Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The places writing has shown me


Throughout the years I've spent working at various writing jobs, I’ve been privileged to write stories on a variety of subjects. (And be paid for it!) That’s one of the best things about being a writer – you get to invade someone else’s life and see what they see, experience what they experience, and sometimes those experiences are vastly different from your own. Life fascinates me. So many different facets of life and fields of study interest me. It’s been a privilege to explore so many different subjects. Here are some of the coolest places my (non-fiction) writing has shown me:

Into history
-Inside a private house/mansion that was commandeered by Union soldiers during the Civil War. The house has a secret staircase behind a bookshelf that leads to the uppermost story, and a breezeway opens from the third-story roof to the bottom floors – early air conditioning! I was writing a story on the mansion’s renovations, but now, about a year later, the house still is not open to the public.
-Into an art museum basement where a amazing paintings were being restored.
-Into the inner sanctum of a Masonic lodge where meetings are held.

Into nature
-Through marsh mud in waders and on deep sea fishing boats gathering research.
-Walking about a mile, off-trail, in the forested mountains for a story and photographs on nesting peregrine falcons.
-Through parks before they’re built.

Other places
-Onto a track where Olympians ran for a story on a local runner.
-Into a sewer, above a wastewater treatment plant, and inside a water tank.
-In the passenger seat of a police car for a ride-along with an officer who pulled a woman who was going seven over. The town was having a crackdown on speeders! Yikes! 

I love writing. But what would exist for me to write about if interesting people didn't fill interesting places?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Going on about Goodreads

Hi, ya'll! Today, I'm posting on the WG2E, the Writer's Guide to E-Publishing website. It's a massive source of information for indie writers. Check out my post about Goodreads at:

http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/how-do-readers-find-your-books-on-goodreads

We're discussing how readers find books on the site.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mommy tears at the kiddie party


It wasn’t my party, I barely even knew the kid who was turning 6, but I was crying. Okay, I was not sobbing; no tear tracks stained my cheeks with mascara (not that I wear mascara) – but my eyes were watering in the middle of a warehouse filled with two- and three-story-tall air-filled structures. The bounce cages, the elongated nearly vertical slide, the “Spider Tower” with web-like rope obstacles children climb to reach the top, the basketball bounce courts – sure, these were awe-inspiring, but nothing get teary over.

What got me was the look of pure, innocent happiness on the face of the birthday boy, some six-year-old with big eyes and a gap-toothed grin and ears that popped away from his head like handles on a tea cup. His expression of overwhelming joy was beautiful. It just struck me, and I’m not sure why exactly my eyes teared up – maybe it was for something close to the same reason I get all watery on Christmas Eve, remembering feeling those moments of untainted happiness, before I knew of the sorrows and heaviness this life, we humans, can bring.

Okay, I’m getting way too philosophical here! I just wanted to share this moment, to try and capture even a poor reflection of what I experienced, of what I saw in that boy’s wide eyes. It was beyond words. It was beautiful.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The men of my dreams

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! It's 9 a.m., and so far, I've had a day filled with *sigh* love from all the men/boys in my life. I hope your day and life is overflowing with love, also.

Once, years and years ago, when I was in college, I received Valentine's Day gifts from three different fellows! Um, yikes! Not good. Today, I also received gifts from three different fellows. But since they're my husband and two sons, this time I don't feel guilty at all (but I'll probably feel guilty later tonight as I think back on all the chocolate I will have consumed)!

As a writer of fiction, I make up characters. And men. There's Daniel (the alluring lead investigator) in the Jonie Waters mystery series, along with Patrick (who looks at Jonie with puppy-like love and affection) and Jonie's high school sweetheart/coworker, also. Then there's the men in the new series I'm working on - an ex-fiance who refuses to move on, another alluring detective, and a wealthy playboy with long, golden-orange eyelashes!

Sometimes, I feel guilty... almost unfaithful... writing these love interests because I'm happily married to the man of my dreams. I know it sounds sappy, but today is Valentine's Day. And if there's ever a day for over-the-top mushiness, it's today! So here it goes: I love my wonderful husband, and no character I could ever create in the fictional world could trump the love I feel for him! I could never "write" my husband or cram who he is and what he means to me into a character on the page.

And since the header of this blog entry speaks about the "men" of my dreams, I've got to mention  my two sweet sons.

I love writing, and I'm glad I'm passionate about the craft. But I'm very thankful that the love I'm surrounded with by the men in my life surpasses the momentary enjoyment I get from the men in the pages I write.

I hope you can say the same about the love in your life. Happy Valentine's Day!