Posts tagged author
Quote of the Day--Henry David Thoreau


I chose a quote about love today because this subject is the most difficult for me. Stereotypically, as a woman, I should easily be able to write a great, lovey-dovey, emotion-loaded scene, right? No. Wrong. I would much rather write a scene of someone being literally cut off at the knees than write a kissing scene. Don't worry; I can do it. It's just not quite as easy for me as many other types of writing. Oftentimes I have a hard time suspending my disbelief enough to write someone falling in real-true-honest-to-god-love within a handful of book pages. Realistically, it always seems like it should take longer than it does, which is something I feel while reading as well as writing. Ironic, considering that my husband and I got engaged 1 month after we met...

Anyway, I've decided to take this quote and apply it to my writing. "There is no remedy for (writing about) love but to (write about) love more." Practice makes perfect; isn't that that thing everybody says? So if you're like me and have a hard time writing about love, let's practice together.

Today's Prompt: Write a story in which the main character meets someone completely new and proceeds to fall in love--believably--in ONE PAGE only.

May the Force be with you.


Novel Excerpt--Ourselves and Others

OaOgraphic Good news! I've recently finished Part I of my work in progress, Ourselves and Others. Woohoo! As you can probably imagine, it feels pretty awesome to reach a milestone like that, even though I'm only about 1/3 of the way through. I'm riding on this great, energetic sense of accomplishment right now and it's really helping me write. There's definite motivation to keep on pushing through and finish this thing. Since it's been such a good thing for me, I thought I would celebrate by posting a quick excerpt for my followers to read. Check it out.

To read the description of Ourselves and Others, visit the "Novels" page of my website.



“Time to wake up. I need to ask you some questions.”

I prop myself up on one elbow, rubbing sleep from squinting eyes. There's a thin nurse in my room—one I haven't seen before with rich, dark skin and a black bob. Flipping on a lamp, she smiles at me—just a quick smile, but a nice one all the same. “What time is it?” I ask her as she pulls the desk chair to my bedside.

“Seven.” She sits down and scratches letters on a clipboard. “How’d you sleep?”

The real answer is “not long enough,” but through a mouth dry like cotton, I simply mumble, “Fine.”

“Any nightmares?” the nurse asks.

“Nope,” I yawn.

“How’s your depression on a scale of one to ten?”

“I don’t know… Maybe a one? Two?”

Surprised, she looks up from her clipboard and says, “Really? Great. Glad to hear it. Now… Um…” She pauses to find her place. “Oh. During the night did you have any suicidal thoughts or consider harming yourself in any way?”

Shaking my head, I answer, “No, I didn’t.”

“And this morning so far? Any suicidal thoughts?”


Resolutely she lays her clipboard on her lap, leans back with crossed arms and gives me a good, hard look. She seems to be trying to figure me out—like I’m an equation whose numbers don’t quite add up. Finally she says, “If you don’t mind me asking, Miss Juniper… What exactly are you doing here?”

Shrugging, I quip back, “Tell you what: if you find out, let me know.”

The nurse laughs. It’s a soft yellow sound that crinkles the corners of her eyes and shakes her earrings. They swing back and forth for several seconds after the laugh stops, catching lamplight and tiny reflections of her coffee-colored skin. “I’ll do that,” she says. “You go ahead and get dressed, then head to the dispensary for your pills. Breakfast is in fifteen minutes.”

“Thanks,” I say as she stands and walks across the room. I don’t know if it’s the laugh or the fact that she hasn’t looked at me like I’m a liar yet, but I can’t help it; I like her. Before she can exit, I call, “Hey, what’s your name?”

The question surprises her. She stares at me like no one has ever asked for her name before. Maybe they haven’t. Maybe she’s been working too long amongst people who can’t even remember their own names or who are too trapped inside themselves to think of anyone else.  Up ‘til now she might have been just another part of the body of St. Clair’s, one of many limbs in scrubs. She smiles, her eyes crinkling again. “Denise. You need anything, I’ll be here ‘til two.”


That's it for now! I hope you enjoyed it!


Quote of the Day—Gustave Flaubert

I find this to be very true of myself. In writing my current novel, Ourselves and Others, which is based on my own experience in a psychiatric hospital, I've discovered a strong desire to defend those who struggle with mental illness. I've always believed mental illness shouldn't be taken lightly, but writing about it has multiplied that belief. Metaphorically traveling back to the psych ward makes me more present than I was when I was actually there—I suppose because I'm focusing on the details in order to write them, whereas when I was in the thick of it, I just tried to keep my head down. In any case, the awful realities of living with mental illness have hit me all over again.

So how has your writing revealed or shaped your beliefs? In what way has that manifested in your life?


Quote of the Day—Gwendolyn Brooks

This is perfect. I admit I am a talker, but not a very effective one. I love to write because it lends me an eloquence I simply don't have when speaking. Using my voice out loud might feel awkward and tedious, but using my voice on paper is always completely natural.

Anyone else feel that this quote is true of themselves? Or if not, what's one reason you write?


Multiple Me

Thanks, Mr. Fitzgerald, for this little truth. I've hardly seen a more accurate quote than this. As writers, we have all these people stored up in our heads. Every character I've ever written; every character I've yet to write—they're all in me, waiting for a chance to speak. Sometimes they all talk at the same time, and the only way I can focus on one voice is to sit down at my keyboard and type. I feel all of them, all the time. That's why I write: because the only way to express the "whole lot of people" individually is to personify them on paper. Sometimes I write a description; sometimes I jot down a paragraph of dialogue I'm hearing in my mind; sometimes I even draw a sketch or find a photograph of someone who looks like the person I imagine. That's when the multiple mes gain their own identities. That's when they become concrete.

So how do you give life to the multiple yous? How do you separate them from yourself and make each individual one stand out? I'd love to hear your process.


Encouragement for Writers

Encouragement Sometimes when I start thinking about submitting to publishers, I get scared.

Okay, "scared" is an understatement. I get terrified, anxious, frightened, petrified, alarmed. Putting yourself and your work out there is a big step; it gives other people permission to analyze, judge and, in a competitive world such as this one, most of the time reject something you've poured your heart into. So when I even think about opening myself up to that, discouragement is never far behind. It says, "Why submit? Even if you're talented (and who really knows if you are or not?), the chance of publication is slight. Might as well give up now."

And sometimes I almost do.

But then I remember that every single book I've ever read came from a person who, at one time, was in the exact same place I am right now. Every single one of my favorite authors, poets, and playwrights was once just a person who loved to write--someone who thought maybe--just maybe--he or she had a strong voice and a story worth telling. I'm no different than they were. And neither are you.

You love to write. You have a strong voice. Your story is worth telling. Don't give up now.