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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dreaming the Story...


Do you ever wonder where writers find ideas? Do they just fall from the trees like leaves in autumn or are they born out of real life experience? I would like to say that my life and my experiences have been exciting enough to conjure up a "best-seller" but truth be told, probably not! What I am, though, is an avid observer; that and I have a terribly over-active imagination, jet-fueled by curiosity. I love to watch and wonder. For me, a great story can be born out of something I see, like an old photograph, or even just a setting, like an old country road. I start wondering where it goes and just who lives at the end of it.


Photos move me. An intriguing photograph can set off a myriad of questions and opportunities for my imagination to fill in the blanks. I always say that writer's are just shy actors. Instead of acting on a stage, we "act out" in our heads, breathing life into our stories and characters. I think the biggest thrill comes when my voice fades and my character's takes over. That's when I know that I'm really writing; when I have to ask, Where did that come from?

Research is another aspect of writing that I adore. There are things in the novel I just finished that I knew nothing about, but had to learn because the character deemed it necessary. I wanted to create a believable character, one filled with vulnerability and the naivety of youth, and put her in an unimaginable circumstance, some of it beyond her control and some of it her own making. And from there, it was up to her to find the inner strength that we all must muster at one time or another in our lives to survive whatever difficulty life throws our way.

Here's another picture that served to inspire the character and heroine in my novel. Wouldn't this make an interesting cover? Unfortunately, I will have no control over how the cover turns out when we finally get there, but it's fun to dream.


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Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Valentine's Surprise

So, this Valentine's Day I'm stumped. What do you get the man who means everything to you? The man who, after almost twenty-two years and three children together, you would say "yes" to all over again?  The man who's carried you when you fell flat, made you laugh when you thought you might cry, loved you through thick and thin–the good hair days and bad? It's not as easy as it sounds. I've done the cards, the poems, the talking teddy bears and romantic dinners. But this year I want to do something special!  Something that is truly a token of my love for him and I want it to be a surprise! My husband is wonderful at surprises! He LOVES to SURPRISE me. I, on the other hand, hate being surprised, and he knows this, because I tell him, "Honey, I hate surprises!" Does that stop him? Of course not. Each Christmas, birthday and yes, Valentine's...he goes to great lengths to pull one over on me. And he knows my one weakness. I'm a "peeker" through and through. If there is a gift to be found, shook, or "accidentally" opened–I'm guilty of doing so. My husband has gotten wiley... one year he surprised me with a pair of beautiful ruby earrings taped to a rock, and wrapped in four different sized boxes–with duct tape. Another year it was Dave Mathews Band tickets hiding inside a Hershey's wrapper. And then, possibly his most ingenious, are the gifts he plants (knowing I'll find them) just to throw me off track; one year I opened a can-opener for Valentines–SURPRISE!! Good one. Me, I'm not so good at coming up with wonderful surprises, but I'm going to give it my best shot. For Valentine's Day this year, I will give him the best gift I can possibly give. I will give him my heart and my love, always. I'm pretty sure its all he's ever wanted. I hope he is surprised ; ) 
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