Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Top 10 List. . .

Inspiring Quotes by Famous Writers

As winner of an Honorable Mention in Bethlehem Writer's 2014 Short Fiction Contest I was asked to submit, along with a short bio, my top ten list. After banging my head fingers on the keyboard I finally came up with a list I find helpful on the long, and sometimes lonely journey that is my writing life. I find solace, inspiration, humor and camaraderie when I read the words of these famous writers.

photo courtesy of Wanna Commons Jenny Kaczorowski 

1.  These words by Ernest Hemingway have appeared on my blog before, but they remind me writing is no easy task and not to take it too seriously. 

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.”

2.  When I’m experiencing writer’s block Barbara Sher’s words often help. 

“You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating.”                                                

3.  When I’m facing a big project like an 80,000 word novel Mark Twain’s words fill me with hope. 

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and ten starting on the first one.”                                                                                                                                        

4.  My first drafts are often a messy pile of dog poop and C. J. Cherryh words give me permission to keep going. 

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
5.  I love writing short stories, but they are not easy as Henry David Thoreau reminds me. 
“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
6.  I am not a big planner, outliner, or plotter and usually write by the seat of my pants.     E. L. Doctorow’s words remind me I don’t have to know everything about the plot before I sit down to write. 
“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”  
7.  Edgar Rice Burroughs words remind me to just keep writing, every day, lots of stories. 
“If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.”
8.  Revising can be my best friend or my worst enemy, but Oscar Wilde’s words remind me I’m not alone. 
“This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again.”                
9.  There are many, many, many rules for writing well, but I like Robert Silverberg’s best. 
“Three Rules for Literary Success: 1. Read a lot. 2. Write a lot. 3. Read a lot more, write a lot more.”                                                                                                                
10.  And because I love Ernest Hemingway and a his hits of humor. . . 
“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”    

As always feel free to comment or add inspiring words of wisdom, your own or another author's.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Victoria Caine's Humor, Inspiration and Camaraderie

I am pleased to be doing a blog swap today with another fellow Prism Book Group author,
Victoria Pitts Caine. Vicki's here to share a little humor, inspiration, writerly camaraderie. Take it away, Vicki.

My writing journey began over twenty years ago when I published a small article in an adoptive parent magazine. Then my super-mom gene took over and I enjoyed the events surrounding my daughter’s lives:  school, sports, music, dance and cheer.

When the oldest left for college in New Mexico, I began researching my family heritage.  After several years of investigation, I entered a genealogy writing contest and won honorable mention.  At that point, I felt the need to tell the story of my mother’s family.  I began writing my self-published historical novel, Rachel.

My own inspiration:  My first book, Alvarado Gold, evolved from a family story told in an old letter from my mother’s great uncle. My ancestors developed a town in Texas and periodically drove cattle to SeattleWashington. On one such trip, the brothers including my third great grandfather buried the money. The family continued to look for it well over a hundred years later and it was never found.

The verse that runs through the book is from Ecclesiastes 3:1-9, beginning with for everything there is a time and a season. When the church worship band played the song, "Turn, Turn, Turn" one weekend – I knew I had to get the story published.

Camaraderie:  Anything that brings writers together is a benefit. I think we all feed off of each other (in a good way). I facilitate a class once a week for writers where we read our work and do a short lesson. Most of all we share our sorrows and triumphs in the publishing arena. The triumphs usually are celebrated with cake!

Humor:  A funny story from my writing journey. . . for many years I attended a writing class taught by an accomplished author who had several Harlequin Romances under her belt. Several of the students in the class had traveled extensively to exotic places like Africa, Egypt and the Middle East.

We were required to read our WIP each week and I read a scene from my book Cairo that took place in a restaurant. I’ve never been to Egypt and found a virtual tour of an eating establishment on the internet which I described in the book.

When I finished reading, one of the women who had recently returned from Egypt looked at me and said, “I didn’t know you’d been to Cairo. I ate in that restaurant.”

Ah, the power of good research.

Be sure to check out Victoria's newest release: available here or here

Vicki lives in FresnoCalifornia, where she shares her home with her husband, her youngest daughter, two dogs, one very large cat, and about twenty fish.  Other than writing, she enjoys reading, craft work, and collectables. She also collects exotic gemstones. 

Thanks so much for swapping blogs today Vicki. Be sure to visit Victoria's blog 

As always, feel free to comment or ask Vicki questions.