February 24, 2016

"The waste paper basket is the writer's best friend." - Isaac B. Singer



Barbara signing books at Tamarack, WV with an avid reader.

On Rewriting & Quotes On Writing
Sometimes beginning writers say they don't believe in rewriting. They're afraid they'll somehow lose the excitement of the first draft. This is far from the truth. Rewriting is making the work better. You add, delete, and revise. What worked well in the first draft stays. Most professional writers know there is a sense of control that comes with revision. It's where one knows one has mastery of the writing craft. Not easy! Just remember - anything worth having is never easy. So if you'd like to start writing, or if  you're in the middle of a project, get busy. Time is wasting!

"It is no sign of weakness or defeat that your manuscript ends up in need of major surgery. This is common in all writing and among the best of writers."
- E. B. White

"I don't write easily or rapidly. My first draft usually has only a few elements worth keeping. I have to find what those are and build from them and throw out what doesn't work, or what simply is not alive."
- Susan Sontag

"Half my life is an act of revision; more than half the act is performed with small changes."
- John Irving

"I revise the manuscript till I can't read it any longer, then I get somebody to type it. Then I revise the typing. Then it's retyped again. Then there's a third typing, which is the final one. Nothing should then remain that offends the eye."
- Robert Graves

"I rewrote the ending of Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times before I was satisfied."
- Ernest Hemingway

"I do a lot of revising. Certain chapters six or seven times. Occasionally you can hit it right the first time. Most often, you don't."
- John Dos Passos

"I can't write five words but that I change seven."
- Dorothy Parker

"I have rewritten--often several times--every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers."
- Vladmir Nabokov

"First drafts are learning what your novel or story is about. Revision is working with that knowledge to enlarge or enhance an idea, or reform it."
- Thomas Wolfe

"A thing may in itself be the finest piece of writing one has ever done, and yet have absolutely no place in the manuscript one hopes to publish."
- Carolyn Forche

"Read over your compositions and, when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out."
- Samuel Johnson

"There are days when the result is so bad that no fewer than five revisions are required. In contrast, when I'm greatly inspired, only four revisions are needed."
- John Galbreath

"I rewrite everything, almost idiotically. I rewrite and work and work, and rewrite and rewrite some more."
- Laura Z. Hobson

"I retype everything four, five, and six times--critical passages more--and everything, say three times."
- James Michener

"Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped."
- Lillian Hellman

"Only amateurs don't rewrite. It's in the rewriting that writers bring ALL their knowledge--basic craft, technique, style, organization, attitude, creative inspiration --to the work."
- Gloria T. Delamar

"Writing a first draft is like groping one's way into a dark room, or overhearing a faint conversation, or telling a joke whose punchline you've forgotten. As someone said, one writes mainly to rewrite, for rewriting and revising are how one's mind comes to inhabit the material fully."
- Ted Solotaroff

Good luck with your own writing. I'd love to have an update on your stories, poems, or whatever you're writing. Comments welcome!

February 1, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day...

What does Valentine's Day mean to you?  

We each have our own unique story of love and how we met "the one." 
Some have funny stories, strange stories, or simply humdrum stories that are special.

Here's how I met mine.

My cousin, Sue, married the guy's best friend, Bill. Sue and Bill had set me up on several dates that fizzled. I wasn't sure about this third one. However, I went along with it.
AND fifty some years later, I can report that it was a success. He was exciting, tall, dark, and handsome. A world traveler who'd been in the Navy (a Seabee), traveled aboard ships, vacationed in Hong Kong, stationed in the Phillipines, visited Hawaii and lived on Midway Island as a swabbie. He was, in other words, exactly what I was looking for. Someone who would take me away from my childhood home where I thought my life was the pits. (How is it we learn after we mature that our lives were pretty darned good growing up! In fact, real good!)

We started our lives in our home state of West Virginia. Then went on to jobs in Ohio and Michigan. Finally, we bought a retirement home in FL which we renovated and then moved back to Ohio.

Over the years, we kept busy with three daughters, three son in laws, eight grandchildren, and one pug named Sam.

Living, planning, moving, growing. Though my guy is gone now, I'm still a romantic. I'd love to hear your stories about your romance or romances and about where you are today. Some of you may have brand new loves, old loves, loves that left you heartbroken or loves that you found late in life. You can even add loves that never panned out. Like I said we all have our stories and I'd like to hear yours. All of them. And someday I'll tell you all of mine! 



Sue, Barbara, Bill, Raymond at Der Dutchman - their 50th anniversary dinner

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If you're looking for a love story to read this month click on the link below and read Anne and Rob's story. Told in letter form, it's a soldier's letters home to his bride while he served in Vietnam. While war is never easy, this story is about having hope. And how true love can pull us through in times of trouble.




http://www.amazon.com/Dear-Anne-Love-Letters-Nam-ebook/dp/B00JZ5FBQO