Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What do I write?

As I already mentioned last week, I have written a lot of different things.

First it was mostly short stories, sappy poems and pathetic excuses for novels. As my life evolved and I began having more stories of my own, I started writing more about my life. It appears that there is inspiration everywhere.

I don't think I have mentioned it much, but I have also always been drawn to photography. With the advent of digital cameras and USB ports, it became sinisterly easy to down load pictures and write about them. That is where my other blog often times ends up.

When not blogging, or otherwise rambling on the internet, I am currently working on a novel inspired by my mission trip to Kenya in 2006. This book tells the story of a lonely boy and the people he crosses paths with. I know, why is he lonely if all these people are coming through his life. Maybe that is the take of the whole book. But I don't know yet. And probably won't until it's finished, in maybe another 25,000 words.

I have written a 40-day devotional based on the Christmas story and have also finished my memoir of my  trip to Africa. That particular book still needs a lot of work, but I have put it away to ferment for a while. 

I have about four other ideas for books rattling around in  my brain. In the meantime, I continue to work on snippets of my life story. There are not enough hours in the day...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Where do I write?

I know that I said I wasn't going to take the time to post pictures on this blog, but I had this picture handy, so  I thought I would throw it out there. Even though this isn't a very inspirational picture, this is currently where I do my writing.

In 1993, after my first husband moved out, my sister and I built two rooms in my basement. One was designated as a playroom (and still doesn't seem to be finished), and the other was to be my office. We moved my computer down here at the time, but somehow the computer moved back upstairs in 1999 when we remodeled.

Eventually I got a laptop, which made it convenient to write where ever I wanted. Which also meant that I was always easily distracted where ever I was writing. For a while I parked in the living room and watched more episodes of American Pickers and Pawn Stars than I care to admit to. I finally moved to the dining room table, which worked for a while, except we could never eat at the table. Actually that was a good excuse for my husband as he prefers eating on the couch in the living room. I moved for a time onto the bed of my daughter's old bedroom. The cats and the dog liked that because then they could lay on my feet as I wrote. I decided that was not a very ergonomically sound place to be.

I got ambitious and cleaned up the office in the basement. And that is where I am right now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How did I get here as a writer?

When I was in high school and college, I wrote a lot of short stories and a few poems. When a husband, two  kids, a job and the mortgage swamped me, I didn't write too much at all. Probably sappy poems were all I wrote for many years. A few women I worked with were always consigning me to pound out personalized poems for them, to celebrate a wedding or birthday or some other life event. I was often paid in candy bars.

For a short period of time in the late 80's I belonged to a writer's group and worked quite a bit on what I hoped would some day become a novel. When all I could get out of it was 25,000 words and a lame ending, I shelved it. 

At some point during all that writing, I heard of the Green Lake Christian Writer's Conference. But never seriously considered going to a conference at the time. 

In November of 2008, I wrote 40 days of devotions for the Christmas season, mostly for my then college-aged children. I came up with the idea for a whole series of devotions, but didn't have a clue what to do with it. I was inexperienced, had lost all contacts with other writers and didn't think anyone would read anything I wrote. 

In the spring of 2010 I started writing a blog, The Dino Chronicles, at the suggestion of my kids. My daughter had started a travel blog because she was going to Kenya for six months, and they thought that since I had always wanted to write, I should start one too. 

When my next door neighbor found out that I enjoyed writing, he told me he was going to a writer's retreat in California that fall (even though he had never done much writing, had only thought about it). He said that I should think about going to it also. A quick internet search told me what I already knew - it was going to be way too expensive for my budget. 

But then I remembered having heard of the Green Lake Christians Writer's Conference. That seemed to be within my financial means. The conference was great. I was able to connect with other writers and learned a lot about not only writing but the business of writing. Mostly, I became inspired. 

The rest, so they say, is history. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Have I lost my mind?

OK, first question. Have I lost my mind by starting a second blog? Probably. But I have been thinking about it for a while.

My original blog, The Dino Chronicles, follows the stories of my life, past and present. I share all kinds of crazy thoughts and insights, random happenings and the like. I've wanted to write more about my writing journey, but wanted to keep that separate from my life. So here we are. New blog.

I plan on using this space as more of a journal of my quest towards publication. Naturally, it is a public space, but I hope to share my personal thoughts and dreams as well as boring things like word count and how long I managed to keep my fingers typing on any given day.

I discovered ROW80 (round of words in 80 days) and that is the biggest motivation towards starting a second blog. ROW80 asks that writers blog about their progress on Sundays and Wednesdays, so that is my plan here. Also, no pictures! As I've complained about in the past, posting pictures is very time-consuming for me, so if you've stumbled on this and are disappointed that there are no cool pictures, go back to my original blog. (You know that you can do that by clicking on the highlighted words you just read, right?)

I think that is enough to get me started. I'll be back on Wednesday!