Monday, November 3, 2014

Just write it...

I know I am not alone. I know there are people out there, like me, sitting and staring at a blank screen. They have stories bouncing around in their heads. They have lots of ideas, but not enough to flesh out a novel. Maybe a short story? Maybe a poem?

I know there are people out there, like me, bursting to write and publish. Filled with optimism and energy, they find anything and everything to distract them from the task at hand. The fundamental process of just sitting down and writing seems so elusive. So difficult. 
And now my writing is disguised as a blog. 
Anything to distract me from facing that blank page and writing my book.
I think I'll go make a cup of tea...
I will write 100 words.
Then I will make a cup of tea.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Revision Process

So my picture book has been A LONG TIME in the making, but it has only been in the last year- make that three months- since I have been working on it seriously. That is to say, since I have taken my dream seriously. I joined a wonderful critique group and have felt "mostly" motivated.
It was not until last week, as I was getting ready for my critique group that I started to think... Every two weeks I print the same 500 word story for review. Everyone else is working on novels of some kind, and every week they provide an exciting, new and different chapter.

Mine is the same story each time, with many of their comments and ideas taken into consideration, then taken out again two weeks later... then possibly added again.
It is very frustrating. And it begs the question- "When is a manuscript ever really finished?"
"When you start changing apples to potatoes," my critique friend informed me.
I guess I am not there yet.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Off Campus Writers Workshop (OCWW)

I recently joined a critique group in Naperville, and these six incredible women have been my inspiration and motivation. It is amazing how much easier it is to write when you have a deadline (duh).
It is also astounding how another's perspective and feedback helps you to keep your work moving forward. It is as though a writer who is too close to his or her work cannot separate himself or herself from it, and so the work cannot evolve and grow.
A bit like a parent who won't let a child become his or her own person.
Not good.

Two weeks ago, these wonderful women invited me to attend the OCWW and Fred Shafer's workshop: A Sense of Place in Fiction. Shafer's philosophy and insight have provided me with a new and refreshing perspective on writing. Shafer proposes that "setting" plays an integral part in a work of fiction and has the same importance as character, plot and theme.
And the workshops are fun.

Thought for the day: Keep learning and have FUN:-)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Goodbye house?

Yesterday, my Mum told me she plans to sell our family home. I don't know why, but I cried when I heard the news. For some reason I felt sad, even let down. I guess I was comforted in knowing that a part of my life remained intact, while everything else in my life seems so fickle. A normal reaction, I suppose, to think that a piece of (my) history will be gone forever.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This moment counts

I recently read about Marina Keegan, graduated from Yale just five days when she was killed in a car accident. Such a young life filled with promise and hope cut short is tragic. It is a reminder that every day is a precious gift, that we are all here for just a little while.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Today is the day...

I have no idea what I am doing. What I do know is that if I do nothing, ten years will have gone by and I will be exactly where I am now, only ten years older! So, here goes.

The simple truth is that I took a writing class a few years ago and I wrote my first children's book. I also wrote a poem, and began a YA story based upon an adventure I had as a child.

Then, nothing. However my children's story has been simmering and percolating in my subconscious, and I can no longer quiet the persistent knocking of this little book. It needs to come out. Now. It needs to be seen.

I expect that this blog will be cathartic for me, and that through my writing I will be able to quiet the voices of my critics, my saboteurs and my judges. I also hope that the exercise of blogging will help me flex my writing muscles and give me the confidence I need to keep submitting my story, and that it will eventually be picked up and become a "real book." Perhaps I will self-publish.

For now, I will simply write.