Acknowledgement: acceptance of the truth or existence of something.
On July 31 I celebrated two years of disciplined daily writing. Something really BIG that I’ve learned in that time is that there are two kinds of writers – pantsers and planners. Those of you who know me know that I am not a planner. I’m a by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer.
In the two years of consistent daily writing, most of my characters vie for my attention. They tell me their names, their stories, what they look like, and how they fit into my story. That’s when the writing is magic and I can’t wait to get to the next line, the next scene. There are surprises and challenges. I am so pumped when I finish for the night at 2 AM that it takes me a couple of hours to wind down enough to go to sleep.
Sometimes I write when it’s just about putting words down. Sometimes it’s just the tiniest idea, an ethereal glimpse of a character from the corner of my eye, or a scene that hinges on one word if I could only find that word.
I don’t believe in writers block. I just sit down and write every day.
A lot of you know about Pinterest, which I absolutely love and which I only discovered two years ago. I have a board, of course, called ‘writing’. I pin quotes, ideas, and suggestions. I found this one early on:
This stands me in good stead with consistency.
I have written books in two genres, women’s fiction and romances.
- Women’s fiction: a genre that is an umbrella term that includes mainstream novels, romantic fiction, chick lit (yukky term) and other sub-genres. These novels are usually written by women, for women and tell a specific story about women.
- Romance novels are usually written by women for women and have two criteria:
- the central focus is on romantic love between two people
- must have an HEA ending (happily ever after).
I have drafts of three women’s fiction books, which are my heart stories. I will publish these one day. Right now, when I’m feeling less than motivated, I visit these books. Actually I visit the characters whom I’ve fallen in love with.
I’ve concentrated mainly on my romance series called Walkerville Desires. So far we’ve self—published Books 1 – 5 (Return, Redemption, Renewal, Resilience, and Revelry and yeah, I get it about the Rs). I’ve completed Book 6 (Renaissance) and have drafts for Books 7 through 9 (Rewire, Reflection, and Ruminate), with some ideas for Book 10 (working title Romance). As with any series, there are many reoccurring characters starting with Book 1. And I introduce new characters in each book. I know most of my characters but they sometimes surprise me. I have populated a fictional town, Walkerville, with a whole network of interesting people.
I’m currently working on an out-of-sequence holiday novella with many of my Walkerville characters— ‘So This is Christmas’ (working title).
AC is yk’s wonderful factotum. One of his hats is editor. He prints out the latest draft, inserting into a three ring binder so we can do read throughs aloud and work on edits and adjustments together.
On the front of the current binder is a picture of John and Yoko Lennon. HE thought (incorrectly, as it happens) that the title came from their Christmas song, which made him very happy.
I wanted to write a novella about the holidays that wasn’t sweet and light and Christmassy with lots of snow and good vibes. The holidays take on so many different meanings for so many of us whether from our childhoods or adult lives and expectations.
Since my son Jude’s death 19 years ago, I have difficulty celebrating the holidays. We usually do a large Thanksgiving potluck and then we have Chinese dinner and a movie on The Day. This story has helped me to articulate how I’ve allowed myself to acknowledge the holidays on a year round basis in the ways I can, spending time with people who are precious to me and giving of myself as I can without giving myself away.
I am grateful the universe has given me this gift. I am grateful I accepted it. I am grateful to AC who’s supported me and picked up the slack around the house so I can write. I am grateful for my characters who come knocking inside my head giving me just enough information to begin a story, allowing me to create the necessary back story for them.
I am grateful for the music I’ve fallen in love with, the song writers and singers who I’ve loved for a long time as well as new ones as I feel the necessity to have songs for my books.
I’m not saying that each chapter has a song, it’s just that some songs capture the essence of a book or a scene. The first time this magic happened was when I was writing my second woman’s book “Imprint”. I was watching you tube videos of old Van Morrison and I heard “Steal My Heart Away” and I sobbed when I heard these lines:
There’s a place way up
Where the world
Keeps standing still
The male protagonist pilots small airplanes and I could just imagine him hovering longingly on that very still mountainside.
I’ve spent hours looking for songs, I’ve listened to songs recommended by folks, I’ve come across pieces of music by accident and knew they were perfect. Sometimes a song just works, sometimes not so much.
I am grateful for all of you who have read my books. You don’t know what it means to me when you talk about my characters, make observations about them, want to know if they’ll ever make another appearance.
I am grateful most of all for you who’ve taken the time write reviews. We live and die on reviews.
I am unstoppable. I exist.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.