Archive for September, 2013
Last year two writer friends suggested a short story writing month during which we wrote daily to see how many drafts we could produce to work on throughout the year. The first month I generated a number of flash and one long story that I still need to complete and edit. The second challenge, which was the brainchild of an Internet writing friend, was less successful.
This year my writing group has the collective goal of writing four short pieces during October, starting today. This should provide material to workshop throughout the year. All of us are also writing, rewriting, or editing longer works. Each of us is to take a turn with prompts.
To start, Brian posted a motivational piece on FB–An Invocation for Beginnings. I don’t think he’s shared this on his blog, (The Weird World of B.K. Winstead,) so I’m sharing it here. It has great advice about getting started, about critiquing, and creativity, with only a few odd statements and a sprinkling of four letter words. And an advertisement, unfortunately. The Weird Worldhas lots of interesting posts on writing, too.
Like many blog writers, I’ve started more than one. One of my writing group friends had a short-lived blog, which she recently wiped off the Internet. I’d posted one comment to something she asked, and she kindly sent it my way prior to eliminating that entry. I think she must have asked what was on our bulletin boards. My response was this:
I decided to see if I had a quote of any sort on my bulletin board. Usually I have some vocabulary words posted, but I didn’t even see them. The only writer-related thing on my board, which mostly had pictures from a calendar tacked to it and a check I needed to cash, was a letter my friend Celia wrote to me a few months before her death in 1991. It said in her large print, some words capitalized, others underlined with a inch of emphatic scribble:
Catherine, LISTEN UP: I don’t think you should ever quit writing. Even if you do it now and then as a hobby. Keep your hand in, for crying out loud. You write very well, and it would be a horrible waste if you quit. DON’T DO IT.
She might have been slightly biased, but who can give up when you have friends who believe in you?
What keeps you going in the face of rejection, finding out the response you’re waiting for is never going to come because the story you thought you’d sent never arrived, etc, etc?
This past weekend the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers hosted their annual Colorado Gold conference. Many of us in Colorado had recently experienced devastating floods, and for awhile I’m sure more than a few of us wondered if the conference would be held. Luckily the conference hotel was fine, the roads into Denver were fine. When we arrived at the conference hotel, people in Red Cross vests and jackets were busily eating at the bar and taking the glass elevators up and down between their rooms and their headquarters on the third floor. When we encountered the volunteers in the elevators and restaurant, many of us thanked them for their efforts. One woman told me she’d been volunteering for fifteen years and she appreciated our appreciation as there were times when people didn’t seem to be thankful for their efforts and they seldom were thanked personally.
How do writers at a conference do our share in helping the towns along the Front Range? One of the visiting literary agents, Hannah Bowman, emailed the organizers of the conference and said she’d be glad to assist in fundraising for the flood recovery by offering a critique to be auctioned. This initial suggestion ballooned to a silent auction of other critiques, books by the authors attending the conference, and other services as well as jars of jam and loaves of homemade goodies. Overall this spontaneous auction raised four thousand dollars due to the hard work of the volunteers of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and the generous donors. All the monies were donated to the Red Cross. I was the lucky high bidder for the 50 page critique by Hannah Bowman, making me want to doubly thank her for her generous offer to help the state of Colorado.