There is a writer in there somewhere!

Many of us are sure that there is a book hiding inside of us.   It is not likely the next great American novel, but a nice book in there that folks just might like to read if we just put down on paper.   I am sure I have one or two, but just never seem to get off the dime and get moving.

At one time, probably the busiest time in my life, I belonged to a writing group when I lived in the Minneapolis metro area.   It was a great bunch of creative women and they were both published and non published, back when there was no serious self publish option like there is now with Amazon.    They were so supportive and willing to share.   They came from a diverse bunch of backgrounds and wrote in the whole spectrum of genres.   Some had a couple of names for the different genres they wrote in.   If you need to find out a procedure someone was always willing to help you find a person who you could run your ideas past to see if you got the nuts and bolts of how it was done right.   They knew chefs, chauffeurs, FBI agents, police detectives, corners, publishers, restaurant owners, wheelwrights,  and any anything else you might need.       I did lots of research, background work and my analytical mind went into high gear in all that “should do” stuff they tell you that you must do before you begin to write.   It should have been the perfect group of people to write with, but my timing was wrong.  I never got that novel written.

Well National Novel Writing Month is just about here again and I am going to give it a whirl again.   Only this time I am going to be a “let’er rip” girl this time.   There are novelists who just sit down and write by the seat of their pants and then go back and fill it in, edit it out, and make the story become a full-fledged novel.  I am going to try that  this time because the planning approach has not worked for me.   I am now in the state of less than a million people, Montana, in one of the more sparsely populated areas and so that cushion my writing group gave me to research before I wrote is gone.   I am going to write and when I find a spot I need some research I am going to punt my way through it and come back and find just who and what I need when the need is there and real.

It may be good.   It may be bad.   No matter, when the end of November finally rolls around I am hoping I have 50,000 words down on paper.  A story, that may become a novel.    It can’t be any worse than my previous attempt that never got out of the gate.   Tomorrow it begins

Milestone — Number 500!

Good_OneWith this post I celebrate my 500th post on this blog!   Thanks to all of you who have visited my site and been part of my journey.    I have posted blogs about so many topics…chickens, seasons, cooking, family, introspective thoughts, opinions,  and everything else in between.     I appreciate all of the likes and comments you have made, providing feedback and encouragement to me.    I not sure exactly what I expected when I started this in February of 2010 but it has far exceeded my expectations.  It has been a growth experience for me in so many ways.     I hope that you have found this blog to be a good one and hang around for the next 500 posts.

A Moment in Time

 

I was driving home from town the other day and as I came up over a rise the view was spectacular.   There were low lying clouds that covered all the valley, fluffy white hiding all signs of human life; homes and roads.   The snow dusted mountains rose above the clouds and capturing the morning sun that created an almost gold cast.   I wished for a camera, but as I quickly drove off the rise the view changed and I knew it was one of those moments you had to be there to understand the beauty.  It happened to me again last week, when the sun rise was so on fire, more like a sunset than a sunrise.   I had to try to capture it as I headed out for a morning bike ride.   The photo almost looks phony and does it no justice.

 

There are some things you just need to be there to experience a sunrise, a sunset, a vista, a breeze, the sounds and even the smells can’t be captured and shared.    There are no words just as perfect as that moment.   There is no camera or painting that can do more than give you a glimpse into that moment.   Yet we continue to try.   We write.  We capture the image on screens, paper and canvas.     We do it knowing that the people we share it with will never be able to experience that moment just as we did.

 

That is no reason not to continue to try.  The desire to share pushes us to write better, have a better eye, and communicate using more of our senses.   Our audience will never experience that sunrise as we did, but we can paint a picture that their imagination can finish.   It will be perfect in their mind.   Many will never make it to the west to see mountains that never lose their snow, but the image you share can allow them to travel in their mind and dream of what it must be like.    Though each ocean, lake and river are as different  as the grains of sand or rocks that make their shore, by painting a picture with words and color others may be able to hear the surf and spell the water.

 

So as we all blog and look at our work and wonder did I capture it right, I say yes.   You did if you transport one person to the perfect place in their mind.  It may be a dream or it may be a memory.   No matter which a vacation for our present is always a gift.

 

Out of My Element

I am a veracious read, and with the purchase of my Kindle the number of books I read has exploded exponentially.    I have by tradition been a suspense book reader, with some mindless escape romances, historical fiction, a biography thrown in regularly and a few unexpected recommendations that I pick up.   At least once a year I read something science fiction, because it is my husband’s favorite genre, and though for the life of me I can’t find a redeeming quality in it except that my husband loves it.

Before Kindle, I spent hours scrounging for books at the thrift stores, libraries, rummage sales, book stores in any town I visit and online.   I was the keeper of piles of books beside my nightstand  for my reading pleasure.   I did not realize it, but I bought these books by their dust jackets and back covers.    If it wasn’t my kind of book, back on the shelf it went.   I had to make a conscious effort to read something out of the norm.   I had to be willing to take a risk on a book based on something a publicist had written to sell the book to the market audience.   If I was going to venture outside of my norm, then they were probably not writing to entice me to buy the book.

This change in my reading habits is due to owning a Kindle and  in part to Amazon’s “Top 100 Free” list that I visit regularly.  It is there that I grab books off the top 100 list that have a four or five-star rating.   I don’t read the reviews or what the book is about for the most part.    I also look at the top free  titles  in some of my favorite genres as well.    I cruise the best sellers that are discounted and the 100 for $3.99 or less.   Now these choices that require my hard-earned cash, and  I am more careful about my selections.  I select those things that interest me  and sound like a good read.   Money spent should be for a book you expect to finish.   One caveat to all this is that we have a Prime Membership.   Living in a rural area with limited services, we like the benefits of Prime, one of which is the ability to borrow one book a month free.  If you catch it just right , and we have, you can  pick up some really good in-demand at the library books using the Prime option.

With my Kindle, it has not only resulted in an explosion on my the numbers of books I read, but also the kinds of books.   Without the filter I had employed before, I end up with books of all sorts.   I will admit that if I start a book and that first chapter is poorly written, or does not suck me in, I rate it one star and delete it.  I would give a no star rating if possible, but Amazon has said one star is as bad as it gets.   On the other hand I have read some books that the whole time I am reading it I say “I can’t believe I am really reading this.”   I just finished a book about a mob family, gruesome, nasty book.  Lots of characters I really didn’t like but was fascinated by their character flaws and relationships.   It was not a five star book, but the author wrote that first chapter so well, I wanted to know more.   I could not deleted it after one chapter, in spite of the fact I did not like the subject matter.   I kept thinking I will skip forward to see how this is resolved, but found myself reading each page for the details and nuances of what was going on.   This is not the only book I have read out my element since becoming a Kindle owner but it was by far the one I am still most amazed I read from cover to cover.

So in the past I could clearly say I read certain genres.   Now I think that I have a preference for certain genres, but am finding that a well written book will draw me no matter the type…wait I still find that science fiction a chore to get one book read a year.   I am beginning to think I don’t have the right imagination to properly appreciate them.  All that aside I am finding myself reading much more out of me element and enjoying it.

 

 

Writer Within?

Yes-No-Maybe

I have always thought that there was a writer within me.   When I was in the second grade my teacher, Mrs. Kromhroy, inspired my fantasy to become an author.   It was that year that I wrote my first book, complete with illustrations.   The book is long since gone, and I am not even sure of the plot  anymore. I can tell you without a doubt that the main character, Chrissy, lived in a house that looked like a huge mushroom. What I don’t remember illustrates why becoming a writer is still just a fantasy, developing a memorable story still eludes me.

One summer I spent researching  a book that never got written.  I read lots of non-fiction about live on the frontier of  South Dakota.   I even took a road trip with a friend to see an abandon orphanage that sat on the wide open prairies of South Dakota.  I took pictures and explored that building and other homesteads long since vacated by families who had moved on.      The pictures  hung above my desk for years to help me visualize my story and inspiration of those who had lived there.

I have belonged to writers group, participated in workshops, took classes at the U and had my work critiqued.  I stumbled then as I do now with that magical plotting outline.   I know the primary characters like they are my best friends; knowing their faults, strengths and deepest wishes.   I know what the conflict is and how it will be resolved.   I can write the jacket cover and make you want to read my book.   What I can not to do is work this in to a book with supporting characters, underlying stories that support the overall story.  Plotting an fully story outline is a skill that is elusive to me.   I spent years in as a systems analysis, this should not be hard for me, but it a hurdle I haven’t been able to get over.

My father’s  first cousin is a Christian writer.   Much of her inspiration, excluding God because that is a given for Christian writing,  comes from history, some of it family, other regional history.  She is encouraging and makes me think about taking some of my family history research and weave that into a story.   Is that the story I suppose to write?  Until then I will keep blogging along.