My books are now available at Joy & Company in Grand Marais.
I keep returning to C.S. Lewis, as I have since I was a child. George MacDonald, Hans Christian Anderson, The Brothers Grim, and more recently Ben Loory and Italo Calvino.
Music inspires me, but I can’t listen to it and write at the same time. I do listen to music sometimes when I paint.
I’ve never really had a writing mentor. I share what I write with friends. I read about writing, and I have taken classes and joined writing groups.
My favorite writers are my mentors, I guess. I don’t have the opportunity to talk with them, but they inspire and influence me.
I think about things, or notice things, and whatever is in me comes out again in creative ways. I don’t do anything to be creative. I just document the thoughts in various ways.
The biggest surprise for me in The Adventures Of Flash Meridian is that it happened at all. I didn’t plan to write a book, and I didn’t realize, for 19 years, that I was writing a book.
At first, I was writing captions for pictures. Then I was writing “episodes”. I did that for a long time. Somewhere along the way, I noticed that the episodes fit together … dovetailed into one continuous story.
Writing a novel is too big of a job for me, so I had to “unlearn” or let go of the expectation of it being anything. I wrote the book because I loved writing it. I love the surprises that I, myself, found in it. That is enough for me. Others may enjoy reading it, but I don’t need anyone to validate it. Of course I love it when someone reads it, and discusses it with me, or asks questions about it.
“Unlearning”, is a key to my writing. Through writing, I am able to focus on long held beliefs about myself and let them go. I can pack away the gifts that were given in love, and with gratitude, slip into something that fits better.
The best piece of advice I’ve gotten this week is to keep it simple. Keep the writing about the story, and not about impressing someone with my vocabulary or ability.
A piece of long term advice was to describe things, rather than just saying something was “beautiful” … what made it beautiful? Don’t ask your reader to do your work as a writer.
The next thing I’m working on is a collection of short stories.