Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Love of Reading

 Children Reading I have always loved to read or to be read to. This could very easily be a picture of me. I read everywhere and everything.

In the morning, getting ready for school, my mother would prompt me (a nice way of saying she fussed) to stop reading and eat my breakfast. In the evening, she would tell me I couldn’t bring my book to the table. I would sneak and read books at my desk in school when I should have been listening to the teacher. Maybe that’s the reason math takes me a bit longer.

In any case, I read every chance I got. I still do. Sometimes there's a war within between reading a new book or writing a new story. When the book wins, I justify it by telling myself, this will help me to be a better writer. And that is the reason this post is late.

What am I reading? It’s a wonderful YA entitled, Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunrise on Easter

Sunrise with borderGood Morning! Sunrise and new days are rich with fresh starts and second chances. It’s Easter morning and there’s nothing that exemplifies this better than today. Tradition has us decked out in new clothes, big dinners with family, and the all-important egg hunt. All of this is followed by stuffing ourselves with great treats.

For me the best treats in the world are time with family and friends (especially grandchildren!) and quiet time for a good read. These usually do not happen at the same time. I find it difficult to laugh and tell wild stories and read all at once.

So today I get a second chance to spoil my grandchildren, again (their parents would say I never stopped the first one), another opportunity to appreciate the ones I love and those who love me, and more time to write more stories.

Enjoy your second chances. Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To Write or Not to Write, There is no Question

desert TreeThis picture reminds me of my journey to become a published author. I work to improve my craft. I get good ideas. I paint their picture in words. Then with the help of my critique group, I revise and revise until finally it’s ready to submit.

I search among the agents, whose numbers rival the stars, for the ones that seem a good match for the piece. I dredge up the confidence to send it out and then I wait. And wait. Until finally I hear from them and this is what they say, paraphrased of course.

I great story, but it’s not for me. I no longer represent this type of story. Wonderful characterization, great emotion, believable dialog, but… There is always a ‘but’. This piece would be better suited to someone else. I’m just not in love with the story. You deserve to be represented by someone who…

So there I stand in the desert of publication waiting for that final, refreshing drop of…I think this is great, I’d love to represent you and your work. One day it will come.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Making of a Story

Volcano Smoking I am often asked where I get ideas for a new story. The answer is, they come from everywhere. I can see a dog digging a hole. Most people think that the dog is digging up something it has buried, or some small animal disappeared down a hole and the dog is going after it. Not me.

I think about the dirt flying through the air and see small universes being scattered, or I wonder if something from the center of the earth will escape into our realm through that hole, or I wonder if the fleas have taken control of the dogs mind and that they are giving him an alternative to scratching them.

All of these things, and more, roll around in my mind and smolder like this volcano until they grow into a plot line and erupt into a story. Everything I see is grist for the creative story mill. So the next time you catch me staring, beware you could end up in one of my stories.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dark No More

I have been dormant for far too long. I could list a million reasons (eg, I moved out of state, my husband retired, weddings, showers, births, etc), but the fact would still remain that I have neglected you. Well, no more! So here is my first offering in a very long time.

I've decided to explore the world of short stories and flash fiction. I have found that I really am enjoying it. One of the reasons is that I get a new idea and I can get to the end within a few days! I am not abandoning the world of novels, instead, I am adding this new love. I decided to start posting them on my website  I'll keep you up to date when I post new stories. You can read Swan Song

There will be more to come, here and on the site.