The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, June 20, 2014

South of Broad? North of Broad? Am I a Broad?

         Recently I finished Pat Conroy's book South of Broad. Yes, I know--it's not his most famous novel. Yes, I know--there are movies made from his work ("The Great Santini" and "Prince of Tides") but I haven't read any of his books until now. Yes, I know--I'm behind millions of readers when it comes to Conroy.

     Reading South of Broad was life-changing. Or rather, it was novel-changing. Or to put it in an even more accurate way--it changed my direction as a writer. Now. On the project I'm struggling with.

     To find out how reading this novel changed my writing, check out my guest post for The Muffin.
     And don't forget to read something great this weekend. It might change your life (or your work)...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Being a Mom

       Early this week I'm going to be working on a "mom" story *. It's going to be early this week because I have a writing critique meeting on Wednesday, and I don't have a single word written that I can share. (Only rarely do I come empty-handed because when I have nothing to share, it's a waste of the great critique I get. As I sit there on pins and needles--will they declare my piece a pile of poop?--I have to listen to Linda's pen scratch across an entire page as she deftly rearranges my story. I have to hear Lynn's pen roll across the margin as she writes a whole letter's worth of suggestions and encouragement. I have to see Beth and Tammy's faces scrunch up, and I wonder if it's a good scrunch or a bad scrunch...) I haven't decided if I'm going to write a story about my mom or whether I'm going to write a story about myself as a mom but I...wait, as I was typing this, I made a decision.
     That's the interesting thing about writing. Sometimes just the physical act of typing something helps us sort things out in our head.
      I recently got some great news. (And no, I'm not going to "tease" and make you come back to my next post for the news.) My story "Elmo's Lesson" is going to be published in the upcoming Publishing Syndicate's Not Your Mother's Book...On Cats. And, my story, "A Risky Jump" has made it through to the final phase of Chicken Soup's Reboot Your Life. (Thank you WWWPs.) I know it can be yanked up to a month before publication but even though that's not happened to me yet, I won't say it too loudly. (I used to brag that I had been stopped by police officers many times--for speeding--but had never gotten a ticket, until I got my first and only one, so now I only whisper boasts like that.)
      I am giving away a copy of the recently published Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Mom. Many of my friends and writing friends have stories in this collection--Terri Elders, Donna Volkenannt, Renee Hughes, Debra Mayhew, Pat Wahler, Mary Horner, Pat Nelson, Linda O'Connell, Marcia Gaye, Alice Muschany, Ellie Grossman, Diana Graveman and Tammy Goodsell. (My husband judges how good my story is by where it is in the book. He is positive that the editors put the good stories in the front, and they get progressively worse. My story, "So Little Wine," is on page 200 which makes it a "dud" in my spouse's eyes. You'll have to read it to see if you concur with him.)

         On July 1st I will post who won the book...
      My story that's being considered by Chicken Soup is about me wanting to do something that some of my family considered stupid/dangerous. Is there something you've done/considered in the past that made your friends or family look at you like you're crazy? 

* Chicken Soup is looking for mom stories--tales of you and your kids as well as stories about your mom. Two different anthologies doubles your chances of getting published...