Her toes dug into the sand. “I’m not going.” He didn’t hear her as he bent to pick up another shark’s tooth from amongst the broken shells littering the shoreline. They had been arguing now for the last ten minutes. “Here.” Ben said placing the small black tooth in her hand. Afraid of the words coming his way he quickly bent once more. They had been this way all summer. Him singing her praises and giving chase, her running away. Now that he had finally caught her, she was going away. Why sending her away with a bunch of sharks’ teeth was more important than actually owning up to his feelings, Ben couldn’t say. He heard her sigh in frustration, Ben bent lower, concentrating now, Continue Reading →
We tend to lump it in with the arts but creativity is greater than this. I think of it as ingenuity’s younger brother having fun. Pushing bounds, exploring ideas, finding solutions can all fall under creativity’s umbrella. We see it everywhere and sometimes don’t even notice. Extreme sports. Wild haircuts. Couture. Even nature gets into the act. Sure, I marvel at bursts of verse – especially my own. It seems so unexpected, that moment caught on paper: the sentence, paragraph, page, and then if you are lucky – the chapter that rings with its own pulse and you think, ‘how did that get here?’ or my favorite, ‘I wrote this?’ Writing is sacred that way. The less you think, the better it seems to go. Just keep pounding out words, one Continue Reading →
Old socks, comfortably worn with threadbare jeans. The favorite shirt, stained and faded, hiding the bra that refuses to die with the poked out underwire. Too soft, too well worn, like part of my skin sown inside out with red thread. Stretched out elastic, tiny holes, unraveling strings, popped buttons, weaved cotton, rayon, polyester blend, frayed and abraded from contact sports and sliding seats. The snagged silk, dry-clean only. The hand wash fiasco, dry flat sweater, shrinking and warping with each go round in washer and dryer. All, beloved items yet the closet is full, it needs to be purged.
Readers are not complicated beings. We want one thing – a good story. Something that grabs us, makes us want to turn the page. I’ll suspend belief if you ask me to, I’ll even roll my eyes and pretend not to notice mistakes if you keep that whispered window of magic flowing on the page. Put me firmly in your world and I might follow you until the ends of the earth. That is the joy of readership. Writing, on the other hand, can be complicated. You have to spin multiple plates in the air, keep them spinning and let none of them crash. If you are good, (read that great) then readers aren’t a concern. Like ants marching to the drum beat of word Continue Reading →
Character drops word bomb. Roll with it or not? Check gut. Roll with it. Think this is stupid. How can this possibly make it to the final edit of the book? I’m only wasting time writing these words. Pour heart out on the page. Don’t hit delete. Just leave it to marinate overnight on the page. Come back, debate. Let it marinate some more, tweak and find I’ve been pulling this thread the entire time since before I ever put a word down on a page. This is good. Continue with plot and character arcs. Got a new word bomb.
I love Ben. I think I love him more than Rachel. She’s his wife. I love him for all the reasons she does not. He’s complicated, a bit of a wuss, and really confused. Not listening really seems to be his thing. I love how he devolves. How he tells me in acts 1 and 2 that God does not exist. And then in Act 3 change his mind. I love how he notices the little things.How he relies on Bry and Nick until he is suddenly done with them. I love how he thinks he has it all planned out. As if this is really possible. And I love how much he thinks he is changing when he really has no clue. Okay. I’m Continue Reading →
Yep, that’s right folks. Step right up, we are talking about that elusive cardboard beast. The one that creeps into our writing no matter what draft you are one. The good ol’ Show versus Tell. If anything I have figured out in writing, critiquing and editing my work and others it is that writers want to tell stories. We need to tell a story. Which is great because readers want to experience them. We have already established that in Something’s Gotta Give. I read a lot of cardboard. I call it homework. It varies in style and genre. If I had to define cardboard writing, I’d say it comes in many forms (bland in need of creative/craft spices usually) and results in a story that Continue Reading →
It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around. – Stephen King Life, the grand poohbah on high, offers us the guts of humanity to examine and explore every day. It is also a communal ride regardless of how singular we may think it to be. No man is ever an island or how else would we get our morning coffee? We bounce off each other forming thoughts and ideas every second, all across the globe, affecting our world simply by being our unique and individual selves. Life is the greatest art we all create and Continue Reading →
Any story worth its weight carries emotion of some sort. I don’t care if it is about a Jack in the Box, there better be emotion buried inside. Readers dream of stories marinated in feeling. Season it with whatever theme/genre you want, action, romance, adventure, whathaveyou, but the true flavor, the lasting bone deep hit you over the head goodness resides in an emotion filled bite. Great authors not only know how to do this, they give you the VIP all access backstage pass. The up close, skin on skin – in the story side seat – behind the eyes and in the brain, moment by story moment, living the buildup and the breakdown. I am turning pages almost faster than my own eyes can Continue Reading →