Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Catching Dreams

I wanted to post a picture of our little group at the Hawaii Writer’s Retreat, but for some reason I couldn't upload the pictures. Blasted technology! You can see it on my author website

Dreams are powerful. We all have them, but catching them is another thing entirely. I’ve always felt you must first know what you want to have it. Writing our goals down is a great place to start. The Hawaii Writer’s Retreat has been on my list for seven years, and, sigh… I finally made it there.

There are many awesome writer’s retreats, but in my mind this was the mother of them all. And what a great mother she was. Seasoned authors attend here, still learning and growing. If you’re coming here to loll about the island, you’d best come a few days early. Once you start the six day retreat, or writing intensive, you’ll be drenched in classes. Classes before classes. Classes after classes. So many great author/speakers you won’t want to miss. Your day starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends, minus homework, at 4:30 p.m.

First let me mention our amazing author and instructor, Anne LeClaire. She had the patience of a monk and the grit of a soldier. Talented to the max, she left no rock unturned when it came to our manuscripts. This is no place for sissies. Or the ego. We were here to learn and learn we did. Anne had this uncanny ability to see exactly what was needed to turn our manuscripts into gold. She taught us how to flip our stories. She taught us to be better liars and that’s the truth! It's all in the details.

In regards to your story, ask yourself, what would happen if? Here’s an example from my latest: The Passion Diary. A pastor accidentally ends up with a woman’s diary, which changes their lives forever. Now: What if that same pastor takes a woman’s diary? Immediately the story has more flavor. Why would a man, let alone a pastor take a woman’s diary and read it? What happens now that he’s fallen in love with her? Don’t you want to know?

I do.

Oh, right. Guess I now have to figure that out. I also discovered this novel I’ve worked on off and on for four years needs to be told in first person rather than third. Holy crap. I now have to rewrite the whole ding dang thing. But you know what? I’m thankful because I just might have something in the end that will attract an agent. We like attracting agents, don’t we? And by the way, your first page should sing like Beyonce. Most agents will not turn to page two, so you must capture them on page one.

The women I worked with in class were not only talented but witty and humorous. It was a joy getting to know them and I hope to have them in my life for along time to come.

Do you know what separates the real writers from the rest? Yes, you need talent, but the key ingredient is perseverance. Some of you knew this already. Those, like myself, who have been slogging quietly along for years, believing when nobody else did. Belief in your abilities must start from the inside out.

It’s nice too, when people come along who see that you’re not just some fly by night, hokey poky, I’ll write when I want to kind of chick. I hope you are blessed beyond measure that way. I have been so grateful for those who’ve gotten aboard my dingy. We get nowhere in life without the support from others, which means we need to Pay it Forward also, which by the way, is a great movie.

In the coming days I’ll be sharing more tricks I learned to make your writing sing, so stayed tuned and keep catching those dreams.
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Kreative Blogger Awards

While writing in Hawaii, a delightful surprise was left on my blog: The Kreative Blogger Award.

I’m honored and thankful that Jon Strother, fellow writer and creator of Mad Utopia, chose little ole mine. Thank you, Jon. By the way, if you haven’t checked out Jon’s blog, do yourself a favor and stop in. He is the creator of #fridayflash, a venue for writers to post short stories. And post they do. You might want to share your own or just be awed at the imaginative pieces. Either way you can’t go wrong.

There are two parts to this award.

First: I must select seven blog's I feel deserve the award. Choosing favorites makes me nervous, but I must. These imaginative seven deserve nothing less. But please see my blog roll for all the creative, wonderful blog's I follow.

Second: I will be sharing seven of my favorite fiction authors. The suggestion was mystery, but since I don’t read mystery, I figured I could break the rules. Most writers break rules, don’t they, Jon?

Drum roll please……

Rhonda Laveen’s Wonderland-exploring life, love and interconnectedness
I recently discovered this blog gem and adore Rhonda’s fresh take on life. She’s not only original, but charming, taking on life one word at a time. You bet I’ll come back for more and have no doubt you will too.

Author Jai Joshi’s Tulsi Tree
A splendid storyteller, Jai weaves in fascinating details about her rich culture as well as writing experiences. Like turning a fast corner, you never know what you’ll find here. Her entries sparkle with wit, wisdom and humor.

Georganna Hancock-A Writer’s Edge
If you want the latest on the writing and publishing industry, Georganna has the edge. She’s in the thick of things and wants us there too. Her clever, informative style offers everything from author interviews to editorial services. Lucky her. Lucky us.

Deanna Schrayer-Deanna’s Blog, The life of a working writer mommy

How can you not love this from the title alone? Women know what a challenge it is to write and raise kids. When reading Deanna’s blog entries, it’s like pulling up a chair and sitting down to fried chicken and homemade gravy with our favorite people. Her style is friendly and warm, her stories original.

Cindy Tierney Adams-, Obstreperous Heart

A boisterous, comical blog with serious undertones, Cindy captures us with her short stories, musings and writing experiences. An example title: After the kids, come the granny pants. Now you know you want to read her!

Angie Ledbetter-Gumbo Writer
Straight from the Louisiana Bayou this blog is flavored like a fantastic gumbo rue. Each post thrown in the pot is hot, hot, hot. You can’t stop eating, I mean reading.

Jenn Lidster-
When you visit her blog the visual alone will draw you in. The tree, stars and clouds suggest something magical, and Jenn doesn’t disappoint. This blog is stuffed with everything writing related, including author interviews.

You can find these fine word slinger's on my blog roll. Congratulations to all!

Second: Seven favorite fiction authors:

Barbara Kingsolver

Anne LeClaire

John Steinbeck

Alice Hoffman

Truman Capote

Paulette Jiles

Ray Bradbury