Wednesday, April 1, 2020

IWSG ~ Focus On The Brilliance

Fear. Isolation. Loneliness. 

That's mostly what I've been hearing or reading since #socialdistancing and #selfconfinement began a few weeks ago. I get it. It's hard. It totally stinks. There is plenty to fear, plenty to feel isolated over, and plenty to box each one of us into the confinement of loneliness. Well, I mean we writers kind of exist in a self-confined world for the most part, but you get what I mean.

Here's a different way to look at all this. Someone I consider one of my life mentors once said to me, "It's all about priorities."

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If we focus on the worry, the unknown, and the pictures in our heads of what might be, we will spend the rest of our days for however long this goes on sad and depressed. We need to find the good within the devastation. 

Do not take my words for meaning that this virus isn't a big deal. It definitely is. I'm beyond saddened by the lives that have been lost, for the jobs that have and will be no more, for the lack of security we all feel right now. But I'm thankful for the precautions that are being taken, for the people that are working ungodly hours to beat this thing, and for the kindness within neighborhoods that we've all been seeing. 

Seriously, the writing community totally RAWKS! So many have offered free material and readings to parents who are now in the position they must home-school their kids. Everyone has been amazing.


This month's IWSG optional question to answer: How are things in your world?

As for me, my children are older - two work with my husband at our family business and the younger two still live at home (a junior in college and a sophomore in high school), so we're pretty much the only people we all see. A few for the business, but we are super careful. The real downer is my mom in the nursing home. We haven't physically seen her for three weeks now and it looks like it's going to be a long haul before they'll let any visitors in again. It's very hard on the residents, especially those who are confused by all this - like my mom. She's doing okay. We've been able to FaceTime with her a few times, so that's helped. I worry about my dad, being home alone and worrying about her. But it is what it is, so we'll deal.

Wishing you all the best of continued health! Be careful, take care of yourself and those you are self-confined with, and stay positive. I'll see you on the other side of this thing. 💜

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

IWSG~Personal Traditions in Stories

We've all heard the phrase Write what you know, so it's no surprise when parts of an author's personality, experiences, hopes, dreams, fears, and goals sneak into a character, scene, or world he/she is creating.

This month's Insecure Writer Support Group's (optional) question is:

Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

For me, the answer is yes - I have included traditions/customs in my stories. And it's funny, too, because I never planned that out. 

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In my YA novel Marked Beauty, my protagonist is plagued with doubts about life and its meanings for a bunch of reasons that I won't get into here. One way I decided to nudge her into facing her doubts was to have her butt heads with her grandmother, who is a devote Catholic. I did that in a subtle way by having Mem, as she was called, carry her Rosary beads everywhere with her and to have my MC find her praying with them a few times. 

This was such a thorn in my MC's side. But the annoyance and eventual anger it produced made her question her doubts and then explore them. This action was pivotal in her inner growth so she would decide to forge into the climax and do the right thing.

What about you? Have you ever used a personal or family tradition or custom in your writing? How did it affect you when you noticed this in a book you were reading for pleasure?

I'd like to thank this month's amazing co-hosts:  Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence! Make sure to stop by and visit them, too!



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