Friday, January 22, 2010

Thoughts about my latest story...

I've been working on a story about a girl who feels like she's made the wrong choices in her life and wishes she could do it over. I started this story last summer and then put it away for a few months when I got hung up on an idea. Amazingly in the shower the other day I was able to clear up my concerns and suddenly I am biting at the bit to start writing it again.

The thing with this story is that I am basing it out of St. Anthony where I grew up as did most of my friends. One day last spring I was home for a few days and I went running along the river and couldn't help but think what a wonderful place it was to grow up, and wouldn't it be a great setting for a story! You've got the picturesque setting of the Snake weaving its way through down town, a lovely little park that really could be quite remarkable if the city had the money, and come on, the sand bar would make for a great love scene right? So I had this crazy idea for a story and walla! Then I got stuck on a technical difficulty. When you're writing a story that is sort of complex that can happen. Anyway, I am back on track with this little story that I think will be as fun to read as it is fun to write.

So here is what I am asking from some of you: Any great memories of St. Anthony you want to share? Here's an example I am using in the book: She( my protagonist) reminisces about her youth and tells the story about riding her bike with her sister to the Fountain where they ordered strawberry shakes and counted a thousand pieces of previously chewed gum under the bar. (I indulge a bit more, but to keep it short, that's the gist.) She spends a lot of time at the sand bar, jumping off the well and climbing the water tower as a kid ( I know the water tower is gone now, but when we write fiction we can fudge a bit.) And goes fishing a lot with her dad and then eventually her boyfriend/husband.

Anybody want to share a rafting story? The river is a major point in the story. Especially since someone dies on the river and it turns into a bit of a murder mystery. But I may be giving too much away. Anybody jumped off the bridge? If you know me at all you'd know the answer to that question for me pretty quickly. So I'd love to hear what it felt like. Any cool fishing spots? Something near Chester Dam? Everything in this story is fictional, but I do steal from real places and real events, such as the 24th of July parade, and her house which is that really cool house across from the sandbar. I even went through it last summer and the lady was so nice about it. In fact in the beginning of the story there is a big 24th of July party at the park. I've always thought it would be an awesome place for a totally decked out party and in my story the funds, and the know how are readily available, so I was finally able to have my dream summer party at Keefer park.

You can always think about it and send me a private message via facebook, or just write a comment.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year Resolutions

Welcome 2010 and good riddance 2009.

Sound Familiar?

I don't know what it was with 09, but I really didn't care for it. It was like an old hamburger left in the back pocket of a hot suburban. (yes, this happened to me and was not pleasant.)

So unpleasant that I'm going to expound. (By the way, don't you love this pic of Macy in the lipstick? Looks like she got in the sauce too. Naughty, Naughty.

So here's the story:

The car stunk. It does that a lot with five kids and lots of road trips. I was cleaning it out, looking for the source of the "smell", when I innocently stuck my hand in a back pocket and pulled out a BLACK, MOLDY Hamburger-- HALF EATEN-- mind you, which means that someone stuck it in there ON PURPOSE and then LEFT IT THERE for like a month! DOES IT SEEM LIKE I'M SHOUTING? Well, sorry, but sometimes the things my kids do drive me bonkers! And the memory is still a little fresh.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yeah, Happy New Year

Resolution time: I resolve to stop eating chocolate. HA! Just kidding! NOTHING will get that to happen, but I thought I'd sound strong willed for a moment.

Real Resolution: I resolve to write a story that I can actually send to an agent with confidence. Is that possible?

Speaking of agents, one piece of advice agent Jane gave me when I met with her in December was that I needed to pick a genre. A voice. A writer wanting to be published needs to market themselves. Are you a romance writer? Mystery, Womens Fiction? Then you need to put yourself neatly on the shelf and write.

So I ask myself, what kind of writer am I? Well, the first thing is obvious. I am a romance writer, but I don't want to be one of those sappy, over-sexed Harlequins with the Fabio type male neatly painted on the front. I want my stories to mean something more. But this assignment has me stymmed. I've gone back through all my stories. There are four of them. Two are finished. I picked up the third story a few days ago and began reading. I started it in the early summer and then got stuck on an idea and put it away for a few months. Now seeing it with fresh eyes has me excited again. I like the story. Heck, I like my first story, but I'm not sure if it is publishable, though I love it. Not "High Concept" enough. I think I want to be a women's fiction writer with some romance tying it neatly in a bow. Or maybe a romance writer with some fiction tied in. I also like a little mystery, some conflict and lots of tension.Well, I've been paralyzed long enough. (One month to be exact) and I can't wait to get writing again. Whatever I am I plan to be true to it. (Isn't that what Shakespeare admonished?)

What are your resolutions?

Happy New Years everyone.