Posts Tagged With: author

I’m a very sensuous kind of girl.

Before you think I’m about to make a disturbing confession, let me say I am speaking of the senses. Touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound, I love them all. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert in the art of crafting a story and I think the day that I do is the day I stop learning. But nothing can bring more perception to the reader and to the world we are creating better than the senses.

When I smell cinnamon and spice, I think of Christmas and all that comes with the holiday season. Cold weather, a limited number of shopping days, baking, decorating, family gatherings, and gift giving, all rolled up into one heavenly scent. But that might just be me. For you, that same fragrance might remind you of your Great Uncle Phil and the air freshener he sprayed upon leaving the bathroom after a 30 minute hiatus with the newspaper and the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. And for that, I am truly sorry.

Not everyone has had the same experiences or been moved to tears by the same music. But when our senses are stimulated, we become a part of the story and we can travel to places we’ve never been. Even if we’ve never been near the ocean, we can imagine how the salty air might taste on our lips. We can feel the gritty sand polishing our bare feet as we walk along the beach, hear seagulls squawking in the distance, and see the sun melting into the water like an orange Dreamsicle on a hot summer day.

In movies, the background music or film score tells us how to feel: fast-paced and edgy for a fight or flight scene, soft or whimsical for a love scene. And when the orchestra of music dies down to one single instrument, and then slowly rises with intensity, we know for sure it’s time to curl into ourselves and hold our breath because “the bad guy” is about to rear his ugly head.

In writing, we don’t have the luxury of awesome sound effects and music. Therefore, it’s up to the author to get the reader’s heart pounding when the main character finds herself lost in a creepy forest, on a dark and stormy night, heading towards the rushing sound she can hear in the distance, hoping she stumbles upon the highway and not the 50 foot waterfall she spotted from the helicopter just before it crashed–she can still smell the burning fuel. She covers her mouth to filter the air from the heavy smoke and warm thick liquid oozes from her lip. The taste of rusted metal and copper pennies trickles down her throat and she gasps—blood. **insert dramatic music here**

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Categories: writing | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Putting on my big girl panties!

When I was a young girl, I had a lot of dreams. I wanted to be a gymnast and it was heartbreaking when I realized my legs were too long and I had about as much flexibility as piece of wood. No matter how long I practiced and stretched, my legs just wouldn’t split. In my teenage years, I decided I wanted to be a model. Not because I thought I was pretty, but the life seemed so glamorous. It wasn’t until I got my first camera (a C-110 film camera) that I decided I liked taking pictures better and wanted to be a photographer. I drove my sisters crazy with my constant clicking. I put them in trees and bushes, made my own backdrops with sheets, and surrounded them with props. I’d like to blame my lack of success on the crappy camera but truth is, I sucked.

Dreams are different from goals. I have a ton of goals. I want to organize all my closets, pay my bills on time, finish my second novel, learn to speak Chinese before our foreign exchange student arrives from China…  But I have just one dream; to see my books in the hands of my readers. Writing is my goal and becoming a successful (okay, famous) author is my dream.

Having a dream and striving to make it come true is scary, I won’t lie. As children, we proudly announce to everyone that we want to be a doctor, a pilot, a super ninja, or a princess. But as adults, no one is going to ask us what we want to be when we grow up. We should already know, right? Wrong. I didn’t know I wanted to become an author until a few years ago. Sure, I wrote poems when I was a teenager, and I read a lot of books but it took me some time to realize I liked writing stories better.

Now, here is the scary part. To make our dreams come true, or at least get a fighting chance, we have to put ourselves out there for the whole world to see. It doesn’t matter if we want to be a successful dancer, musician, writer, actress or business owner, unless we claim it as our own, it will never become more than just a dream. Karen Householder, NY Times Bestselling Author has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

But what if people laugh at me or hate my writing? What if they think I suck?

It’s time to put on our big girl panties. You know the ones with the pretty lace and cute little flowers. The ones we have tucked way back in our dresser drawer because they ride up our butts and give us a wedgy. You guys are not off the hook, either.  It’s time to take off those tighty-whiteys and step out of your comfort zone. Hey, no one said this would be easy.

Not everyone is going to agree with or even like what we do. There are people out there more than willing to tell us how bad we suck. These aren’t the people that are going to help us achieve success. These are the people that will bring us down and make us doubt ourselves.

But have no fear because we don’t have to do this alone. We can help each other, support each other, we can be friends. Re-tweet, re-post, make a comment, and hit the “Like” button every now and then, (it’s really easy to do) and together we can make things happen.

Now, if you’re wondering how I got to be so smart, I didn’t figure this out on my own. I had a little help from Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone (WANA) and Are You There Blog, It’s Me Writer. She “held my hand” through the blog construction phase and gave me the courage to stand up and shout out to the world, “I am a damn good writer and a bestselling author!”

So, if you see me around town digging at my crack, don’t be offended. I’m just reaching for a dream–one wedgy at a time.

Do You have a dream you’d like me to share? I’d love to here about it!!

Categories: author YA fiction | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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