The Fantastic, The Strange and The Ridiculous, a guest blog by Dorothy Adamek

Crazy Writer

You’re crazy.

Allow me to tell you, if you don’t already know.

Writers are a confirmed bunch of crazy people. It’s true. I’ve been told, so it must be.

I don’t mean the first dictionary definition.

  1. deranged of mind.I prefer the next one down.
  1. fantastic, strange and ridiculous.

Known to dive into crazy situations, we whisper crazy thoughts and hunt down crazy stuff. We sniff out the crazy in others and revel in their stories, mentally storing details to savor later in our scribbles.

It’s all part of the job description and none of us would be game to deny it.

We hear a delicious phrase and tuck it away for our good pleasure. Ponder the title of a book from a list of thoroughbreds about to race. Lose ourselves smelling fruit as we contemplate what best describes late autumn.

We visit places far from home to taste the wind. Just to get the crazy details right. Revisit childhood to unearth emotions only God can strengthen us to navigate again. And let the moon rise, hours after our beloveds have fallen asleep, to continue writing until dawn nudges the sky.

While others go about their normal day, we wander down a pathway no one else can see. We dawdle there and find something crazy enough to share with the dear one we call reader.

Last January, like every other summer, my kids swam in the waters of Australia’s Phillip Island. I stayed ashore, shivering in the absent summer. I would not play in frozen water… until one crazy thought gripped me and wouldn’t let go.

I wonder what it feels like to step in fully clothed? The way a character might in a moment of despair.

So I waded into the shallows and let the sea foam pull at my skirt with icy tugs. I let the waves assault my goose flesh until the black fabric stuck to my knees. And to my children’s horror, I ventured deeper and watched my clothes billow under me to the sway of the sea.

I just wanted to know. How would it feel to step out with sodden clothes clinging to my skin? How long would those tiny streams of water drip down my legs, and how much sand would my hem collect before I reached home?

Hours later I looked again, at the dusty salt marks in the creases of my skirt.

It was crazy and it was fun. And it was part of whom I’ve now become. A gatherer of details and experiences. A crazy writer.

Are you a crazy writer? Game enough to share a time when some craziness beckoned in your writing pursuits?

And if you’re too shy to admit a moment of craziness, remember crazy also means this.

  1. very good or excellent.

Ask any teenager. They’re crazy too!

Dorothy Adamek

Dorothy Adamek is an Australian writer of Historical Romance. She lives at Crabapple House with her Beloved and their three children, twenty fruit trees and Gilbert the cat. Come say G’day at her blog, Ink Dots.  www.dorothyadamek.blogspot.com.au/

I’m Talking About Materialism on Laura Kurk’s Blog Today!

Hey yall, I’m talking about Materialism today on Laura Kurk’s blog! Hop on over and say ‘hello.’

Materialism

$200 B&B Weekend Getaway Giveaway & 9/9 Facebook Party with Deborah Raney!

Home to Chicory Lane Deborah Raney

The first book in Deborah Raney‘s new Chicory Inn series, Home to Chicory Lane, introduces us to Audrey Whitman, a mother who has launched all her children into life and now looks forward to fulfilling some of her own dreams during her empty-nest years. However, not all of her children are ready to stay out of the nest quite yet.



Deborah is celebrating the release of her new series with a $200 B&B Weekend Getaway and a Facebook author chat party.

One winner will receive:

  • A B&B Weekend Getaway (via a $200 Visa cash card)
  • Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 9th. Winner will be announced at the Home to Chicory Lane Author Chat Party on 9/9. Deborah will be hosting a heartfelt book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at the next book in the Chicory Inn series!

 
So grab your copy of Home to Chicory Lane and join Deborah on the evening of September 9th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

My Review

This was a lovely story about empty nesters who are following their dreams after the children have left the roost…but then one of them returns. Funny, sad and complex. Raney tells the complicated story of the Whitman family with skill and and grace. I was really sympathetic to each of the characters, even when they were in conflict with one another. This was an all around emotionally satisfying read!

 

Love at First Sight? Let’s Talk About It.

Let’s Talk About It…

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I don’t.

Sorry if that sounds like a splash of cold water on your happily ever after, but I don’t. (And I write romance!)

Source: krmn777

Source: krmn777

When I first met my husband in Negril, Jamaica, it wasn’t love at first sight. He seemed like a cool guy. We talked. We danced. Then I lost my friends at the party…and he was the perfect gentleman. He gave me $40 to get a cab ride back to my hotel, and we parted ways.

That act of kindness piqued my interest, but it wasn’t love at first sight. When I returned to the States a week later, I wrote a check for the forty bucks, and mailed it to him with a card thanking him for the gesture. Afterwards, we talked on the phone and instant messaged each other. (Yes, this was when AOL had instant messaging. The olden days.) At the time he was attending college in Annapolis, and I was attending college in NYC so when he traveled to see me for our first date, I was flattered.

Ladies, so far this guy has scored points with me on two fronts. First, he shells out cash for my cab ride when I’m stranded. Second, he travels a long distance to see me.

But it wasn’t love at first sight.

I clearly remember that first date. We were riding an escalator at a mall, and I got a God Nudge. A God Nudge is one of those moments when the Holy Spirit in me says: “Pay attention. This one is special.” And so I paid attention and waited to see how all this would play out. Patience is a big part of this whole love thing. “Love is patient…Love is kind…”

But it wasn’t love at first sight.

The love grew over time. As we got to know one another, I started to like his laid back nature, his straight shooter ways. I was the hurricane and he was the calm sea, always steady, always unmoved.

It’s been like that for most of our marriage. I guess that’s why I’m the creative type and he’s the engineer type.

Still, I didn’t know I was in love until he got military orders to San Diego after he graduated.

This was our conversation:

Him: “I’ve got orders to go to San Diego. How about you move there with me and we live together?”

Me…the formerly backsliding but now on the straight and narrow path Christian: (I’m thinking: Live together?! As in shack up? No way. You ain’t getting any free milk over here, buddy.) So I said, “Can’t do that. If you want to live with me, then we have to be married.”

Him: Let’s do that then.

I dropped the phone.

I eventually picked the phone back up and said ‘yes’, but it wasn’t until I created a boundary that I learned about love. I grew up thinking love meant you have to have your boundaries invaded whether those boundaries were mental, emotional or physical.

True love respects the boundaries of the other person. True love creates healthy boundaries based on one’s personal values and beliefs. (I, for example, didn’t believe in shacking.  That was my boundary. That was my deal breaker.) And it’s worked out so far. We’ve been married for a good while now.

If he hadn’t proposed after I drew the line, I would have balled and squalled, but then I would have eventually picked myself off the floor and moved on. Because that’s love too- learning to love me.

Let’s talk about it: Do you believe in love at first sight? Leave a comment. I’d love to chat.

 

 

 

 

How to Access Your Natural Writer

Writing is all about babbling on the page. Really.

Photo Credit: alvaspappa

This notion changed the way I write. In order to access my natural writer, I have to approach the writing process in the same way a baby approaches learning a new language. Since I’m around children a lot,  this concept was a lightbulb moment for me.

My children didn’t start off speaking the King’s English, and as a mom, I didn’t expect them to do so. Yet when it came to writing, I was super-hard on myself. I wanted to write perfectly from the start. Writing this way is contrary to becoming a natural writer. My formal education had a lot to do with this. How many of us wrote papers, handed them over to the English teacher, and received our papers doused with red ink?

When my children were babies, they gurgled and cooed all day, and I never put them in time out for incomprehensible speech. Instead, I cheered them on.  After receiving my encouragement, they grinned and  “goo-gooed” even more. As writers, we need to turn off that internal editor and “goo-goo” on the page. Now when I sit down to write, I make a conscious effort to be a child again. If I don’t, perfectionism will paralyze me and, quite frankly, perfect sucks. So what principles can we take from how children acquire language that are similar to accessing our natural writer?

Children learn language by first hearing language. Likewise, natural writers read a lot of writing to get a feel for how language works.

With my busy lifestyle, it can be a challenge for me to carve out time to read, but I try to set aside a couple of evenings a week. Reading widely keeps me from getting lost in my own head. It exposes me to different literary voices and styles. Each story I read sharpens my literary ear and helps me become a more natural writer.

Babies gurgle and coo a lot. In a similar respect, natural writers gurgle and coo by free writing.

Once I got rid of the notion that I had to be the “most perfectest writer that ever lived” (ha!), I wrote a whole lot more and I wrote a whole lot faster. Ideas for scenes abounded; article ideas flowed. After turning off that internal critic, I enjoyed writing. Early morning free writing quickly squelches the internal critic. Julia Cameron calls this free writing, “Morning Pages.” She describes it as three pages written in longhand. Those pages can be about anything. In her book “The Artist’s Way,” she says Morning Pages are a vacuum cleaner for your brain. They clear out the gunk so you can think clearly.

So there you have it. By reading a lot and free writing a lot, you’ll access your natural writer. Ba-da bing. Ba-da boom. Next Monday, I’ll discuss my process for generating ideas quickly.

What about you? Have you had a desire to write but felt stymied by perfectionism?