Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Real Life Plot Twist

Once again, the fabulous Lynn Emery has provided more food for thought. She recently sent a link about real life plot twists in the lives of a number of famous writers. Of course, this got me to thinking about what people will write about me when I become a famous writer. Yes, this girl has big dreams. :)

I thought it was cool that one of my favorite poets, Langston Hughes, while still a struggling writer working as a bus boy, decided to slip a few of his poems under the plate of poet Vachel Lindsay. That would be equivalent to me staking out Harpo Studios and trying to slip a copy of DELIVER ME under Oprah's door. No, I haven't done it and don't plan to. Unless I get really desperate, of course.

One turn of events I would not enjoy is serving prison time like famous writer O. Henry. He found it to be great fodder for characters and story lines, but I like my freedom. When it comes to character development, I'll stick to people watching at Starbucks, thank you very much.

Being a pet person, the closest parallel I found to my own life was the great Charles Dickens, who was inspired by his two ravens who were both named Grip. Hey, don't ask me why he had two birds with the same name. When you're Charles Dickens you can do that. I like the thought of finding inspiration through your pet. Then again, the only thing my new puppy, KoKo, inspires these days is thoughts of murder. You can only chew so many pairs of my slippers before I retaliate.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see what my real life plot twist will be. my last job I did have my computer raided by the FBI. That just may qualify if I ever write a suspenseful FBI thriller.

What about you? What would be the plot twist in the story of your life?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Even Traffic Has a Bright Side

Just yesterday, a study was released on how much time Americans spend in traffic. New Orleans didn't make the top ten list, but I can attest to the horrid traffic in my quest to make it into the Big Easy from my little bayou town every morning.

In fact, on Monday, the day before the study's release, I'd made the decision to leave a half-hour earlier just so I would not have to trudge through that unmoving sea of cars. This was not easy. You see, I love to sleep, and try to eek out every second of sleep I can get in the morning. But the road rage was becoming unmanageable, and I figured it was better to lose a few minutes sleep than to ram my car into the person in front of me in a fit of traffic-induced frustration.

What I had not anticipated was the windfall of extras one receives when they cut their commute time in half. In addition to saving on both time and gasoline, I've also found an additional hour of writing time. Yes, an entire hour! That's about 3-5 pages on a good writing day.

So, even though I would still rather that extra sleep, I will look on the bright side of morning traffic. Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to crank the books out just a bit faster.

I'm curious. How many of you out there have to suffer through a hellacious commute?

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What it takes to be a writer

Last week, fellow author Lynn Emery (read her work , she's fabulous!), provided a link to a fascinating article on what it takes to be a writer. The gist of it, at least what I gleaned from reading Talent of The Room by Michael Ventura, is that a person must be willing to work hard, sacrifice, and accept that they still may not become published.

I know an alarming amount of people who mistakenly think being a writer is glamorous.'s not. It's hard. Pick up your favorite book and fan through the pages. When the author sat down to write that book, those pages (or the computer screen) were empty! The words don't just appear, and it takes a lot of work to get them down and have them make sense.

I also know a lot of people who love the idea of being a writer. They talk about this story idea they've had for years, set up their writing space, load up on craft books, even buy a laptop that will be used only for writing. But they never write the book! You have to want it enough to actually Do. The. Work! Don't just talk about it.

It doesn't take a separate home office, a rich cherry wood desk, a brand new iMac (though, damn, I want one!), or even a computer, for that matter, if you really want to be a writer. Don't get me wrong, you'll eventually have to fire up the old PC, but if you are really committed to writing your novel, all you need is a pen, paper, and your imagination. Oh, yeah, and the desire and willingness to work.

So, if you have what it takes to be a writer, go for it! Just don't kid yourself. It's not easy, not glamorous, and not a guarantee.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

On vacation, back in a week! But in the meantime...

It's time for the annual trek to the happiest place on Earth. I seriously believe Disney pipes crack through the vents that line Main Street USA. There's just something addicting about that place.

So, while I'm away, feel free to hop on over to the fabulous Gwyneth Bolton's blog. I'm featured as her September author, and I must admit, Gwyneth does a great job interviewing authors.

I'm outta here. There's a pair of Mickey ears calling my name.

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