Why I Write – Writing 101

My review is the third paragraph. I am so thrilled and wowed, and kind of jazzed my name is in a magazine

My review is the third paragraph. I am so thrilled and wowed, and kind of jazzed my name is in a magazine

This past summer, I wrote a review for the Persephone books Classic, The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield-Fisher.  It took me entirely too long to read the book()because of just me, not the book) and write a review.  But I sent in my review, back in August and I just received my Persephone biannual. In the section  Our Bloggers Write, my review, or at least a part of it, was included with other reader’s words. This is why I write. Not for accolades, though those are always nice, but I want a voice. I want my voice to be heard. I have connected with other authors from reviews I have written, which is great. I love being able to talk to other published writers. Sometimes I feel like they are in this other realm of writing that I might never reach, but then I have to remember that they are just people as well.

Last night reading the same biannual as above, the list of events for Persephone Books was listed and one caught my attention so much so that I had to write about it in my journal. This is what I said: ” I was reading the back of the Persephone Biannual where the events were listed, and  there is this event on November 28th where they will be “selling our books beside the fire at the Christmas Fair.” And boom! I was transported to the smell of snow, the sounds of children singing Carol of the Bells, and the Harry Potter/Columbia[California]/British Christmas feel. Like it was time to start decoration and reading books with a Christmas theme in them. Suddenly You comes to mind first…”  The book mentioned is by Lisa Kleypas, a favorite romance writer of mine. Please do not judge that I like cheesy romance books. Oh the horror that I don’t read just literature.  But it’s getting on the Holiday season and I want to read about it, and write about it. I have a piece of flash fiction I did a couple years ago that has a Christmas theme, and I’ve wanted to expound on it for years. There is something so delightful about having a Christmas vibe to a piece of fiction. You can read two of my holiday pieces below.

A Christmas Dance    (I was channeling Emilie Loring when I wrote this) and Eve and Noel – Flash Fiction

This is why I write, above that is. I write because I will read something and I see a scene. I see a picture and there is a story behind it. I watch a bird take flight and I’m remembering my childhood and mentally writing a children’s story to something as simple and small as an acorn  in a bird’s beak.  I am forever having ideas pound, pound, pound in my head. For years I daydreamed, not knowing what to do with all the thoughts crashing around in my head. I didn’t have an outlet because I hated writing in school. I didn’t understand how to get a story out. I remember one instance where I was supposed to write a story about a monkey and instead I wrote a mini paper. It was a frustrating time. Writing was always frustrating until I Mrs. B found a new method of teaching me to write.  It was a ‘boom’ moment where suddenly it made sense. But even then, in my teenage years, while I would write hoping to write like Emilie Loring, I didn’t write constantly. I semi dabbled in it, spending more time reading.  It wasn’t until I hit 18 that I really started to write. Nothing really good, though Rena, my heroine still has her book, but it has changed drastically from the beginning.

I never knew what to do with all those thoughts floating around in my head. What does a child who hates to write, do with all those thoughts in her head.  If I could go back I would teach the inner me that it’s okay to write whatever you want in a journal and it does not have to be a day to day account of what you did. I would talk about what Susan Wooldridge said in her book about a journal.  Gah, if I had  Poemcrazy back when I started really writing, maybe life would have made a whole lot more sense.

I read constantly. Books, books, and more books are my world. I cannot get enough books. And I read good books and consume the words and the styles and the stories. I envy  writers who write something that I know I will never be able to write. I eat books that have a story that hits me in my chest and I walk around in a mental daze for days reliving the magic that has whirled me off into another world. I rarely think of books as another world or door I open and enter, but the minute I open the pages of a book I love, I have the image in my head. I can imagine the scene just so, and certain books I have read over and over, my initial image is still there. I read Emilie Loring’s and the image is always the same. So I read to meet those characters again.    I write to see if I can be as good as these writers. Writers I respect and admire. I want to be as good as them. I want some of the qualities of how they write. I read some books and think to myself “gah, I wish I could write that way.” Of course, I really don’t want to write just like them. I want my own voice. Which I do have. And because I read so much, I feel I have several voices, several writer’s voices in my head telling me how to write. The one I hate the most is Stephen King’s voice as he is forever telling me to cut the adverbs. Damn Stephen King.

And recently I have to keep remembering Anne Lamott telling me to shut those voices (mostly characters) up. Tell them to be quiet so I can write. So many voices in my head. No, I am not crazy. Maybe some schizophrenic people just need to write to quiet the voices….. Writing this I worry that someone might think I’m crazy, but other writers know.

People that do not write don’t get all of this. I don’t expect them to. I watch my father when I go off on a tangent or daydream and sometimes he just stares at me like I’m out in left field. I might be. I might actually be on the cliffs of England wondering what the sea spray is like.  You might never know, because five minutes ago I could have been in the Sierra Nevadas with Tyler and Phaedra as they are driving up the Sonora Pass…. (they are both characters as well……) Or I might have just killed off my character with Chocolate Pudding.

This is why I write.


Women As Writers – Day No. 10

I had another post planned for today but with it being day ten and being exhausted with the writing, something else came to my mind. Being a female writer.

sad-writerBeing a writer now, especially easy, is a very accepted thing. You tell someone a writer and boom, they are impressed. It’s really hard to believe that it used to be a male dominated world. Poets were male. Writers were male. Playwrights were male. I can probably list on one hand the female writers of the 1800’s. Even into the mid 1900’s there were very few female writers.

Now, I would say that writing is a predominantly female profession. You hear more about a woman writer then male and there are a lot of women writers. More than three quarters of the authors I read are women writers.  They dominate the fiction world especially, throwing in all the romance genre, along with young adult.  Young adult is specifically filled with women writers.

It’s an interesting thing to think about considering most of the classics of old are written by male writers and the books were good. I love some of the classics. I love the poets from long ago. But what I find even more interesting is how much I enjoy the way a man writes poetry or the fiction from ‘long ago’.  I love how women write. I can totally relate to what they are saying, but the way a man writes feels like he’s writing it to me. He is whispering something rather amazing to me.

So while I love being a woman writer, I sometimes feel like I can’t ever express the lyrical romance the way a man can. Now I don’t think male writers of today have this ability. Shakespeare, Tennyson, Scott, Dumas, etc…. Have a way of writing romance that is so perfect I want to spin around in a circle of happiness. I cannot write like that, nor have I ever read anything a woman has written that is like the way they can write.

It’s an interesting thought. I would say the same applies to music. Male singers have this way of singing about women in a pure, poetical way that I never see female singers be able to do. Women never describe men in the completely romantic way so many songs directed at women are done. Male singers just seem to hit that perfection that women can’t or don’t repeat.

So, in conclusion, I think a lot of women writers could learn something from male writers. I also think the reverse could be said in the detail department. That’s another whole post, but male writers, especially now, do not deal in detail….


The Ultimate Personal Library

I don’t know if there is a band wagon for this, but I have just found some gorgeous photos of Neil Gaiman’s personal library from a couple blogs. Can I swoon?

"daaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyymmmmmmmmm" via A Minute For Minute

 That statement says it all.



More pictures can be seen here at Ron Brinkmann’s blog post:

Gaiman’s Bookshelf Details


Another great post regarding personal libraries is Case Study: The Personal Library (a pictorial)


Give me a man who owns a library like this and I will be in heaven.  Just so long as I get to add my books to the collection.

Signing off