A Writer’s Miscellany

AnotherReadThroughI kind of love the word miscellany, whose official definition according to the Google is ” a group or collection of different items, a mixture.”  It sounds charming and old-school and like it would be said by a schoolmarm wearing a Little House on the Prairie outfit.  And honestly? The word and all its implications is way more grandiose than the collection of items I have for you today.

Which all have to do with me. I hope that still makes them a  miscellany.  Anyway:

Thing #1: I’m doing a special love-themed reading in honor of Valentine’s Day at my favorite Portland bookstore, Another Read Through.  The date is February 13th, from 1:30 – 3 and I’m appearing with several other local authors. Since the theme is love, I’m pondering reading the sex scene from Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior. (Which for reasons unknown to me is selling in the used section of Amazon for $58 and up, even though it is still available new.)

And since this is a miscellany, I’ll tell you a funny story about the sex scene, besides that it was the one thing agents commented on over and over when I was shopping the novel.  Anyway, my daughter and son-in-law have a habit of reading books out loud to each other in the evenings (at least they did, before they managed to produce two boy children).  It was Russell who read the sex scene out loud and when he was finished, put the book done and was silent for a moment, then said, “My mother-in-law wrote that. Not sure how I feel about that.”

But reading it out loud in the comfort of your own home and reading it out loud in front of a group of people are two different things. So I’ll probably chicken out.

Thing #2: The very next weekend, in the very same location, my biz partner Debbie and I will be presenting the second round of our workshop, The Ins and Outs of Publishing.  It is a day-long workshop with lunch provided and our first group loved it and learned a lot.  We cover the entirety of the publishing world and bring in our friend Angela Sanders to cover self publishing. You can read more here. But let me also add that the bookstore is a great spot to hold a workshop.  Elisa has a cool upstairs loft that we use and we sit surrounded by the mystery section. I dare you to attend and not buy a pile of books (since the bookstore is mostly used, you can go home with a stack for not that much money).

So that’s it, that’s my miscellany.  And now I am off to the bi-weekly writing group, loosely called Wednesday Writers, that Debbie and I torture run.

What’s going on in your writing world?

Photo from the Another Read Through website.

Bring Love to It

Warning: woo-woo-ness ahead.  But it is good woo-woo-ness, so keep reading. Heart_hand_valentine_269058_l

I was writing in my journal this morning (yes, yay, I'm back to doing this fairly regularly again) when I got to a part where I wanted to write about a friend I'd seen recently.  I wanted to write not only about our interaction, but to describe him and explain what made him so endearing. But for some reason I found myself glossing over all the good details.

Writing superficially.  Writing stuff like, "we had a great time."  Um, so, why?  How?  What did we do that made it so fun?  I failed to write the details that would bring all that to life.  Same thing, too, with my desired description of my friend.  I wrote, "it was really fun to see him."  Why?  What about his company made it so fun?

I realized I do this fairly often in my journal writing.  Sometimes I'm in such a headlong rush to get to the part where I figure out on paper everything that has to get done during the day, that I skip over the good stuff, which to me, is recording my life.  (And can I just mention that what constitutes "the good stuff" varies for me.  Sometimes I want to be recording my life in detail in my journal.  Other times I just want to use it to whine.  Or sometimes I use it to create dialogues and ask questions of God/myself.)

At this moment in my life, I also happen to be listening to, and reading the transcript of, a program called "The 7 Mindset and Manifesting Secrets of Multimillionaire Entrepreneurs."  I know, a mouthful.  Its a CD recording of a teleseminar series done by Ali Brown and David Neagle a couple years ago.  I've been lusting after this program for about a year, when I first discovered it, and a few weeks ago, when Ali Brown had a sale, I bought it.  I'm really glad I did, because it is a wonderful series of calls, much broader and farther-reaching than the title might lead you to believe.

Heart_fingers_hard_242398_l One of the 7 "secrets" they discuss is love.  No, not goofy romantic love like we usually think of when we hear the word.  Love love.  Universal love.  God is love.  That kind of love.  The love you feel when you remember, just for a moment, that we're all one.  Spiritual love.  And they talk about bringing this kind of love to bear on your life and the people in it.  Like your business clients, even the difficult ones.  Your family and friends.  The homeless person on the street.

Or how about the characters who populate your journal or novel?  I always fall in love with my fictional characters, don't you?  And because I'm in love with them, I take the time to care for them and note all the details that make them special.  So I realized this morning that what I needed to do in my journal this morning was bring love to it.  Bring love to my friend who I was writing about, which was easy, cuz I adore him, but mostly bring love to the process.  Bring love to the page.  Bring love to the words.

So I did.

And suddenly I was writing the way I wanted to be writing.  Details flowed, the portrait of my friend began to come alive.

Try it.  Try bringing love to it the next time you're stuck.  And let me know what happens.