Jul 23 2015

Sharing is Part of the Human Condition

Published by Cathie under Main

“Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things–thoughts, ideas, opinions,” Paulo Coelho

(And if you haven’t  read his books, I strongly urge you to read him–especially The Alchemist.)

Why do writers write? What prompts them to bare their inner soul on the page? For me, it is sharing thoughts and creating stories. I am one of those people who would much rather read than watch media. Maybe it’s because when I was a child TV was prohibited. (There were only three stations and all stations went off the air at eleven pm. I know it’s hard to wrap your head around that when you now have over two hundred channels to choose from.) The thing I like about writing is I have the opportunity to edit my thoughts before someone reads them. Unfortunately, with speaking it’s not the same. How many times have you stuck the proverbial foot in your mouth and wished you could retract your words? Creating novels is a process. I liken it to running a marathon. You need to train. It’s going to take time and you need to give it the time and space it needs to develop.  I take a story from a kernel, ask the questions, “What if? What happens next? Who is telling the story and why?” Then I see where the road of writing takes me. Usually I have a vague outline, but I’m not one of those writers who uses detailed outlines. For me, it doesn’t work. I like the spontaneity of the writing flow. As the writer W. Somerset Maugham said, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

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Jul 13 2015

Romancing the Vines

Published by Cathie under Main

Francesca Bernard is a vintner in the Sonoma Valley who just can’t seem to perfect her wine, her finances, and her love life. She finds herself torn between the man she lives with and the man she loves. A letter arrives from a long-lost cousin encouraging her to travel to Italy to uncover the secret to her wine and her heart. Tension is tight around the vineyard, so she leaps at the chance. Once in Italy, her cousin notices Francesca’s torment and convinces her to visit the local seer, who is known to help lost souls. The old woman propels Francesca back through time on a heart-pounding quest where she visits three past lives where her survival was in jeopardy. Armed with secrets and truths, she finally understands how the love, lust, and revenge they have endured for centuries holds the answers to their present survival.

“Magna gathered Francesca’s hands into her own cool gnarled ones and stroked them lightly. ‘Listen dearie. No one is allowing you to remain innocent and stuck on the wheel of life and death for eternity, but yourself. Even though the mind forgets, the soul remembers. Hopefully, by examining these lifetimes you will understand the truth. You are responsible for the life you have–no one else.’”

Pour yourself a tall cool something and follow the sweeping romance through time of Francesca, Enrico, and Giancarlo as Francesca travels into the past to learn the truth that has been eluding her for centuries. Sometimes those darn past lives interfere with the present ones! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N5GMCA2

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Jul 05 2015

The Zen of Writing

Published by Cathie under Main

“Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things–thoughts, ideas, opinions.” Paulo Coelho

One of the gifts of writing is it allows you to be in the moment, just you and your pen or keyboard. If you get out of your own way, ideas and images begin to flow. Your mind quiets and the still inner voice emerges. This is where the magic happens. My draft is always called “my shitty first draft”. And what I mean by that is it’s the draft that I let it all out without fear of judgment or condemnation from others. I never allow someone else to read the first draft because the muse is always tender and is threatened easily. Critics are frustrated artists. If you show your work before it is ready to someone who is secretly envious of you, because they know they can do a better job than you, you will be wide open for criticism.

So how do you get started if you want to write? My advice is to keep a journal. When I taught school, I used to tell my students (they were college age) this book is your bitch book. I advise getting up early, taking your coffee and journal into a quiet space, and let your hand sweep out your mind. Many times you are able to purge a problem, workout the mechanics of a relationship, or start an essay or piece of work. I like journaling in free hand and I have used a fountain pen for years. There is something about the sweeping of the ink across the blank page that stirs my creative juices. Again, with your journal it’s private, not for others’ eyes. But here’s a hint. Never write anything in your journal that if someone found it your life would be turned upside down. If you have items such as these, use fiction. It works much better. I have a pillow in my writing room that states, “Careful or you’ll end up in my novel.”

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