Sunday, July 29, 2012

Writers & Olympians

The Olympics games are in London right now. Have you caught the fever? Before I get into my comparison between writers and Olympians, let me explain my love for the Olympics. I am a true patriot. I love competition. And I admire athletes.

I've witnessed firsthand the sacrifices and very real blood, sweat and tears of athletes. As the mother of a professional dancer (and, believe me, dancers are athletes!) I watched my daughter give up school functions and outings with friends for YEARS to take dance classes six days a week. She had talent. She had determination. She had passion--just like the Olympic athletes who have given up so much to achieve their goals.

While watching the games, it occurred to me that writers and Olympians have more than a few things in common. Quite a few, actually, such as:

• Ambition
• Determination
• Passion
• Discipline
• Drive
• Motivation
• Teamwork
• Rejection
• Resilience
• Patience
• Talent
• Rewards

So, is writing an Olympic sport? Well, no, although writers who compete in the National Novel Writing Month challenge where they attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in November (or our own JANO challenge in January), might disagree. After drafting a novel in just one month, those writers surely deserve a gold medal.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Fictioneers: Sweet Tooth

It's Friday Fictioneer Day and I'm back on board! The goal is to write a flash fiction story using just 100 words based on a photo prompt provided by Madison Woods Please give it a try and leave a link to your blog.

By Beth Carter

Edgar perched atop a barren branch, scouting the open field. His siblings, Lenore and Poe, had long flown the nest in search of tasty carrion.

Trying to wrinkle his beak in disgust, Edgar couldn’t bear to think about that maggot-infested decaying flesh. Lenore and Poe called him a food snob. So be it. Carrion is overrated and Edgar has a sweet tooth.

Spotting a fluffy marshmallow on a graham cracker covered with gooey chocolate, Edgar got excited and flapped his wings. Dipping down, he chomped the sweet confection whole. Immediately, he gagged, choked, and fell over dead. No more marshmallows. Nevermore.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What's Your Excuse?

Excuses. We all have them. In fact, they run rampant for not finishing our novels, but today, I was inspired by a very successful author and hope you are, too. Keep reading.

Gazillion-selling, world-famous author Nicholas Sparks was interviewed by Anderson Cooper. I was amazed by his story. He is married with two children and previously worked in pharmaceuticals. He decided to "try" writing fiction "one more time" after seeing the finale of the TV show Cheers. Since he had a family and a mortgage to pay, he wanted to be realistic so he kept his day job.

Nicholas said he continued to work full time and wrote from 9 p.m. until midnight 3-4 nights per week. That's it. And he managed to complete THE NOTEBOOK during that timeframe in just six months! Unbelievable, right? The Notebook is one of my all-time favorite books and movies. If you haven't read the book nor seen the movie, do so immediately. You won't be sorry. I promise. But have a hanky nearby.

Other books by Nicholas Sparks include Message In A Bottle, Dear John, A Walk To Remember and in movies and bookstores now: The Lucky One. Nearly all of his books have been made into wonderful movies starring big-time celebrities. Sigh. Swoon. Dreams do come true.

Inspired? Me, too. No more excuses. Let's write now!