Quote I Love: On Writing, the Adrenaline Rush

“It’s an adrenaline surge rushing through your body. You have this spark of an idea that keeps threatening to burst into flames and you have to get the words out on paper to match this emotion or picture in your head. After this comes the work of cleaning up the mess that you made.”

–Janet West

The only easy day was yesterday

(c) istockphoto.com, PepitoPhotos 2007

I blogged at the Loose Id author blog this week, sharing about the challenges and rewards of the writing process. Having finished writing HOW TO SAVE A LIFE and my holiday short story, I’m looking back at completed works and how strange it feels to have taken a spark of an idea and created a coherent (I hope) story.

Read the full post: The only easy day was yesterday


Overheard at Writers’ Brainstorming Weekend

(c) Sloan Parker, 2010

Recently I spent a weekend at a house on a lake with my local writing group. We alternated between writing and helping each other brainstorm story ideas. Here’s some of what was overheard during the weekend:

  • “The Fire Lube and Goo stories.”
  • “Life’s too short to spend it in retail.”
  • “We can’t help because of the prime directive.”
  • “I showed the neighbors my ta-tas.”
  • “Now that we got our juices flowing…”
  • “He doesn’t play our reindeer games” (about our only man who left the room when we started killing off characters with poisoned Viagra)
  • “I was a whiny bitch.” (from our only man)
  • “What’s wrong with his nipples?”

And perhaps my fave…

  • “My hero’s nickname is Meat.” Followed by… “His friend’s name should be Buns.” And then you know where I went… “It can be an m/m. Slap the Meat and Buns together.”

And of course that led us to…

  • “You gotta give him a T-shirt that says Eat the Meat

I love this group of writers! There aren’t words to express how reaffirming and energizing it is to hang with other people who get the drive to spend hours and hours creating characters and stories from nothing but your imagination.

10 things I love about a really good writing day

(c) istockphoto.com, oonal 2008

  1. When I can’t stop laughing at something I just wrote.
  2. When the dialogue actually flows and sounds realistic on the first attempt.
  3. When my critique partner sends me a chat message to share some awesome plot ideas she’s working on and we both get even more jazzed about the story (the hard part is waiting to read it).
  4. When I hit that moment where I’m so far in the zone with this story and the characters’ lives that any past criticisms or reviews (especially the overly “positive” and “negative”) are gone from my head and all that’s left is the current journey and where I’m taking these men.
  5. When I re-read a part I hadn’t read in a few weeks and I’m so blown away by the intensity of the emotions and what’s going on that I can’t stop reading even though I know what’s going to happen next.
  6. When I re-read a part I hadn’t read in a few weeks and I’m surprised by the writing. “I wrote that? When? Was I half asleep?”
  7. When I re-read a scene I think is pretty solid plot-wise and I come up with an addition or twist I hadn’t even considered that takes the story to a whole new level.
  8. When I add in a new element of a character’s personality or backstory, then go back to layer in notes about the addition and find that this new element works perfectly with several scenes I’d already written and makes them even better.
  9. When my cats all come to see me in my office at the same time and sit at my feet and on my lap while I write. Sure, two-thirds of them are trying to tell me their hungry, but it’s nice to have the company.
  10. When it doesn’t matter there are dirty dishes in the sink, a to-do list a mile long, or a hundred emails to read. Kevin and Walter are having the most intense moment, and I’m not leaving the page for anything. Well, certainly not for anything related to washing dishes or taking out the trash.

Some days, writing is hard, but days like today are why I love this gig. Thank you to all the readers who make it possible for me to do this for more than just myself.

Video I Love: Pin-tastic Portrait

This week at my publisher’s group blog, Loose Ends, I blogged about this wickedly cool video (below), the common questions I get asked by non-writers, and what I celebrate about being me. Stop by and share what you celebrate about yourself.

They saw a swing set. I saw a dinosaur.

Here’s the video if you just want to check that out:

Or you can watch it at YouTube

Have a good weekend!