Tag: Wildflowers

Total 6 Posts

To Write, Observe

 

Pay attention to your surroundings. It’s not always easy these days especially with the distractions of mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices. As a writer, I often need to find those quiet moments and special places for writing, such as a library, a park, or my home office, but sometimes I need to write on the fly wherever I can. That’s why I began to bring along a small journal or notepad for jotting down ideas. It also helps to be aware of your surroundings because they can inspire ideas too.

Recently while enjoying a morning walk in a park in my hometown of Nutley, New Jersey, I forgot to notice those wonderful sounds like birds singing, the gurgle of the brooks, and the topple of the water over the falls in Kingsland Park. Shaking me out of my daydream was the sounds in a nearby treetop. I thought either squirrels on a mad chase or a raccoon shimmering down the trunk caused the sound, but to my astonishment a few feet ahead of me came a loud crash and a huge branch fell. My heart raced at the sight and the realization that I could have been struck by the branch. A fellow traveler in the wooded area noticed this too, and we both thanked the heavens that we’d been spared. It also woke me up to the necessity to pay more attention to my surrounding. Indeed it could be a matter of life or death!

The sights, the sounds, and the feelings of my surroundings have inspired me in my writing of settings for my books. Ocean Grove and Asbury Park, New Jersey are the settings for my two young adult books, A Dance Out of Time and A Kiss Out of Time. Although I haven’t been on the pioneer trail to Oregon, the setting for my western historical romance, Wildflowers, I have visited several western and mid-western states including Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Taking photographs, enjoying visits to local museums and art galleries, and writing in journals has helped me to capture my ideas about those surroundings.

I heard long ago that to be a writer means to be an observer. I believe that it’s true. It can also save your life!

 

Excerpt: Wildflowers

“God you are beautiful.” Ryan cupped her chin.

“Not like Evening Star.”

Ryan lifted her chin. “More beautiful than a thousand evening stars…more than a field of wildflowers on a summer’s day…more…”

She held up her hand. “Stop, Mr. Majors,” she said, with a soft chuckle. “Your words are kind, but…”

“True. Oh, I can’t write fancy poetry like RM did. But tell me, Miss Wade, did your RM make you feel this way.” He kissed her. A long, full-mouthed kiss that sent her head spinning, her heart racing, and left her breathless when his lips left hers.

No, she knew the truth; Robert McEntee loved her but never made her feel the way she did at this moment in Ryan’s arms. She leaned against his chest for support, lest her own legs give way and she fall.

Ryan studied her a moment. “For all his learning, your precious RM must have been a damn fool! Yankees!” He shook his head. “Maybe we both learned a lesson today.” He turned, lifted the carton, and headed down the path toward camp with a very puzzled and flustered Johanna trailing in his wake, her lips still damp from his kiss.

 

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Finding the Time to Write

How do you find the time to write? That’s a good question! It’s not an easy process.  I admire those writers who write each and every day. I’m not as disciplined, but I would like to be. However, when I wrote several times during the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November, I was able to find the discipline to do so. Despite a busy work schedule of teaching, family time, my birthday, and Thanksgiving, I scheduled time each day, usually after dinner, to write. That said, I produced three complete books during three separate NaNoWriMo’s, two of which are published, A Kiss Out of Time and A Dance Out of Time. My third is in revision stage, and I hope to get it published next year.

When asked about finding time, I’ve responded that it’s not finding time, it’s making time. At least for me that’s been the case. I am an advocate of carrying a notepad wherever and whenever I go for those bursts of inspiration. I keep one in my car, several around the house including the bathroom (good inspiration there), and in my purse.

I wrote my first novel, Wildflowers, while commuting on a bus to New York City from New Jersey. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to write a very rough draft in a small spiral notebook and later to type it all up. I’ve also discovered the recording app on my smart phone which can enable me to dictate story ideas or an outline. So, if there’s a will, there’s a way.

Since I am more of a morning person, I feel that if I can get up a bit earlier, I can use the half hour or so to write. I’ve done it before, and I can do it again. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and The Right to Write, suggests writing morning pages. That’s also been helpful to me. If nothing else, it allows for a free flow of ideas on paper. Who knows? It might lead to a story later on. By the way, evening time is good also. Whatever works, as long as you make the time and write.

Happy writing!