What I Love/Hate About Writing
One of the things I love/hate about writing: my critique group fails to understand a scene which I have polished to perfection.
How frustrating to discover the words I have chosen do not convey the feeling and facts which I want to share! I reject the temptation to think my writing group is a bunch of blockheads. And the fun begins.
The difficulty in communicating precisely fascinates me. That has not always been the case, particularly in my early years of marriage. It was painful learning to say to my husband, “I’m sorry my words were not clear” instead of “I can’t believe you didn’t understand me!” (You blockhead.)
Communicating is difficult because of the amazing and mysterious complexity of being human. It seems like a miracle when people’s unique experiences, personality and intellect meet in understanding. And yet the more personal a story, the more universal its apprehension.
On one level I enjoy finding the right words in the way a child enjoys playing a game. It’s fun, in and of itself. On another level, I enjoy touching that profound universality of experience that makes us human.
That’s what I love about writing.
And Why Would Anyone Do That?
A recent study in Britain found that people had reduced chocolate cravings after taking a brisk fifteen minute walk.
I find it easier just to eat some chocolate.
Did you know cocoa has 550 flavor compounds after fermentation, drying, roasting and conching?
A carrot has 96 flavor compounds.
I think my position is perfectly clear.
Is it good enough? If that's the question you find yourself asking about your writing, you may be sabotaging yourself. After all, who's the judge of good writing?
Sure, there are rules, and we all know them, but do they help you write the fresh, singular, yet universal story that only you can write?
A better question according to William Kenower, Editor-in-Chief of Author, would be, is it accurate? Have you tuned your focus so precisely as to communicate exactly the one thing you most want to say?
I chose this one nugget from the pages of notes I took at Bill's talk this past weekend in Spokane,Tuning Your Inner Ear: The Key to Literary and Artistic Life co-sponsored by the Inland Northwest SCBWI* and the Gonzaga University English Department.
For more of Bill's inspiring words check out his blog.
* Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators
Reflection on Events in Arizona
I like this quote.
"We saw a white, Catholic, Republican federal judge murdered on his way to greet a Democratic woman, member of Congress, who was his friend and was Jewish. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year-old Mexican-American college student, who saved her, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon…And then it was all eulogized and explained by our African-American president" — Mark Shields quotes historian Allen Ginsberg on PBS NewsHour.
And that heroic college student, Daniel Hernandez, is gay.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers in the blog comments, by email or social media.