Friday, November 30, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Make 'em Laugh

"Do you think that all children's books ought to have funny bits in them?" Miss Honey asked.
"I do," Matilda said. "Children are not so serious as grown-ups and they love to laugh."
--From Roald Dahl's Matilda

Do you agree with Miss Honey and Matilda? Should all children's books include some humor? Roald Dahl is a favorite author of mine, mainly because of the outrageous humor in his stories. I don't know about you, but I can definitely use a few "funny bits" in the books I'm reading right now. 

What are your favorite funny books?

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing--SURPRISE!

Last Sunday night I thought a transformer exploded in our backyard. I rushed to the window and saw this:

"But wait. It's not July," I mused. "What's going on?"
An amazing surprise!
I rushed to the radio so I could have music to accompany the awesome display.
And I heard Casey Kasem counting down the top hits of the week.
#12 on the list--Linda Ronstadt's Blue Bayou.
"But wait. It's not 1977," I mused. "What's going on?"

One of the things I love the most about life and writing are the unexpected surprises that arrive out of nowhere. Like a huge fireworks display in my backyard on a chilly Sunday night in November. And a radio station that flashes me back to my early childhood when I used to listen and sing along to the weekly top 40 religiously.

Has life surprised you lately? Has your story surprised you?

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Plugging into the Creative Outlet

“Find your creative outlet and plug into it. Otherwise, you may just short-circuit.”
 --Giuseppe Bianco
Has your creative writing outlet ever short-circuited? Mine has. That's when I must plug into a different outlet. From the time I was three years old, I've had a favorite creative outlet--the piano. Maybe I mentioned it before, but I composed music most of my life. The delicious feel of smooth ivory had always been my go-to outlet whenever I need an emotional release.

Two years ago I sold a much-loved piano because I believed writing children's fiction had replaced that need. BIG MISTAKE. 

Though this move to Colorado has brought me much happiness, it has also coincided with a motherlode of writing angst. The intense desire to plug into my beloved musical outlet grew more and more intense with each passing day. But I no longer had a piano. So I pouted. Then I prayed.

Last weekend an ad showed up in the local paper under FREEBIES. See the beautiful 1908 Cable & Nelson grand piano I received? Isn't she lovely? Once she settles into her new home and gets the loving care of a technician, I'll be plugged in again. Yay!

Do you writers have other creative outlets? What are they? Please share. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: First Draft Garbage

"It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly." - C. J. Cherryh
For all of you partaking of the insanity known as NaNoWriMo, I salute you. No one says you have to write 60,000 fabulous words, right? But you will have to edit those words some day and I wish you much success in making them as brilliant as our Colorado sunrises. 

Revising. That's what I'm working on this month. Revising a much-loved first draft that I haven't touched in six months. I spent three days working out the problems on the first page. Garbage? Yep. Most of the first chapter ended up in that pretty little silver icon on my laptop's dock. My goal is to revise this 45K novel by the end of the month. I tend to draft sparsly, so I'll most likely be adding scenes and many new words as I shuffle through this story. 

Whatever it is you're working on this month, I wish you success. 

Are your first drafts garbage?