Here in Eastern North Carolina we are seeing some nice fall weather with enough of a rain drizzle to cozy up with a nice mug of hot earl grey and a good book. Although in a writer’s case a fresh sheet of paper, a sweet writing pen or a new document on the computer. I do have a slight confession to make, this type of weather makes me want to pick up my knitting too.
Many a cherished memory began with a day like today. It meant chicken and rice or if I was with MeMa and Pappy gizards and rice were on the menu for supper. It meant time spent on the front porch watching it rain with Pappy while he smoked. Hours curled on the couch listening to Grandaddy or Grandma talk about their lives growing up. I was so very blessed to have two wonderful caring sets of grandparents that made sure I knew I was well loved. Days like this meant Dad didn’t work outside and we would go places, the movies, the laundrymat, the bookstore, where ever we wanted or needed to go.
So on a perfectly lovely deary evening what do you yearn to do? Sip tea or coffee while you read, write that next page or start a new story, knit something warm and cozy, or sit quietly and listen to the world. Here’s to you and your own cherished memories and the places they can take you. Cheers, james
Driving to see my hubby at work tonight, I was struck by the play of the headlights on the shoulder of the road. I should have been paying attention to my driving and looking for the random bambi looking to be a roadside pancake. However I was letting my imagination run wild.
I could see in my writer’s eye a nebulous horrifying beast keeping pace with the car. The tail lights of the car ahead of me, illuminating its souless glowing red eyes and the flecks of slobber being flung from its gaping jaws. Chubacabra at first came to mind, rough scales dancing across a muscular body, long teeth and hideous snout finishing the head. Racing closer to the car and just before it leaped, I lost it. The car ahead of me had stopped to turn.
I searched the shadows for it on the way back home to no avail, the monster had disappeared back into the shadows from whence it came. Several times I caught the red glow of eyes in the dark and chills rattled my spine. The hunter was now the hunted. I stayed on the main road instead of taking the back way into town. First mistake made in every horror movie “let’s take the spooky less traveled path fit for monster, murders and pyschos”. I admit it not a horror movie fan. However who needs Hollywood monsters, when my imagination is chock full of ’em.
So now that I have shared my monster. Where does your writer’s eye see monsters? Just beyond the glow of your headlights, swimming in the murky depths, high above you in the night sky, or patiently waiting in the shadows?
Her Sanctuary by Toni Anderson
I downloaded a free copy of this book from Barnes and Noble for my nook.
This is a well written tale of intrique with just enough romance to soften the edges. The story begins in New York City and a woman on the run to the final showdown in Montana’s Big Sky Country. The point of view bounces between the main characters and Ms. Anderson handles it very skillfully.
I throughly enjoyed this first book of this series. If you like romantic mystery this is an author you should try.
In writing, how much history do you give your characters? How much of their histories fuel their motivies, passions, obsessions, strengths, or flaws?
The past is the whip driving my bad guy, fueling his desire for revenge. While my heros, the past is the burning flame that keeps them fighting. Fueling their hope, good will triumph evil and the battle will be won. Past regrets and choices haunt both sides, and only by raising above those ghosts will they suceed.
The youngest of my heros is also the one the past weighes heaviest. A prophecy to fullfil and self doubts about making the right decisions fuel her fear of failing. Especially since the other heros won’t speak of the past for fear of repeating it. And she is left fitting bits and pieces together. The only ones willing to speak about the prophecy are three shadows that are not able to directly influence the world. She questions their motives, even though they helped her the first time she met them. The past haunts these spectors as they must watch from the sidelines while things unfold. Hoping to right past wrongs and reclaim their honor. Of all my characters these three are the unknowns as they can tip the balance of the story.
I have tried to make all my characters well rounded, although I have self doubts they are believable folks. I take heart in an Ernest Heminway quote: “Characters are cliches. I write about real people” (I hope I got that right) I continue to write and plan on following my story where it will take me. Cheers on a Monday night. james
I have reached an odd phase in my writing. I don’t feel it and normally writing excites my mind and my passions. However nothing interests me or is able to keep my attention. I am not blocked but just blah.
I would say its the stress and strain of everyday normal life getting to me. However nothing is any worse than usual.
I wrote these words several months ago. Thankfully the spell has passed. I don’t know what brought it on, but I don’t believe it was Writer’s Block. It was growing pains, a recharging of the batteries from the multiple stories I have under pen. I also think I was fighting a sinus head cold/hay fever etc. Anyway the feeling has passed and I am back writing.
I am still working on my two major projects and have added two smaller projects and a movie screenplay. Don’t get excited it’s just me spreading out my wings and trying something new. Although believe me, you folks will hear me shouting if anything comes of it. The old man in the moon will be able to hear me if it works. So stay tuned in and when you get that restless feeling don’t worry it’s just you growing your skilks. And if you get that itchy restless feeling, it maybe time for a change of scenery or it might mean you have a case of athlete feet.
A lot of my stories have their beginnigs in my dreams and nightmares. I try to write as much of them as I rember, only sometimes the pen takes on a life of its own. The ink flows and a story develops on the page, no longer the dream but a living breathing story with its own merrit. I feel like I am cheating when this happens because the story was served up on the proverbial silver platter instead of being birthed on a sheet of paper with much gnashing of teeth, sweat, tears, and ink splatter. And I think I’m an idiot and just should get back to the writing, counting my blessings my subconscious was on the job working its magic.
Lots of writers mention the importance of the subconscious working with the conscious mind on the current writing project. This double process works to keep the writer fully engaged in the writing process, even when they aren’t writing. I admit when I first read about this from Mr. Lawrence Block I was skeptical of how to train your mind to work on writing when you aren’t writing. Then surprise, surprise, I read a similar idea from Mr. Stephen King too. Well sir, if those two gentlemen in two wholly seperate genres could voice the same notion maybe perhaps a mind could be trained. (I am still working out the how of training. However york pepermint patties are not a good training tool. Gave me nightmares.)
So far my process has been to review the story I am working on if no other inspiration strikes. Sometimes a problem resolves itself or I am able to write several more pages. Then there are the nights when the story keeps bugging me, but my brain is mush. I keep the story whirling in my head before I go to sleep, and thoughts or ideas work their way through my drifting, disconnected brain. If the thought is strong enough I’ll write it down otherwise I let ’em drift, mingle and in the morning I have the essence of the night’s exercises.
I have found only one draw back to this method o’maddness; I know when its 4:30 and my brain has finished and ready for my conscious brain’s attention, because nothing but 6 am will let my conscious brain get back to sleeping. Of course the blooming alarm goes off and you gotta take the hound out and start the workday. Lovely isn’t it. As I said still working on the process of brain writing training. Cheers, james