When I counted every person who had critiqued the chapter I blogged about last week, I calculated twenty. Never before have I had that large of a critique group, and never before has my writing changed so drastically from start to finish.
Over two months ago, before another pair of eyes had seen that chapter, I’d rewritten it a dozen times. I was not satisfied with the result, but I didn’t know what else to do with it. Then came the residency program (the class I also mentioned last week) and I came home with a stack of critiques. One month later, with a little encouragement, I began working toward a contest for first chapters, and I found myself asking for even more Continue reading “The Color Red: the Brighter Side”→
Recently, three authors whom I admire gave me a crash course in the color red. Two told me red symbolizes pain, anguish, and bloodshed. The other author showed me.
He took a sample of my writing and projected it against a wall for the class and me to study. First came the untouched opening of a chapter I had spent a month working on. The class and I read it, nodded, and waited for the edited version. I thought I was ready, but when the edits came on the screen, I saw red. And I don’t mean I was angry–the page was red, Continue reading “The Color Red”→
When I was eight, I took up a dull pencil and a steno pad I’d been using for drawings, and I began my first short story. While I don’t remember much about the story’s premise, I do remember being surprised. Never before had I felt the thrill of creating characters, plot, and setting and making words do more than narrate. I’d written reports, journal entries, and poems, but this connection–this excitement–was something I’d never anticipated.
That was when I first said I wanted to be a writer. Somewhere in my young soul I knew I could not do without this sensation. So I began paying more attention to my creative writing assignments. Entered a contest or two. Scribbled sense and nonsense. Took writing courses. Analyzed books. Took more courses. Submitted articles. Penned my first novel. Then my second. On and on the course of events goes until now I write every day. And, yes, that wonderment still sneaks up and surprises me. Continue reading “My Life Hasn’t Been Normal Since”→