Posts tagged ‘writing’

one man’s writing retreat

In a perfect writing world, I would head to the mountains for a few weeks. All alone, writing, reading, researching. Ah, but wait, I live in the real world. I live in a world with two precious children, and a devoted and loving husband. I would miss them dearly (just as I did during my recent trip to the Jackson Hole Writer’s Conference). I love my life. Sure, I wish I lived in the mountains, that I had more time to focus on my writing, but do I really need weeks or months alone to accomplish my goals? And more importantly, could I do it?
One of the debut authors highlighted in the most recent Writer’s Digest wrote his novel in two months. He spent the time at his parent’s lavender farm in Washington state while they were out of the country, and wrote.
Although I have mentioned how lovely a private weekend or week long writing retreat would be, staying any longer than that would send me clawing at the walls. I don’t like sitting for hours at a time. I fidget. I get distracted by shiny things, dull things, flat things, and round things.
When I shared this man’s story with my husband, I said, “I would need a stash of M&M’s, lots of water, gallons of coffee, I would take multiple trips to the bathroom, and I would stare out the window, wishing I was outside.” He was quick to remind me of a 7th grade boy I used to tutor. I would complain that he constantly sharpened his already nubby pencil, go to the bathroom, ask for more water than was necessary. It drove me nuts because I knew he was stalling. I thought he had issues, and it turns out we are a lot alike!

The idea of being alone for two months, with only my writing to focus on sounds a little appealing, but then I am reminded of who I am, and I know it would send me home crazier than I am to begin with.

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July 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm 4 comments

The Year I Didn’t Care

Image

That was the year I didn’t care. The year when I ran free on the glen, the wind blowing my hair, creating tufts of rustled brown messes. I paid no heed to what it looked like. The breeze caught my skirt, making it swish around my waist. I cared not who saw. I felt the hot sun on my skin, soaking into my body, warming it like an oven warms delicious bread. The perspiration gathering at my brow did not embarrass me. I was free that year.
It all came before the shift. A divorce of magnitude. One caught up in the tabloids, one spoken about by every blog reading citizen. I was no longer free. The weight of the world’s eyes now hovered over my every move. What will she do? How will she handle this?
They need not have worried. In fact, they worried more than I. What I most despised, and remember most keenly to this day, is the freedom that I lost. I lost it with that last warm breeze. It slipped away with the kite as the wind snatched it out of my hands on that clear summer day. It escaped my reality as I watched my mother and father, standing on the edge of the veranda, gazing at me through darkened eyes. Something had changed.
I sit now, wondering if my skirt is covering my thighs, making sure my hair is in all the right places. Everyone is watching. I have lost my freedom.

———–

This flash fiction was created for Writer Unboxed “7 Days of Summer Flash Fiction Contest.” Write 250 words inspired by the visual prompt. (Todays story was not submitted for the contest, only created for my writing pleasure.)

July 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm 6 comments

Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady (flash fiction)

Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady

Have you ever experienced a moment when you felt beautiful? A moment when you, as a whole, were ready to take on the world? I had a moment once.
The smell of cherry blossoms filled the early evening air, I stood in the middle of a grass field. My white dress blew gently in the wind, the breeze lifted my soft dark curls and threw them lazily around my shoulders. Mark was next to me, intently listening to the band as they began a new song.
The first sultry words slid out, and I recognized it immediately. Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady. I turned to Mark, wondering why they would play my song.
His hand slid around my waist, his eyes full of love. “I’m sorry I was called out of town on your birthday. I hope to make it up to you.” His adoration for me was etched in his face. At this moment he could do no wrong.

————

This is from a Write on Edge Prompt.

Go to This Day In Music, and discover what was number 1 on the charts in the United States, England or Australia the day you or your character was born, or any other special day in your/their life, if you prefer.

Listen to the song(s) and let it inspire you. In 300 words or less.

March 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm 4 comments

Dusseldorf’s Secrets (flash fiction)

the Cologne - courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu

Dusseldorf’s Secrets

It was a rainy night in Dusseldorf, Germany; muted lighting played off the sidewalk,  making for a romantic stroll. Izaak’s fingers laced through Edy’s as peaceful feelings eased through her for the first time in weeks.
Izaak leaned over and spoke close to her ear. “Where would you like to go after dinner?”
Edy watched as a man in a long black coat stared at her from behind his glasses. She  recognized him by his gray hair and striped tie. No matter how much money he made, he always wore the same tie. It was Gerhard Richter. Edy hadn’t seen him in months, but she couldn’t forget he had made her life a living hell. A smirk crossed his usually solemn face, and he was gone.
“Edy? Did you hear me sweetheart?” Izaak wondered if she could hear him above the rains constant pattering. “I asked where you would like to go after Zum Schlussel?”
“Yeah… ummm.”
“Are you okay?” Izaak had stopped walking now, the awning above them kept the incessant deluge of water from pouring off the oversized umbrella.
Edy’s eyes avoided his, and she adjusted her coat. She thought she could keep this from him, but she thought of the day he might find out on his own. Possibly run into Gerhard Richter himself, and what then? Gerhard wouldn’t keep silent.
“Did you see Gerhard Richter pass us just moments ago?” Edy slumped back against the brick wall.
“No. Do you mean the artist, Gerhard?”
“Yes, the artist.”
“And what has your mind so preoccupied with his passing by on the street?” Izaak asked.
“He holds my family’s story in his hands.”
Izaak was amused. “You knew Gerhard?”
“All too well.”
“Zum Schlussel isn’t much farther.” Izaak gently pulled her forward, hoping Edy would tell him why the sight of that man had so upset her.

———–

The hum of voices in the pub was worse than the pattering rain. Izaak slid across the small booth, sitting close to Edy. “Tell me about Gerhard.”
“I told you my father owned a gallery until a few years ago.”
Izaak nodded, and took a drink beer.
“Gerhard is the reason it no longer exists.” Edy ran her fingers through her long wavy hair. “He blamed my father for turning the Cologne Cathedral to another artist for their stained glass window, when in fact he was the sole craftsman that the Cathedral had ever considered.” Edy banged her fist on the table. “My father did no such thing. Gerhard received the commission in the end. But before that, he destroyed my father’s business and our family.”
Izaak had met Edy just months after her father had lost his gallery. “Why would he do such a thing?”
“Gerhard is ruthless. He sees only himself, and this makes him blind.” Edy used the edge of her napkin to wipe the tear that slid down her cheek.

———

This prompt is from Write on Edge: Red Writing Hood

I challenge you with this opening line:

“It was a rainy night in Dusseldorf…”

You have 500 words.

March 2, 2012 at 8:37 am 10 comments

cauterized word count (blog post)

Maybe writing isn’t for me, I almost titled this “catheterized word count.” That is an image that I wasn’t intending to give you.
I am still working on my novel, and I thought it was going fairly well. Although, I am having issues with the main character, she seems to be lacking a true personality. My biggest problem though? The word count.
I have been writing the story long hand. Yes, weird in this age of technology, but for me it helps the ideas flow. Possibly because it moves slower, therefore I am able to create the scenes and characters as I move across the page, instead of getting to the end of typing a sentence and have no idea what’s to happen next. Obviously I am not an outliner.

image courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu

I felt that I was far along in my so-called novel, so I began typing it out. Boy was I shocked when I came to 18,000 words when I thought I was at least 3/4 of the way to the end. The novel I am working on needs to contain 90,000 words. Yes, 90,000 words!!! Yikes!
I really am in a sort of freak-out stage. I only have a few more scenes and I feel that my WIP (work in progress) will have run its course. I am sorely disappointed. saddened. Grieving. Angry. Wishing it were different. I WANT to write a novel. I thought I could do it. Now I am left wondering, contemplating this piece as a whole, ruminating over what holes I haven’t filled.
Is there hope? How do I do it? I am constantly reading about the craft of writing. Probably a ratio of 10:1 (reading about it: actual time spent writing). Sure, I have seen mentions of outlines, character profiles, ideas to get the creativity flowing. But what about creating a sheer behemoth of a book? So many writers accomplish the task. But how? I thought my idea was big, but now I’m finding it’s infinitesimally small.
In addition, how can a woman not accomplish the feat of coming up with 90,000 words when she uses thousands of them each day?
If you wrote, or are writing a novel, was it easy for you to come up with the 90,000+ words it takes to create your work?

February 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm 4 comments

Guests of Waverly (flash fiction)

This piece was inspired by Write on Edge.

The prompt was as follows:

Pick four numbers, each between 1 and 10.
The first number will be for your character, the second your setting, the third the time and the fourth will be the situation. (They then had a corresponding list.)
Take the four elements and combine them into a short story.
All four you picked MUST be your main elements, but you can add in other characters, settings, times and situations.
Link up your response, which must contain the four story elements you chose, and come in at or under 500 words.
———-
Here is what I ended up with:
Character – a waitress
Time – during a thunderstorm
Setting – on a beach
Situation – someone has lost/found something
———-

photo courtesy of wikimedia.com

Guests of Waverly

Rain fell in sheets, blurring the beach that lay just yards away, and drenching the guests who remained despite the thunderous warnings the impending storm had brought.
Her yellow dress was visible through the deluge. She moved the sand, her hands sliding methodically back and forth.
Someone pushed me from behind, “Alice. Go help her.”
“But it’s…” I said, pointing to what had moments before been a dry, warm, inviting beach.
Mr. Stark implored me with his eyes, “What are you here for?”
“To serve the guests of Waverly with speed and sincerity.” I gave him my best attempt at a smile, and stepped out from under the sheltering portico.

The woman was drenched, water flowed off her long dark hair.
“Ma’am, can I help you with something?” My voice barely rose above the raging wind and rain.
The woman in the yellow dress looked up at me and glared. “Who are you?”
“Alice. I’m a waitress at Waverly.” I waved my hand in the direction of the restaurant.
The woman’s face contorted into a look of panic and sadness. “I’ve lost my ring.”
Although I wasn’t able to differentiate any tears from drops of rain running down the woman’s cheeks, her eyes were turning red. She swiped at her nose and sniffed. That’s when I noticed the man, who was also on his knees, frantically looking for something. He was wearing a tux, which seemed odd.
The woman sniffled and wailed, “He gave it to me only a few days ago. An engagement ring.” She cried, “Right honey? He could barely afford it. Saved… for months.”
The man looked to the woman, raised his thick eyebrows, and glancing at me, nodded. He immediately turned back to his search.
The woman in the yellow dress covered her face and continued with her breakdown.
Despite wearing crisp white capris, I fell onto the ground and began moving handfuls of the heavy white sand, looking for the ring. Most likely it was small, being that her fiancé had to save for so long to purchase it.
The woman had given up all efforts at searching, and was now sitting on a lounge chair under an expansive umbrella. Her fits of sorrow now abated, she was ringing the water from her hair.
I felt something sharp brush against my shin. Looking down, I was shocked by the excessively large diamond set on a band of smaller diamonds that lay in the sand.
Squealing with delight, the woman ran to me, her drenched yellow dress clinging to her thighs.
“Oh, thank God you found it.” She snatched it from my fingers, as if she were afraid I would slide it in my pocket.
“Henry! We must go. You were to drive me to meet my husband twenty minutes ago.” The woman in the yellow dress took off ahead of the man at a rapid pace.
“Yes Ma’am.”

————————

Okay, my husband thought the man in the story was her lover. Who do you think he is?

February 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm 2 comments

existence is futile without a goal

Wow, it’s been a long time. Like an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while. When you finally see each other things start off slow and then, hopefully, you are back to where you were before you parted ways.
At some point after starting my blog, I devised a plan to write three blog posts every week. After all, this is what the experts advise. Ahhh, the experts. Sometimes the experts advice isn’t the advice that’s right for you, or I. We all live very diverse lives, and what works for one may not work for the other. I found that as a writer, it was taking too much of my time to come up with blog ideas, write them, edit them, and also have adequate time for my family and other writing pursuits.
So, the logical step? I dropped my blog. I didn’t worry about it any longer. I suppose that’s obvious. In the beginning, part of the reason for creating a blog was to gain readership, so that in the future I could share my love of the written word. I realized that if I don’t have any words (big projects) to share, there is no point in having a readership.
I began to think more about what I wanted to do as a writer. I want to write, and if something is taking away the joy of doing so, is it worth it? Thankfully I didn’t have a large following that got dumped on their heads when I took a long hiatus. If that were so, I would have greatly damaged my name, and possibly my future career.
For today, I am back, and I have no idea how often I will post. It’s nice to be here, to write something short that shares a glimpse into my writing life. Because in the end, that’s what this is. A place to share what it’s like to be a writer, and an author, hopefully with some regular life thrown in.
‘Till we read together again…

February 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

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Tracy Dee Whitt - Author

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