#Blogtoberfest Day 2: Reading-Inspired Writing

The call of the novel will not sleep no matter how hard I try to put it to rest. So I’ve decided to prioritize writing for the next two months: this month I’m taking a class to get inspired and next month, I’m seriously considering NanoWriMo, although my first experience with it years ago did not yield anything worthwhile.

In the meantime, I’m reading like mad because reading inspires my writing. I imagine that’s true for all writers, right? We first thought about writing as readers.

I was sampling a few different genres but in the contemporary novels, I was finding too many references to Facebook, texting, Google, etc. I mean, I’ve done all of that, but I don’t want to see it in the novels I read. For some reason, some writers feel they need to include all of that, as if their readers expect it. In fact, I did read a comment about a reader who was disappointed that the book didn’t include social media. But as our society discovers more and more how unhealthy these things are, I think they will disappear from novels and that will really date your so-called contemporary novel.

It’s fiction, it does not need to represent real life. So I’m finding myself more and more reading novels set in the past. In fact, the book I finally settled on reading is set in 1959, Hassie Calhoun: A Las Vegas Novel of Innocence by Pamela Cory.

This is inspiring my own writing, because I really enjoy writing stories set in the past and Las Vegas is a frequent setting for me. Thoughts of my next novel are whirling in my head as I read.

Time to Retreat to my Writing Cave

We’ve returned from my super fun birthday trip to Mexico. The sad thing was that after we landed at LAX and picked up our rental car, we got a call from the pet sitter that our beloved 18-year-old Skipper was gone.

He was more son than pet. He’d been having good days and bad days but he kept rebounding, so I was hopeful he’d still be around when we returned. So with a heavy heart, we soldiered on with the trip, knowing that Skipper would want us to have a great time.

Friends and family told us that Skipper chose his way to go and, while no way would be easy, this would be best for all of us. That sounds like Skipper because he definitely did things his way. He was King of our house for 18 years!

My cats have taught me many things and Skipper has given me somewhat of a sense of what it must feel like to have a son or daughter go off to college, although I realize it’s not the same, but it does give me a peek into that emotion. I like to think he ran off to Nashville to pursue a music career or enroll in Culinary School. lol!

Anyway, because of this sadness, I’ve really pulled back from my music. I need a break. It’s too much of an Exfrovert pursuit right now for this Introvert, and I need to retreat, be quiet, and take time to grieve.

I am inspired to write, though. It’s quieter, more introspective, and after watching “The Durrells,” I’m inspired by writer Larry. I miss that kind of writing life.

So no 50/90 for me this year. Instead, I’m working on the third book of the “Real Women” trilogy, the one about Sandy cruising the Mexican Riviera, searching for her self-esteem and purpose in life.

In the meantime, why not check out the first two books in the trilogy: Real Women Wear Red and Real Women Go Hawaiian. For a limited time, you can get a special edition of Real Women Wear Red that includes book 2, Real Women Go Hawaiian.

The Sublime Art of the Unreliable Narrator

Today’s post from the Florida’s Writer Association, “The Sublime Art of the Unreliable Narrator,” got my attention, reminding me of a writing group I used to be a part of. We were chatting about something and I was offering my opinion and when, as an example for my point of view, I told of a personal incident, one of the writers said, “You’re an unreliable narrator.”

What??? No, an unreliable narrator purposely omits information to intentionally mislead the reader. I hadn’t done that intentionally – I just hadn’t told that story about myself yet. We may never tell some stories about ourselves – most definitely. It’s different with a book – you can be an unintentional unreliable narrator or you can do it purposefully if you’ve mastered the art.

Either way, it reminds me of all the arguments taking place on social media these days. Each person is set in their point of view and is not listening to yours. We don’t know everything about them and why they have their opinion and they don’t know everything about us and why we might feel the way we do.

My husband and I love to listen to Jazz and sip wine in the evenings. We also enjoy watching TV and movies set in the past – maybe because we’re both such history buffs.

So, in full disclosure after yesterday’s post about Nashville, today I’m thinking of going all retro, Jazzy, fully embracing my father’s era and the novel he loved so much, Letters on Balboa Island. Will my future books be set in the past? Any past in particular? Will my music become more Jazzy? I don’t know what this means, yet, but I’m excited to explore it.

LETTERS ON BALBOA ISLAND

“When I was seventeen, I knew two things that were true: (1) You couldn’t help but meet a man in a military uniform in southern California in the 1950s, and (2) Sooner or later, men would leave. ” – Rosalie

When Rosalie Martin chooses to spend her life with a military man in the post Korean War era of the 1950s, she can’t forget another she met during the war. And when letters surface on Balboa Island years later, she realizes she may have chosen the wrong man. So when fate offers her the chance to make a different choice, will she? Or has she lived a life of lies for too long?

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle and in Paperback.

Changes and a 5-Star Review

In my last blog post, I wrote that when you change something, everything changes. Often, we just want to change one thing and then are surprised by so many things changing, things we didn’t really want to change. But that’s what holds people back from changing anything.

After a brief halt to the life-changing events we’d started in motion, we’re back on track for changes. And they’ve already begun. I couldn’t spend one more afternoon in that house facing the intensity of the desert sun. It’s not my natural habitat, and I’d spent almost 10 years there. It was definitely time for a big change.

But I miss waking up in that bedroom, my morning routine of Rich going downstairs first to feed the cats and start the coffee while I stretch my back so I can get out of bed, get dressed, and join him downstairs to sip our coffee together. After morning devotions and kissing him good-bye for his morning commute, I would peek into General Hospital, play with the kitties, and then head up to my office either to work on some music in my studio, write a blog post, or write a scene for my current wip.

Around 10 am, I might take a morning break walking the neighborhood, and then return to whatever I was working on until about 11-11:30 to make lunch, watch the rest of GH, and then have my lunchtime chat with Rich. I loved this routine!

But it was isolating in that big house, and by the end of the day, I was nutty – lol! So here we are, throwing ourselves into a whirlwind of change, moving across the country, moving from a suburban house into an urban apartment, ready to get back to work and see what else I jump into – writing groups or music groups – this has yet to be seen.

It’s exciting and scary as I peek into the future and the past at the same time.

In the meantime, I noticed Raining Men got a 5-star review after its recent upload of version 2.0. Thank you. It encourages me to keep moving forward, writing stories and writing songs.

RAINING MEN

When California girl Brooke Slade, looking for love in all the wrong places, is presented with an opportunity to move to the Pacific Northwest, she turns it down, refusing to leave her life in Sunny California. But when she loses her job, she decides to give the Northwest a chance for thirty days and discovers it’s raining more than the wet stuff – it’s raining men. Wading through so many Mr. Wrongs, can she find Mr. Right?

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle.