Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To a young writer...

Jasmine wonders: I don't know how other writers do it. I have so many storylines running around in my head.

My response is ...

Jasmine, it sounds like you've opened Pandora's box of ideas, and, from my experience, there's no closing it, not without regret. You either write this story, and the next, and the next, ... or you don't, and let them die inside you. I've done both. I hate doing both. Writing is so hard and painful, but then readers (plural) tell me I've saved their lives with my writing? And I'm complaining about what, again? And when I let a story die, by not writing and sharing it? I die, a little and a lot, too. I wrote a one-chapter story that I was going to let die, because I was just too tired to write, and that story was deemed the best thing I ever wrote.

So, write when you are able, share when you're strong enough to, and even (especially) when you're not. You'll get attacked, savagely, when you truly open up and write from your heart ... I have. You'll make friends you'll've never have known nor made if you didn't write and share ... I have. And you'll look at that one piece you write, and marvel that you wrote that. Nobody else did. Nobody else could have. You did that, and only you. And you'll wonder if you can ever write that good again in your life, and the next time, even if it's four years later, you'll surprise yourself by topping that one perfect piece, without even trying (but crying and crying and crying as you write), and touching hearts that needed to read just what you, and only you, wrote.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Writing and Sharing

This is a note of inspiration I left on 750words-dot-com on not-writing, writing again, and sharing.

Phoenix [an award for writing at least 750 words 100 days in a row].

I had a 58 day streak going, then I lost it, and I was like: 'Ugh! I don't want to have to start over!' But that didn't matter. What was in front of me was that I was starting over, whether I wanted to, or not.

And I learned from my 58-day streak. I learned I could go 58 days, and I learned that if I let my writing slide, then the day gets in the way, and then I get tired, and no matter how much I want to write before midnight, sleep still won, at least one day in 58. So, now, I write the very first thing. I know if I write starting right after midnight and get in my 750+ words, then that's one thing that I did that I said I would do for the day, and it makes the rest of the day so much better. And, when I don't do that, when I do sleep earlier, which is occasionally, then the first thing I do when I wake up is weigh myself, take my vitamins, drink my orange juice, and write, and write until I'm done, and write before my self-imposed 9 am deadline.

And when I don't do that, which is these last two days, then I have from 9 am until midnight to get in 750 words.

AND ... I have a sense of urgency about it. I have 102 days on this streak, and I'm not interested in breaking it this time.

So, I write.

And I enjoy it, when I get it done in a timely fashion, and I enjoy it when I have 15 more hours to get it done.

So, I'm enjoying writing, very much now.

I have something to compare it to: I took more than three years off from writing, and I just bottled all these thoughts and feelings inside, and I was irritable and unpleasant to be around. My fault, and I knew what to do about it. And I didn't. For a year. Then a reader of my story "My Sister Rosalie," 'demanded' I get back to it or all kinds of ill-wishes would come my way.

So I wrote the next chapter, chapter 56, and it was terrible. But it was 10k words, and it was a start, and now I'm working on ch 79, and I'm happy again. I'm writing again, and touching people's lives, where they are, and giving them something to read and to enjoy with the promise, God willing, that they'll have something to look forward to in that next chapter forthcoming and in the next book when I finish this one.

And keeps me on track, writing, every day, a little something to keep this story going, to keep me going, and to keep hope, enjoyment, anticipation alive in my readers.

It's a very, very good thing, writing, then sharing it, then knowing that you've touched people's hearts.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hello, the Netherlands!

Okay, site visitor stats for May, 2013:

So, the good ole U.S.A. in first (3.11k views), no surprises, then Canada (444 views) and the U.K. (378 views) for a near-tie for second (thank you), then Australia (160 views), obviously, ...

All English-speaking countries.

But then the near tie with Australia is ... the Netherlands (at 147 views)? ... the Netherlands' official language is Dutch.

So, what's the draw of MSR, a very English-y story, a story so English-y, in fact, that many English-speaking readers have difficulty with its prose, to the Netherlands, of all places?

Anyone from the country: ... would you like to offer some explanation for this? ... Am I writing this story in a Netherlandescquish style of writing, perhaps? Or is it something else about this story that has such a draw for you and others from your country? Please: do tell!

And ... down further, deeper into the chart, there are more surprises ... like Brazil (hi!) and China (howdy!), like other countries, reading my stories. Thank you all.

Then, if you look at what is read in MSR, I got another surprise. Of course, the most recent chapters are the most read, with "totus tuus" standing out, but the most read chapter? Chapter 24.

Chapter 24, published four years ago is the most read chapter of MSR.

Chapter 24: "Rain by a Rose Garden."

So, what does that tell me? I wonder.

Do you (re)read this chapter because you wish to have the table set for you, a prelude, before you dive into the (very twisted) mind of Rosalie in my story Rose by a Lemon Tree? Or ...

This is the closest that our dearly beloved girl comes to an openly intimate moment with our our aloof, hard, harsh, God-like creature. An openly intimate moment that she doesn't shy away from, no: she initiates it and goes after it with an uninhibited desire that ... well. You know.

And she goes after it with our aloof and unbendable, and that is to say, perhaps, unattainable ... object of desire, and our girl does have her moment, or, her instant, of intimacy, before she is ultimately rejected.

Are you (re)reading this chapter because you want this moment to last more than an instant? Do you want our girl to (re)pursue this moment, or do you want her Rose not to reject her this next time but to accept her? To let her in? To let her past this cold, hard exterior to warm and then to restart her still, dead heart?

What does all this (re)reading of MSR ch 24 mean? TELL ME!

... or, ... *sigh* ... not.

In any case, enjoy your moments, intimate or harsh, of your (re)reading of MSR.

love, geophf