October 18, 2010

Inspiration for Writing Found on the Road...

Amazingly enough, I found some inspiration along the highway coming to Wisconsin.
Could it be the time I had to think? Or was it the quiet novel we listened to on the way? Or, the long stretches of road? Or the time to talk to R without interruptions or chores.

Whatever it was, I found myself thinking of several stories I'd like to write. Not going to say a thing about them here because I've learned that talking about a story before it's written can give it the only life it needs and when one starts to write the story it folds in on itself. This is true for me, at least.

Raymond and I were reliving some funny events that took place in the fifties in our families and all of a sudden, I could visualize my characters having these experiences. When this happens you need to run for pen and paper or pencil and napkin or whatever.

I jotted down ideas on the back of our map and when I get home I can give them some body.

It's good to take a vacation. Especially driving in the car for eight hours. It's not only stimulating for that "I'm away from home happiness gene" but it also gives the mind rest from daily stresses.

For me it's been a much needed break, going to see our daughter and her family, and the added bonus of finding my creative "self" along the way.

Hope that you will take a day soon to find your creative self. Whether it's away from home, at the library for an afternoon of thinking and browsing, or a long walk in the woods. It all works the same. Get away from the busyness that you wrap yourself in daily and let your mind wander.

Blessings to you and yours and may your creative self always be present. Take the time to hit the road for some R & R.

October 15, 2010

Nov. is Writing Month...

Since I spent Aug/Sept sick and so far Oct. has been spent doing birthday/grandchildren things and catching up on the necessities of life, I've proclaimed November as writing month for me. The entire month. Every day. Well, Sunday off for church and cooking or whatever.

Nothing is allowed to get in my way except something of extreme importance. Emergency dental work etc.

I look forward to beginning on the first of the month and making as much progress as possible by the end.

I have several projects that I have in mind to work on as well as the KILL ME project. I find I have to give myself some freedom to move between projects. Otherwise, I freeze up. There's the fear of that anyway. My writing seems very precarious presently.

I may seek out some old stories. I left behind some characters that are worthy of saving from life in the back of a dark desk drawer.

And then there's the sequel to HUNGRY FOR CHOC. titled SWEET BABY JAMES who is about an abduction. Baby still hasn't been saved from the old women that took him.

So I have my work cut out for me in the coming months.

Right now we're leaving for a few days vacation to enjoy the fall foilage through the midwest and to visit the triplets and their little brother plus our daughter and her husband.

By Nov. 1, I'll be ready to commit. I should be refreshed and raring to go.

I joined NANOWRIMO and hope I can adhere to their schedule. I don't know that I'll submit what I've written as I may go between projects but if you have not checked out the novel writing in the month of Nov. check it out.

Blessings to you and yours!

October 7, 2010

Climbing outside the writing box...

This week I've tried without success to get back into the story KILL ME OR DRIVE ME TO FL. First I read over parts of the story. I climbed into the car with this group going to Florida and it was stifling. Nobody would say or do anything. Nobody moved. Not even mouthy Daisy.

I was ready to chalk it up to another failed story attempt.

Then I started thinking. First I took myself outside the car, outside the box I'd written these people into.

I woke up thinking about the characters one day. I still didn't have anything to write. That night I went to sleep thinking about the story.

The next morning it hit me. These four characters had lives before they got into that car and that's where I had to start.

At that moment ideas started jumping out at me.

And with that I was/am back on track.

I keep having to re learn everything I've learned about writing in the 20+ years I've been at it.

Sometimes I think I'm not meant to write a novel length story. Or am I?

I've accomplished other writing forms.
And I'm not giving up on this one.

Hope you are staying on track and often climbing out of the box to see what the past, present, future holds for your characters.

Happy Writing.

October 3, 2010

Clara Walk's Fashionable Barbie Boutique...

Every little girl who lived on Cherry Lane in the seventies knew about Clara Walk’s fashionable, affordable Barbie boutique.

I met Clara not long after moving onto the street. She was the matriarch of the weekly coffee klatch, having teen aged children and beyond. I learned a lot from Clara. And, not just about children either, though she clearly had a soft spot for little ones and a great flair for doll fashion.

My first taste of Clara’s Barbie fashion designs came when I accompanied a friend to Clara’s. Her daughter’s new Barbie needed a wardrobe.

The array of outfits that Clara offered for Barbie was astounding. She not only sewed the tiny garments she created on the sewing machine, but she hand stitched embellishments such as flowers, pearls, buttons, and fancy pockets. She crocheted and knitted suits, coats, hats, caps, and scarves. Barbie could be outfitted for everything from tennis lessons to ball room dancing to playing in the snow in a matter of minutes, all right in Clara’s living room. (Barbies on Cherry Lane needed a lot of winter clothes as they lived near the snow belt in Ohio).

Barbie could even go to work in the board room with her two piece black suit in a soft wool, paired with her smart white silk blouse, her red knit cashmere scarf and beret. Clara would add a black shoulder bag and black pumps, for a mere fifty cents more, to finish the outfit. Her pieces sold for a dollar or two, well below store prices and far outlasted their store counterparts. What she earned could never have covered her expenses or her time. Yet, she loved designing and making the tiny garments for dolls of the neighborhood children. And, eventually for her own little grand daughter, now grown and with a little Barbie doll girl of her own!

The neighborhood girls were welcomed at Clara’s door to peruse her Barbie collection any time.

I watched Clara treat the girls with patience and kindness as they labored over their decisions and each item of clothing, weighing each against the money in their pockets. She never rushed them. She respected their choices, and only made suggestions when they were pairing stripes with plaids.
Whether it was a fancy evening dress with a glittery wrap, or a cotton tunic, or a corduroy vest, each piece of clothing was lovingly tucked inside a clear plastic bag to ensure it went into Barbie’s wardrobe just as it came off the rack in Clara’s work shop.

I don’t know the story behind why Clara created a boutique of clothes for Barbie but I do know she made many little girls very happy, including my three.
She worked toward customer satisfaction, which she always got in the way of a big smile when the child walked out her door.

Clara is gone now as is the Barbie boutique. But I am confident if I searched through some drawers or an old box of doll clothes I’d come up with a piece or two from Clara’s collection. The clothes, like the wisdom Clara imparted, made our lives richer.

It really is the littlest things that count.