Fair Weather Writer?

For some Fair Weather is the key.

For some writers Fair Weather is the key.

You know what a Fair Weather Writers are, don’t you? They’re those people who can only write when all circumstances are right.

I honestly don’t know any, (hand in the air) but I’ve read about them. They’re the writers who can only get words on paper when

  • There’s no one else in the house.
  • When the muse knocks three times.
  • During the rain.
  • When the sun’s shining.
  • Only on weekdays.
  • Only on weekends.
  •  Only after the house work’s finished.
  • Or the laundry.
  • When the kids are in bed.
  • With their pets are in their laps.
  • (Name your own poison.)

Okay, I’ll admit it. (Hangs head.) I’m a Fair Weather Writer. (Sorta.) My personal thing is I can only write in the morning, maybe until noon. But when the day starts winding down, so does my brainpower. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.) I blame it on my internal clock.

Maybe you aren’t a FWW. You could be an ALL Weather Writer. That’s a writer who can write anytime, day or night–it doesn’t matter who’s around or what’s going on, who’s waiting or what anyone expects.

When they’re on a story, they’re writing.

Louis L’amour said he could write in the middle of Time Square. Just give him a typewriter and stand back.

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Marilyn Pappano can write all day and all night and start over again. And what she writes works!

A HERO TO COME HOME TO author (and all weather writer) Marilyn Pappano

A HERO TO COME HOME TO author (and all weather writer) Marilyn Pappano

I roomed at a writers’ retreat once with a woman who went directly to her computer and wrote each time we had a break. She was a great influence on me, and I started writing each time she did. And sometimes before she did.

All Weather Writer Jackie Kramer

All Weather Writer Jackie Kramer

Maybe I should just move in with her. 🙂

I’d give my eyeteeth to be an AWW, but I’ve tried. I can do a little in the evening (like now) but mostly, pfft. And what I do write late in the day takes a lot of fixing the next morning. Sigh. (Five fixes so far this morning.)

So . . . how about you? FWW or AWW? Do you know?

Where the Magic Grows

Some writers have this thing I’ve always envied, where they can be alone, meet with their muses and write, write, write. The really good ones have a little bit of magic growing there.

It’s called an office.

Marilyn Pappano’s was the first one I saw for myself. Hers is really cool! I’m awful with distances, but it’s about thirty feet from her backdoor, has two rooms, air and heat and even a place where she can nap when she’s exhausted.

I’m not sure, but I think it used to be a chicken house. Or a clock builder’s workshop. I can’t remember. 😦

I’m not sure where she keeps it, but I know there’s a place in there where magic blooms. 🙂

Another friend, a newer writer, has an office that’s outside her house, too. She has access to magic I know, because she’s extremely determined as well as enthusiastic about writing. (I’m anxious to read her stuff.) Her office used to be a barn.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a huge, two story office in her house. (Click on the link to see pictures.) She has tons of built in bookshelves, and somewhere, over in the back, a vat where she stirs up magic. (I know it’s there!)

Stephen King’s office.

Here’s a link to a pic of Leigh Duncan’s “work space” aka office. (You call it corn, we call it maze.)

My office?

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These days is a recliner. 🙂 My laptop sits of a table next to it. Since I’m most creative early in the a.m., I have piles of solitude. And quiet? Yeah, except when Molly is demanding a treat or it’s storming outside.

What about my books? Most are on my Kindle these days. The rest are in my overfilled everything room. Printer? It’s in the next room. Dictionary? Encyclopedia? Thesaurus? Online. Online. Online.

What about days when I write for more than a few hours and others are around?

Well, there’s always white noise and ear buds. 🙂

Of course, there are a few things I’m missing. I don’t have an area where magic grows (just blood, sweat and tears) but I’m hoping to find one.

The video below is James Scott Bell in his office. He’s sharing his best writing advice, but he shows us someone of the things in his office as he does. Maybe I should take a tip from him.

He definitely knows where the Magic Grows.

What’s your office like? Do you have a place where Magic Grows or are you, like me, still searching?

Read. Read. Then Read Some More

Go to any writer’s workshop or seminar and the one consistent piece of advice you’ll hear repeatedly is, “Read.” Writers who don’t read will simply never be successful. How can they be? That’s like being a musician but never listening to music. It’s impossible to learn the craft of writing without seeing it done well…and not so well.

Last week, Linda and I were talking about books we’d read recently. I realized my reading list has been a little eclectic lately. The only fiction I’ve read is Marilyn Pappano’s Copper Lake Secrets and The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, a poetry anthology. Everything else has been non-fiction. Titles include:

Life, the autobiography of Keith Richards, guitarist for the Stones;

The Rite, by Matt Baglio, which is about the making of modern exorcists;

What the Bible Says About Angels, by Dr. David Jeremiah; and

The Story of A Soul, by St. Therese of Lisieux.

Even though these books aren’t fiction, they still have a tale to tell. From each, I’ve learned a great deal about structure, voice, plotting, and imagery, not to mention the life of an iconic rock star, demons, angels, and the journey of the soul.

Read any good books lately?

Friday Book Reviews by Robyn Daniels: Bond, Pappano and Morsi

Our Husband

STEPHANIE BOND

♥♥♥♥♥

 Stephanie Bond’s first book has long been a favorite which holds up well over time. This wild romp came from the author of the successful Body Movers series. Bond’s hook is a traveling salesman has three wives scattered along his route. His three wives vary in age, education, and backgrounds. His first wife, Beatrix he married for money. His second wife, Natalie could be his daughter. His third wife, Ruby could be his granddaughter with Beatrix. Their personalities are different but they share the common thread of accepting superficial marriages without much communication because his force of personality gives each woman the feeling that she is special.

 The women each give him a gift. Beatrix provides status. Natalie allows him access to her medical earnings. Ruby renews his passion and builds an aging man’s ego.

When these women become the prime suspects in his murder they unite to solve the mystery. Their road trip is the stuff of family legends.

Because Bond is such a good writer, by the last page you will come to see all three as quite likeable.

Copper Lake Secrets

Marilyn Pappano

♥♥♥♥♥

Marilyn Pappano takes her readers along the reading experience like the consummate professional she is. Her books engage you. Believable and well-crafted characters become your friends, neighbors, or people you have heard about—Irish travelers.

The way the suspense grows with her main characters is refreshing as they are not at odds like the often written pair who instantly hate each other and then fall in love. Both seek answers to personal demons finding the answer in Copper Lake. They work together and grow to love one another while the suspense builds through more deadly threats.

The descriptive is rich, encompassing the reader in things as simple as childhood swims and as complicated as survival of our main characters. With Marilyn Pappano layering the plot, it is just so fascinating to read beyond the first layer. An awesome romantic suspense. I loved the Copper Lake estate where the action takes place. I enjoyed touching base with a familiar character or two. Pappano’s storytelling in this book is among some of her best. She had an earlier work turned into a movie for Hallmark. This one would translate easily to the big screen and is scary enough to draw in a wide audience of both sexes. Undoubtedly one of the best reads over over 360 books for me last year. Pick up your copy and feast on the work of a gifted writer.

Red’s Hot Honky-Tonk Bar

Pamela Morsi

♥♥♥♥♥

One of the best books I read last year is Morsi’s tale of Emmaline (Red) Cullens who has worked from homeless unwed teenage mother to proprietress of her own bar in a little locals’ hangout beyond the upscale River Walk of San Antonio, TX. While both are bound by the river, her piece of Heaven is definitely low rent.

Red is proud of her adult daughter serving in Afghanistan. Currently as a cougar to fiddler, Cam, she has good lovin’ and is not yet ready to kick him to the curb. One call from Bridge, her daughter, endangers this good life. Bridge’s ex-husband is deployed in S. Korea and out of the picture. His mother providing care for the grandchildren suffered a stroke. Red must take care of two grandchildren she barely knows.

I’m sure readers will enjoy Cam’s skills with children and helping Red grow. The two grandchildren are just incredible. Cam’s aunt adds another dimension to the story, enhancing the reader’s experience. Red learns to navigate PTA, its dragon lady, and a no show cupcake booth worker who ensnarls her in working the politically correct cupcake booth from hell. If ever a booth needed two workers it’s this one. Poignant and at times funny beyond belief, savor the read.

The quotable dialogue is laugh out loud funny. Once you meet Red you will understand the phrase: “A heart as big as Texas.”

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Remember: If you want a particular book reviewed, please contact me. If you wish to review a book, we ask that it not be your own work. Make reviews between 20 and 300 words. Scale between 1-5 hearts with one being the worst book you ever read. Five is for a best ever read. We reserve the right to edit reviews for length and content. The reviews are based on recent reads, NOT NECESSARILY NEW RELEASES.

Reviewed by Robyn Daniels

Secrets

I love writing. It’s one of my favorite things to do. 🙂

I figure it stems from all those years of pretend when I was a kid. I never was a big one for games. Although I played, and enjoyed, a lot of them, I could live without them.

But not without “play like”. It just wasn’t in me. If I climbed a tree with a bunch of kids, I was ready to turn that tree into apartments and make up a story about living there. If we played in a car, we were taking a road trip to California. (I still have never been there, although I’d love to go sometime.)

As an adult during lulls in life, I often find myself making up stories–either about the people around me or my destination.

Once when my man and I lived in Punkin Center, we went to eat at a restaurant several miles out of town, nearly to the Kansas border. While we were eating, I noticed a table of three people, a man and two women.

Maybe it was the location of the restaurant (there was nothing else around for miles but farm land) or the different ethnicity of those three, but I had quite a story made up in my head about them. Talk about exciting! (Drug trafficking? International spy ring?)

When we got up to leave one of the women, who was very pretty and slender with her hair cut in the latest style, started shout-whispering my husband’s name. “Gary! Gary!”

Poor guy didn’t hear a thing, but I did. “I think someone is talking to you.”

Turns out, sadly, she was a girl he went to high school with, who’d moved to PC to work at a large oil company. My story for her life was a lot more fun. LOL.

As much as I like to write, I like reading even better!

I love books–the ones made of paper AND the digital ones. I get so excited when a new book by an author I enjoy comes out.

And one of those authors is Marilyn Pappano, who writes for Harlequin. Her most recent book was called, “Copper Lake Secrets” and with me it’s a big hit!

   From Amazon

Marilyn has a writing style that’s unique. Her words flow as smooth as honey, and while she’s pouring visions into your head, she smacks you with emotions that will make you laugh out loud, cry real tears or want to punch the guy in the book. Hard!

Unlike some authors, Marilyn doesn’t start this hero and heroine out disliking each other. The conflict in the story comes from within the character (like real life!) and, for most of the book, seems insurmountable.

There is a ghost in the book, but I view it as a tool Marilyn uses to give her book an interesting twist.

If you haven’t read “Secrets” order it now. It’s a fantastic read from a wonderful author and a darn nice lady.

Advice For Newbies

If I could give advice to new writers it would be: Not every word  you write will be golden, nor will all your stories be sellable .  I was lucky to have Marilyn as a critique partner early, so I have her to thank. And while everything you write may not make a slush pile, you will learn and grow in your craft. As long as you listen and accept what others who know more take the time to give.

What advice would you give a new writer?

 

You Can’t Win…

if you don’t play the game.

Meg here–AGAIN. Didn’t mean to post twice–old age and not having  Internet for an entire day! I was whining to TS/WS Marilyn the other day about my lack of getting things out for submission when she reminded me of the above saying. For me right now, writing isn’t my top priority. I tend to put everyone and everything before it.  Until I start taking myself seriously. . . yeah, I know, I know.   I can’t play the game with a blank page.

So why is it so easy for me to blog, email or post? Because there’s no pressure. No rejection–maybe some flaming. 🙂

Even though this year is almost over, and winter starts my SADD season, I am determined to hit the reset button on my writing.