The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, June 18, 2015

All You Need's a Nudge

       Sometimes all you need is a little push. A nudge. A bit of prompting.

      On Monday I only had two paragraphs. Two pathetic paragraphs that were written over the weekend. It was a prospective Chicken Soup story, but already, it wasn't going anywhere.

      Tuesday rolled around and I figured I would come empty-handed to my writing critique group. I rarely do that. I hate not bringing something to the group. We only meet twice a month, and since I get such helpful feedback from the WWWPs, when I don't share something, I'm missing out on invaluable help.

      I got up early enough on Wednesday morning that I was able to hurry through a rough draft. Yes, when I shared the piece later that evening, there were word choices that needed to be changed. The title stunk. But... I was able to benefit from the much-needed suggestions.

      Those twice-monthly meetings push me to write. And when I'm there, they nudge me to submit.

      Yesterday, along with some great food (Nora Ephron's spaghetti) and great critique work, we celebrated one of those pesky annual celebrations... a celebration that I'd like to ignore. The WWWPs, however, won't let any birthday pass without hilarity and thoughtfulness.

      One of the gifts I got was this book. Yeah, you missed the announcement that my mug had made the cover of a book? Well, don't look too closely. The expression on my face is, uh, well... I was looking pretty whackadoo when the camera shutter fluttered.

        One of the women took a book, entitled Wild Women, and glued in hilarious chapter descriptions and photos of all five of us.* 

         Let this be a lesson for you. When you are at a public event, and someone wants to take your picture, do not make a funny face to deter them from snapping the pic. The scary facial expression will not stop them. They will take the photograph, they'll hold onto it like it's a gold mine and then later, that picture will turn around and bite you in the butt.

        If you don't belong to a writing critique group, what nudges you? And if you do belong to a writing group, what's a story about a prompt/shove that you'd like to share?

* Linda: Pay-back is a cold-hearted witch. I am going to scour the thrift stores looking for the perfect volume... and I won't rest until I find it.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I'm 62, Baby!

       Okay, I'm not 62 yet although I look that old on many days but something is 62. 62,000, that is.

       My WIP is 62,000 words (and some change). It's not finished, but it's getting closer. This weekend I went to a writing conference and work retreat. Every chance I got, I dropped my butt into a chair and hunched over my laptop. I brought several books along. My usual routine--drink water... write... pee... drink water... write... pee... read... and repeat.

       Drinking lots of water as I write helps remind me to get up and run (before the pee runs down my legs).

      Unfortunately, one of the books I brought was so good, I did more reading than I planned. Saturday night I stayed up past midnight reading, and ended up with only 50 more pages to read. On Sunday I woke up early and finished it.

     At the core of this story are strong women--four of them filling the pages for most of the story, and then a new one appears towards the end. The Invention of Wings is the real-life story of Sarah and Angelina Grimke--two abolitionist and feminist sisters, along with the slave that was given to Sarah as a birthday present when Sarah was a young girl. In reality, the slave girl dies before she becomes a full-fledged adult but Kidd has written a fictionalized version, and it is stunning.

     The voices of Sarah and Handful ring so true. Mauma (Handful's mother) is such an engaging character. Not many books drive me to read while my eyes are watering from being overly tired... and yet I continued to read.

     It was that good...

     On a semi-side note, my WIP is part novel and part cookbook. At the end, I'm including recipes from my made-up writing critique group. If you have an incredible recipe you'd like to send me to include (I'll include your name in the recipe's name), send it to (I've got the directions for some delectable dishes so far).

       What accomplishment do you have to celebrate? Confetti-covered minds want to know...