Friday, October 29, 2010

Pride and Prejudice

No, not the fabulous novel by Jane Austen. What I'm talking about is letting our pride and prejudices hinder our progress as writers. Would you carry around and use a 'brick' phone today? Some of you probably aren't old enough to remember those - they were cell phones about the size of a brick and we thought we were so very cool pulling out the antenna and punching in numbers to call our buddy's land line to show off. How about a crank start car? My dad had a crank start tractor and I thought it was both super cool and super ancient. I have to admit, I love the roar of the engine when all I do is push a button or turn a key and away I go. Lovely!

How about central air conditioning and heating. Living in Arizona I am very grateful for AC. I know some people don't use theirs or don't run it often. I am not one of them. Along with AC, we have homes built for energy efficiency so that we can live more comfortably. And then there's heating. I grew up in the mountains and sometimes it got down to forty below (I realize it's not as cold as some places, but waiting for the bus in the dark, very cold hours makes an impression not soon forgotten). We had an old enormous Heaterola wood burning stove. My dad spent a lot of hours chopping and we spent a lot of hours stacking, but it was all worth it when the chill of winter came.

There are so many things that make our lives easier. The writer's world is no different. There are so many resources we have to help make our writing better. Even the experts agree that they continually learn about writing - picking up a book on writing, attending writing conferences, critique groups, reading current books in the genre in which they are writing. So, don't be prideful or hold prejudice against those who are successful - use the information they offer, learn from them, let them help make your writing better, and as always, Write On my friends!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cabbage

Last Saturday morning I lay in bed pretending to sleep as I listened to my daughter and husband discussing a hiking trip. "This is good," I thought knowing that hiking was on her list of things to do during fall break. Then my husband came in and asked if I wanted to go. Um, let me think about that, NO. I don't want to go hiking, I hate hiking. Besides I'm tired and I want to laze about in bed for a little longer.

Guilt worked on me - I knew I should go for a few different reasons... a) time with my family, b) I really need the exercise, c) it might impress my husband if I went (yah, after knowing him more that 20 years, I still try to impress him - sometimes it even works!)

We grabbed our water bottles and headed out. We hiked Silly Mountain for an hour (half hour up and half hour down. We saw a lizard, a desert bird in a nest in a palo verde tree, a whole bunch of quail, big fire ants, creosote bushes, saguaro cacti, and a few other hikers. We stood atop the highest peak and looked out over the vast expanse of the Valley of the Sun. It was beautiful but I have to be honest, I still really hate hiking.

Which brings me to something my mother used to say to us as we were growing up. "It's a good thing we don't all like cabbage." I happen to like it cooked, not raw. My husband loves it raw, but not cooked. Hiking - just think if everyone liked it, the trails would be over run and people would have been everywhere. 

So what does any of this have to do with writing? A lot. Not everyone will like the things I write. Some people will probably hate it (of course, I hope this will not be the case). Should I worry about it? No. There is a little saying I come across frequently in the writing world and that it 'write the story that is in you'. I realize that the story in my head is my story. I want to use the things I have learned to write it in the best possible way - so that even if someone doesn't like the story they will still be able to say, "but, it is well written." So, write your story, write it well, and as always, Write On my friends!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Wedding

Today is a wedding day. Ah, joy and bliss and busyness. Scott's niece got married this morning in the Mesa Arizona LDS Temple. What a sweet occasion to gather family and friends and loved ones. As a romance writer, you know I love this sort of thing: the way Eric looked at her in that tender way, the way Breana looked at him as she gave herself to be his wife, the way he rubbed her hand when a tear rolled down her cheek, their first kiss as husband and wife - so beautiful. I hope they always cherish these moments and feelings. Relationships have ups and downs - hard parts and easy parts; just like our characters and our writing. Some parts come easy and others are so difficult that sometimes you feel like your head will split and you wonder how anyone does this - and wish for their gift of getting it out so eloquently. The key in both is to not give up. Keep learning, keep plugging away, keep working at it until you have something beautiful - and then edit again and again getting rid of the parts that don't work. Love you guys - Write On!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cheerleaders



Friday night I met my sisters and mom in St. George, Utah. We met up at Poncho and Lefty's Mexican restaurant for dinner and then drove out to a house we rented in Santa Clara. It's a really nice place in a brand new subdivision.

Saturday we went out to Bluff Street and parked at a church. The streets were lined with people cheering for the runners of this year's St. George Marathon. We set up our chairs in a shady spot and cheered people on as we waited for my sister and her husband to run by. 

The runners are so amazing and it was so much fun once we figured out that their names are printed under their number and we started shouting and cheering for them by name. Several of them slowed down wondering how we knew their names. One lady stopped and asked how she knew us. My sister replied that she knew us because we were her cheerleaders. So FUN!

It's so gratifying to cheer the runners on. They have worked and trained and prepared for this, but still need encouragement along the way. The thank yous and thumbs up that people give in return filled my bucket. So Write On my friends - I am cheering for YOU!

Some quotes of the day:

Me cheering: You're awesome.
Runner: You're not the first woman to tell me that today.

I got these sunglasses tomorrow. I'm so glad I bought them yesterday. (too much time running in the heat)

On parking the truck: This is like parking a tree trunk in a toothpick slot.

Mortuary sign at mile 25: We can wait. Keep running.

How do you know my name . . . doh! You can read!

I'm not very smart but I think a lot.