Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cart Before The Horse

Yesterday I was approached by a young lady, when she boarded my bus (you all know I drive transit for NIU, right?), and she's more amialble than most of the students I get on. She noticed I was reading and asked what it was. I showed it to her. "Oh, I love to read too." Then, she said "aren't you a published author?"

"Yes," I said. And told her my publisher was very small. I asked her what she'd written. Usually a person has written something before seeking publication.

"Oh, I haven't written it yet." Then she followed this up with, "I want to make it into a movie."

Ooooh-kay. This is like an ant saying they wanted to build the Taj Mahal. Right?

I told her she would need an agent to even begin that process (good luck on that).

I asked what sort of story it was.


The more I spoke with her the more I got that this might be a memoirs, and didn't want to get into that discussion with her. My best advice to her was, since she was a student, to seek help in the English department. Since I had to drive a bus, giving her any direction or advice was not going to be achieved while I had to concentrate on driving.

I don't know if if she will persue it, but if she actually does go to the English department, and begins to either take any classes in creative writing, or what have you, she might find she has a lot of learning to do on going about either getting a publisher or and agent or even self-publishing. You can't have that sort of conversation in a ten minute span while driving a bus.

When I thought about her lofty goals, and that she hadn't even put pen to paper (or however she writes it), I kept thinking how, if she's never written anything in her life, she might give up or never even start. I did tell her it was work. I told her the finishe project had to be edited, no matter how you published (and the fact that she didn't have the greatest grasp on the English--and I don't mean she was foreign--that would be an up-hill battle all it's own. The part where she thought it should be made into a movie made me laugh inwardly. Not meanly, oh, no. I'm sure that I'm not the only author who feels their books would make a wonderful movie. Am I right? And why not? But who knows. Stranger things have happened.

Speaking to this person who hadn't even begun writing made me think of my long 30+ years of writing and working at my craft and all the trials, slings and arrows I've suffered and thought "Good luck, my dear. You're gonna need it."

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Holy Writing Cave, Batman!

I took almost a week off, now to get back to work. Going into the vampire [writing] cave for time being. Take care, and I'll try to catch up with you crazy/wacky people later.
Chocolate hugs!
Ahhh, the writing cave. We writer's need for solitude, four walls, a desk of some sort, computer food, drink and a bathroom--you'll not see us for hours, or perhaps days.

No, this is not a picture of MY writing cave. It is a picture taken in Jamestown, N.D. It is Louis L'Amour's writing desk and typewriter (at least we assume). This was part of a little historical town set up along the Interstate, and we wanted to stop and rest and see the white buffalo--which didn't show.

I've posted this picture up on a facebook group (WMD) where I said I was in my writing cave today, and everyone assume this was my writing cave. It isn't. I had to see if anyone said something about it. Yep. They thought it was my writing cave. Someone asked if I wrote on a typewriter (which was fun at times, but I hated to have to go and retype stuff when I needed to edit/add etc.) I had to clear up that confusion, but told them that I did once write in longhand and on a typewriter.

But back to my writing cave.

It's on the NW side of this country house, and gets the cold winds all winter long. I've had two heaters, plastic over my windows and sometimes that was not enough to keep me warm. Nine foot ceilings, the heat just escapes.

The walls of this room are painted orchid, the floor is oak. The house is over 100 years old, after all--if the rooms could talk! I have a beautiful set of French doors that allow me to escape the rest of the house. I've got a pair of sheers over them to keep me somewhat secluded as well. Only recently I've added a high-backed modern desk. Before that it was an 8-ft. table that I really didn't like. Two black bookshelves (that house a set of encyclopedias, dictionaries, my favorite writer's works, and resource books), that came from my family home sit at another end of the room, and a couch for those naps I take at the opposite end, and the lamps, and other things that clutter my room, but it's mine.

When I'm intensely writing, I may not get to bed until late, and so sleep in here. That sometimes happens. The crazy thing about being a writer with an over-active brain (and some of you must know what I mean), as soon as I lay down and think I'm going to go to sleep, the brain starts up a dialogue and the words just flow. So, I'm up and go to my computer (it's always asleep, never off), and I've got to get this down or I'll never sleep.

Of course I sometimes use a hand-held recorder to get something down, but I hate speaking into it, I loose my train of thought, and I yawn--a lot.

But the most important item for the writer to do any serious work, aside from someway to write it all down, is the writing office or cave, and the rest of the family to respect that once you're in here you're not to be disturbed--unless it's time for dinner!