Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Writing Bug

I'm always intrigued as to when and why writers first became enthralled with writing. Was it as a child or as an adult? Were you inspired by teachers or authors? Did you write because you had to, i.e., work-related writing or have you always written for pleasure? For me, the writer's bug bit when I was in eighth grade. I was on the Pipkin Junior High School newspaper staff. I wrote articles and served as the roving reporter. I especially liked that because I love to ask people questions (note my weekly poll!) When I wrote articles and saw my byline, though, I was hooked. I'd love to find those articles some day. Basically, I've always enjoyed writing--any kind of writing. Short stories, novels, six-word memoirs, children's picture books and even corporate writing. In banking and healthcare, I created several thirty-second television and radio scripts. I even won a state-wide, second place award for one of my television scripts about substance abuse. Now, my writing career has turned to novel writing which is exciting, fun, solitary and agonizing all at the same time. When did the writing bug bite you? How old were you, what did you write at the time, and what do you write now?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

Thanks to fellow blogger Shirley McCann who nominated me for the Honest Scrap Award. This award goes to bloggers who write from the heart. To fulfill our Honest Scrap duties, I must list ten things about myself and nominate others for this award. Top ten things about me (in no particular order): 1. I love and cherish my family and friends. 2. I adore writing novels but it is such hard work. 3. Simple things make me happy: Finding a wildflower in the woods, seeing a deer, buying a cool bookmark or cute pair of earrings. 4. T.J. Maxx is my favorite store, hands down. 5. Every Thursday, hubby and I eat pizza and watch Survivor and Grey's Anatomy. 6. My favorite suspense authors are James Patterson and Harlan Coben. 7. A chilled glass of chardonnay is hard to beat. 8. My husband and I both love to dance. 9. As a single mom for 16 years, I am very close to my amazingly talented daughter. 10. I was vice president of a local bank for several years. I pass the Honest Scrap Award to bloggers Jean Rosenow, Virginia Pohlenz, Louise Jackson, M.J. Macie, Jessica Carter and Jarie Lyn Robbins.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Remembered. Always and Forever.

I can't get through this day without commenting on the tragedy of 9/11. I remember exactly where I was--at home running late for work, as usual. The television was on as background noise, but when I heard the frantic reporters' voices, I knew something was terribly wrong. I went into the living room and watched, stunned. I called the bank to make sure everyone knew and was tuning it. They were. When I finally made it to work, everyone was gathered around a television in the investment office. Not much was said as we watched the horrific tragedy unfold. We were all in shock. My heart goes out to the 9/11 victims' families. I hope they've found a way to move on and find some sense of normalcy. May the 9/11 victims rest in peace. You were taken much too soon. We will always honor and remember you and will never, ever forget what happened that day. I've always had an affinity for New York. My daughter used to dance there and lived in New York after college. In the 90's, she and I ate at the Top of the World restaurant in one of the towers with several other dancers and moms. That was also the day the designer Versace was killed. One of the dancers wore one of his creations to dinner. Since 9/11, I've been to Ground Zero twice. It was sobering and chilling. I remember all the comforting banners and quilts strung across the fence expressing sympathy and love from every state and other countries. The fence was covered with suffed animals, pictures of the victims, letters from loved ones, and mementos like a fireman's hat or boots. A fireman who didn't make it, obviously. The nearby blackened buildings made me cringe. The entire area was heart-wrenching to say the least. A year or so afterward, I remember flying into New York City at night, and two tall lights shone above the city. They were the exact dimension of the two towers. It was eerie yet comforting. Rest in peace, 9/11 victims. You will never be forgotten. And I hope the terrorists rot in hell. Do you remember where you were that fateful day?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Be Like a Volunteer Flower

As I watered this morning, I was amazed at the number of volunteer flowers I have this year. You know the ones--flowers that you didn't plant, yet they somehow push their way through the earth, even in rough terrain and without much water. Think of the poster called Determination that was popular years ago. The poster featured a dry, cracked earth with a beautiful, stubborn flower pushing its way through the ground against all odds. I have four large pots chock full of such flowers this year. I planted petunias, which died, and in their place I started noticing little green sprouts. At first I pulled the green leaves thinking they were weeds. Then, I decided to water them. Now, they're the biggest flowers I have--several are a foot tall and in brilliant hues of red, orange and yellow with gorgeous, lush leaves. I'm not sure what they are but I love them--and their resolve. As writers, we face a tough road ahead just like volunteer flowers. We hear all about rejection letters, the gazillion other writers trying to break into the biz, the particular agents who may or may not take us on, the huge, overflowing slush piles, and the publishing industries that are floundering. We're bombared with different rules for various agencies and spend hours reading blogs and websites just to make sure we're dotting our "i's" and crossing our "t's." We wonder if real books are going away in lieu of ebooks. All this crosses our mind while we plod away. As we sit at our desks, hunched over our keyboards (in solitude no less), we must have the mindset of tenacious volunteer flowers, regardless of the odds. Are you going to be like a volunteer flower? I am.