In fiction, it’s the conflict that generally drives a plot. It’s what keeps us reading – wondering if a character will get what’s coming to them, survive the threat hanging over them, or have a fight with the crazy ex-girlfriend.
But in real life, it’s human instinct to avoid conflict. Sometimes, though, conflict finds you.
When I got up yesterday, I was in a good place. Continue reading “How One Small Terroristic Threat Can Really Ruin Your Day”
Every writer loves promoting their books.
I’m deep in the midst of promoting my latest book and, to tell you the truth, this time around is WAY fun. That’s because I’m sharing almost every event with a dog or two.
Dogs make everything better.
My last three books were novels – stories I made up sitting at my laptop on long afternoons and pre-dawn writing jags. I crafted characters and lived their lives- but only in my head.
The main character in my latest book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, is much more real…. Me.
So instead of dreaming up my drama, I lived it.
It’s easy to take risks when writing fiction, everyone knows you’re making it up, even if they suspect you’re actually writing about them (but changed the names and distinguishing features).
It’s another thing entirely to take risks while writing memoir. Memoir is nothing if not Continue reading “Lay Your Truth on the Page”
I have a speaking engagement coming up tomorrow in front of a tough audience.
Elementary school students.
It’s Career Day and I was invited to an Elementary School in Maryland, along with lots of people who likely have much more exciting careers than mine. I’ll have just 10 minutes per group to talk about what I do and answer questions.
I’m in a quandary about what I should tell them.
Writing is pretty boring. At least the act of it.
Unless you’re inside my brain, I appear awfully sedentary. Most days I bore my office mates to sleep.
So, what should I tell the kids?
Obviously, they’ll find my dog writing much more interesting than my women’s fiction writing or my occasional freelance pieces about parenting or organics or writing. They probably know more than me about marketing yourself via social media. And I’m pretty sure that talking about the largest part of my writing day – editing – would bore the life out of them, as it does me.
My tentative plan is to dazzle them with the dogs. I’ve even printed out a few 8x10s of some of my more exciting foster dogs to flash them.
My biggest dog- Whoopi. Continue reading “Changing the World”
“When you woke up this morning were you still a big shot author with a new puppy?”
That was the text I got from my husband who was out of the country on business this week.
And it does feel like a ‘pinch-me’ kind of week. My memoir, Another Good Dog, sold to Pegasus Books for publication summer 2018, and after fostering 95 puppies and dogs, I’ve finally decided to ‘foster fail’ and adopt a puppy from our current litter.
Rewind two weeks. Continue reading “The Difference Two Weeks Makes…”
I kicked butt yesterday and pounded out nearly six thousand words, so I’m all caught up according to the NaNoWriMo website. They have a nifty graph there that shows how you’re doing. I’m floating just above the line, so I’m barely above average, just like my grades in school. I’m trying to resist allowing this to make me slack off for a while.
It’s hard to write today. I’m distracted by the national news and trying to adjust to a new reality. I would venture to say I’m in shock to a certain degree. Disappointed in my state and even more so in my country. I want to believe that this doesn’t mean that hate won, but I have that same sick feeling I used to get when the bullies triumphed in high school. I fear for our country and worry about the message this sends the world about how seriously we take our role in it. Enough said. I wasn’t going to write a word about it. I have to let it go or it will ruin my days. I’m just so heart-sick about all of it.
I am trying not to dwell on the sadness, but the rain isn’t helping. My first thought when I woke was, “God is crying.” Really. I haven’t thought like that since I was a little kid.
Pushing it aside. Cramming it down in that space behind my computer monitor where things get lost forever and I forget about them. There. That’s where I put it.
Instead, I’m gonna write. I’m gonna pound out some serious wordage, lose myself in my story which is much happier and more hopeful than I feel. I need my story to be my world. I won’t visit facebook at all. Too many gloating people there. I’ll stick with twitter where I found so much solidarity last night as I watched the returns.
Stop it. Let it go. Let it go. What’s the next line? No matter. I’m gonna write. Hang out with Kat and Dylan and Mac and Gweneth. What do you think of my names? I always change most of them by the time the first draft is done, but I like this bunch so far. We’ll see.
Having completed the third book for my three-book deal (due out June 2017!), I decided to take a short break from fiction writing to work on a project near and dear to my heart.
It’s a memoir about our family’s experience fostering 50 dogs. I love the dogs and I love my family, so you’d think this would be pretty easy, and it is, but there are complications. It’s fine to write about the embarrassing, stupid, and simply odd things that I might do, but what about all the innocent parties living in our household?
Writing real life gets tricky. With fiction, I could just make something up. Don’t like the way that looks? No problem, I’ll just change it. Bad resolution? I’ll re-write it so it makes more sense. Slow scene? I’ll just punch it up by making someone get pregnant or die or get arrested. Nonfiction is a completely different animal. These characters I’m writing about are real people whom I care about deeply. Probably more than anyone else. Certainly more than anyone reading my book. Continue reading “Going to the Dogs”