And We’re Back!

Had my head down while I was working hard and dealing with life, but enough about that. Some amazing things have happened! It has been a dream of mine to go to a writers’ retreat to work hard, share ideas, and come back with progress made. Well, I’m going! Woo hoo! And it’s daunting. The hard work, people–including a masterful writer–looking and my work and commenting. A moment please while I faint…

Second, I submitted my first contest entry! Results will be announced in mid-May. Since it is my first entry I’m just hoping I don’t get back comments like “Seriously? This is a story?”  🙂

Third, I made RWA PRO! OMG! This calls for a cupcake and the one I bought Friday night wasn’t satisfying, so you know what? I’m getting another one! I’ve been bouncing off the walls enough to burn off calories for a third if I must. 🙂

Thank you RWA, GSRWA, FTHRW, my new retreat friends, and of course hubby, who never had any doubts.

The Abyss

Why have I stopped posting regularly?  Why have I let cruel, uncaring, thoughtless people destroy my spirit?  It’s time to push those villains off a cliff (metaphorically)!

How to find my way back?  By finding meaning in daily events, finding connections between life and fiction.  Common advice to writers is to “Write what you know”, but what does that mean?  Does it mean that every writer who pens a novel about espionage really knows how it is to hunt down master criminals in foreign countries?

I know some of these authors and I know this is not the case. Writing thrillers with extreme suspense, criminals, and violence isn’t for me anyway.   Writing romantic fiction allows me all the room I want for exploring emotion, and emotion is so personal that it gets to the very core of what an author strives to do, which is to reach the reader.

Allowing myself to step back and really experience how an emotion feels, how my body reacts, what thoughts I have, and what ensues is an indulgence.  But it is an indulgence that allows me to grow, and to write better scenes and character motivations.  It is a path to personal and professional development.  If along that path a few bodies happen to fall into an abyss, well, at least it isn’t my body.  <insert evil grin>

 

Value in the Shadows

Today’s post was inspired by another quote I came across in recent weeks:  If only the sun-drenched celebrities are being noticed and worshiped, then our children are going to have a tough time seeing the value in the shadows, where the thinkers, probers and scientists are keeping society together. -Rita Dove, poet (b. 28 Aug 1952)

Shadows can be creepy if you’re in a scary place such as an abandoned house, lost in the woods, or in the unnoticed spaces with the company mentioned in the quote above.  The past is shadowy when much is lost to memory or intentionally hidden.  It is the latter that I want to employ in my family history mystery.

My past few weeks have been shadowy, too.  Life imitating art.  Shadows are often scary, but I’ve been reminded that they are also places of refuge when life becomes foreboding.  They offer concealment when we would rather be unseen.  Shadows become safety.

But what does this mean for story?  My heroine Elle is forced to walk deep into the shadows of family history to discover her roots.  Shadows that for generations many have done much to ensure light never shines on sins and mistakes.  Will omissions  and lies change her destiny more than confessions would have?  As she forgives and reinterprets the past she has the chance to change the course of her own future.  But is a spark enough to kindle a new path?