those bold colors, while others stick to neutrals. It might be safe but it's what works for them and what works for readers. I kind of hope I'm one of those soothing, rich colors that intrigues without being to in your face. LOL! Fun post.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cindy -

Thanks for a slightly different slant on this post. You're right about everyone's style being different. I've read some books where the writer is bold and dramatic, while another selects gentle, subtle textures.

Great observation. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Stina Rose -

Neither will I!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Without seeing the sample, I'd be hard-pressed to figure out what color the name actually represented. I remember when purple was purple and blue was blue.

Yes, so many factors could affect Silvie's reactions. BTW, I cooked her up just for purposes of illustration. She's not in my WIP. LOL!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jaime said...

Go with the slap - I'm all up for spunky!!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jaime -

Whew! I'd have to go waaay out of my comfort zone for that one. LOL!

I only used Silvie as an illustration. She's not in my WIP. However, with all the interest, I may have to write her story. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Sharon Ball said...

LOL! I can so relate. I find that I get lost among all of the choices and I end up frustrated and paintless. There has to be an easier way. :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sharon -

For awhile, I only had the primer. My neighbor kept asking me, "Did you get the color yet?" It's been a long time since I needed to choose paint colors.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

I'm not sure whether or not I'm selling the house. With the market in its present state and my job situation, it might be prudent to wait.

The colors were chosen to stay as close to the neutral range as possible without looking bland.

Blessings,
Susan :)