Spinning Thoughts & Tales ~

In the writing sandbox…

I played in the writing sandbox over the weekend, on Whidbey Island.  I didn’t write very much, as in getting the story on paper.  I did work on the conflict box, why would the reader care, why should I care, the story in one sentence, and the world of publishing at the Warrior Writers Weekend with Bob Mayer.  My friend, Pam, from north eastern California came too.  We did have fun!  

We met Bob last year at the Surrey International Writers Conference.   Bob was one of many presenters, as well as Susan Wiggs, who is a very generous and lovely woman.  I had the pleasure of meeting Susan a few years ago.  We discussed great book covers and why it is so important, among other things.  If you get a chance to meet her, go.

Now, back to Bob’s workshops;  practical wisdom on writing and publishing and the added pleasure of meeting Elizabeth George, of the Inspector Lynley series.  Elizabeth brought her basket of files on character, plot, dialogue and setting research for a book.  Bob showed us how he writes, tracks the plot, characters, scenes, setting, and the research.  Did I say research?  Yes, research.  A lot of research.   A lot of back story.  A lot about the process, including the books he wrote with one of my favourite authors, Jennifer Crusie.   Read all three books: DON’T LOOK DOWN,  AGNES & THE HITMAN, WILD RIDE.  WILD RIDE is hilarious.

I like all genres, well, paranormal is not my favourite, nor are subjects which are mean-spirited or gratuitous in nature, I would have to throw it against the wall.   I like Ludlum and Forsyth novels.  The Bourne series, the books, not the movies, are great.   I’m back to thrillers, who-dun-its, mysteries, and conspiracies.   Absolutely no chillers.  I’m starting Bob’s first novel, EYES OF THE HAMMER.  A good first line.  I can see the convoy in my mind’s eye.  I think it will be a fun ride.

And, back to… it is work.  If you are an author of many books, one book, or emerging as a new writer, it is work.  Elizabeth and Bob say it can be taught.  This is good.  Last summer, I was told writing is 10% inspiration and 90% hard work.  Well, that is what we do, work hard.  We play hard too when on vacation.  Mostly, we work, hard.

So, yeah!  This is what I want to do, now.  I want to write.  I have wanted to write since I was a child, but, you know life goes on and gets in the way of dreams, if you let it.  I let it.  Now, I am serious about the dreams I left on the shelf.  I dusted two dreams off in 2008.  The music dream ~ to own and play the piano, again.  The writing dream ~ to write stories.  I am determined to finish the book.  I will finish the book, then onto Revision, then who knows…because there is another story knocking loudly, the characters are calling, and I think, it is a good story.

Another reason why I am doing Nanowrimo this month.  I want to play in the writing sandbox, every day.  Now, I just have to be very disciplined.  And, if you ever get a chance to take Bob’s writing workshops, do.

I will try to update on Mama, all is well, the violent neighbour is a worry, but, all seems to be well at the moment.

Stay loved, warm, and safe.


Comments on: "In the writing sandbox…" (13)

  1. I would play in the Nano sandbox but I heard people pee there.

    Hi, I’m strung out on sinus medicine and I’m immature anyway. Good job you, and love and light to Mama.

    • Poor baby, sinus meds. Nano, it is a kick in the bottom for me, to be disciplined, to succeed. I’ll let y’all know.

  2. Ooo, that sounds like a wonderful weekend, Carol! I’m jealous, I tell ya. Jealous! Glad you had such a great time, though.

    @Lora, that was me. Sorry. :p

    • Thanks Delia. I hope you get to one day, too. My brains were leaking out of my ears at the end of Sunday. I loved it. Oh, the research they put in. Did you ever take Lani’s Discovery course?

      • Yes, ma’am. A very kind soul gifted me the class. It was terrific, especially since you can download it and take it again as many times as you need. Highly recommended.

  3. How great that you got to do do/see/play this! Very cool insights, and wonderful post. My life happened around me too, and now I am looking at fifty straight in the eye these days. So glad to see another person chasing (and catching) similar dreams. My mantra is that there was some painter (Grama Moses?) who didn’t even BEGIN her art career until she was well into her 80’s. I believe there is hope for all of us to do what we love to do.

    • There is hope for us to fulfill some dreams. I read an article about all the people who started wonderful careers or achieved greatness after 50. Cheers to us. I’m older than you and gotta get cracking. There was a songstress who started her career later too, she was a fab jazz singer. If she can, we can.

  4. Christine said:

    Good For you!!! Have you written before, (where I can read now?)

    How are Bob’s solo books? I enjoyed the ones with Crusie.

    • I just updated the post to include his first novel. I bought it a year ago and am just starting it. A lovely hardcover book.

      Well, I have written before, just for creative writing classes and a few post card stories. Maybe I will put my first post card story up. I have developed a thicker skin and take all critiques as a learning adventure. I’m growing. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

  5. Stormy (a.k.a. Bacon Sex Betty) said:

    *wriggles toes in the warm sand*
    Hope you don’t mind that I stopped by for a visit. Nice to see you playing so diligently in your sandbox! Yay for such a fun weekend!
    Mama’s always in my prayers, as are you.

    • Now, why would I mind, Stormy?
      Thanks, I did have fun, so did Pam. Our heads were fairly exploding at the end of Sunday. Thanks for praying for Mom and me. I get all cranky agnes somedays. The poor violent guy gets a “not going to be violent” drug cocktail. He was sleeping today. I have found him in Mom’s room when she was at music appreciation. So…. life goes on.

  6. I want to read your stories, post away. :) I’m so glad you had fun and got a good writing charge from the workshop. Keep us up to date with how Nano is going for you.

    • Hey Sweet Lady ~ Nano, it is going. Have to do major admin work this week, sort of on track. I think Jenny and Lani said something about the scenes and dialogue you are thinking about while you are working, counts. Now to put it on paper.

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