Friday, August 1, 2014

Back Home Again


It's funny how our lives are a series of small connections. I recently experienced a few online that brought me back to my writing center, and home to where I need to be on this literary journey. Let me explain.

A month ago, I had stopped at a new liquor store in my husband's home town, which as it turns out, belongs to my old art gallery landlord. When I got back home, I connected with him on Facebook and caught up with what he and his wife had been doing since we lost touch with them.

In one Facebook conversation, I noticed a young actor named Jeff Bosley, whose eyes and smile looked like my novel's male protagonist. I threw him into the collective gene pool I use to "build" my characters. With my theater background, it's not surprising that I "cast" my characters as though I'm directing a play.


From there, I connected with Mr. Bosley on his own social media links and noticed we had some similar experiences in theater and even growing up. That gave me a bit more fodder for my story. Soon I was connecting with other acting friends he had on Facebook. People like Janden Daniel Hale, who runs a Facebook page called Colorado Writers and Publishers.


Bing!

That, my friends, is just what I'd been looking for and needed right now. A local group of writers, vibrant and diverse enough to explore beyond the boundaries of just writing. These people are actors, playwrights, musicians, artists - in short, people like me, and right in my own back yard. That suits me just fine, because for all the love I have of the vast and wonderful Internet, sometimes I want closer connections. I'm thinking next year will see me at a few state writing conferences so I can meet other authors face-to-face. I also hope to be part of a live critique group, a goal that's eluded me for ten years. I'll share more about that next month.

Not surprisingly, the theme in my mystery novel plays along the same lines, and brings the protagonists back home to discover the real purpose of their lives. Suddenly, the book I've let linger all summer has become exciting again, and I plan to get my first draft knocked out by Christmas 2014.

Because, you know, I can't get the screenplay written until I do. I can envision this book as a movie. I can see Jeff Bosley as the main character. I walk the streets of my imaginary Morristown as though it really were a small town in Colorado. I can dream, can't I? I can also find out just what I need to learn to help the dream along. So this month I'll be gathering information about what it takes to get a novel to the screen. August is all about learning something new.

And writing, of course. I'm on a tight schedule to get that first draft of Book #1 completed by 12/24/2014. It may sound daunting, but it's really only 5 pages per day, five days a week. I can do that.

What about you? Do you have a hankering to try something you haven't done before? What is it? How do you find the inspiration to continue a long and involved writing project? Are you up for a declared writing goal? Leave me a comment!

Dani Greer is founding member of this blog, and is hopelessly trapped in a submissions mailbox sorting through manuscripts. She dreams of weeding gardens, knitting socks, and finishing the first book in her new mystery series by Christmas.

7 comments:

  1. Trying something I've never done before? Ha, ha, yes. I'm going to attempt to do my own illustrations for my picture book. I must be mad. Or broke ;-)

    Goals: I have three-and-a-half short stories to complete for a collection of six I'd like to get out by December. And I have two new book ideas competing for my attention - whichever of those wins, I'd like to have a draft done by the end of the year.

    Inspiration? I've always found if I get up in the morning and dive into my project before I even get a chance to start thinking, then before I realise it I'm well into it and I keep coming back to it during the day. Unfortunately at the moment I'm not able to do that due to the needs and requirements of the kidlets, and I'm missing out on that momentum. I still try to motivate myself to get straight into it after the school run (on days when we don't then have swimming lessons or playgroup for the other child), but at that time of the morning it's much easier to justify turning on Facebook and checking email while I have a well-earned cup of coffee. But making a firm habit of putting your writing project first (even if it's only 20 minutes or so) really helps.

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  2. I love this post, Dani. As a dedicated introvert, I tend to back away from mingling with other writers, artists, musicians, etc. So for me, trying something new is as simple (?) as forcing myself to reach out for that experience. Setting up a writing schedule is another issue that needs attention. I'm already working on that one.

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  3. Linda, maybe we'll actually get to meet after all these years of blogging together. As often as I visit Colorado Springs, I can't believe Terry and I haven't gotten together. Craziness!

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    1. Maybe the three of us can do lunch one day. That would be fun. :-)

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  4. Social media has truly been a boon for writers. It is a great place to meet other writers, perhaps those in your area you didn't realize were there. You can then form critique groups or gain beta readers. You can also engage in online critique groups. I love connecting with my favorite authors to stay updated on their next releases. I've learned so much from the interactions.

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  5. Hey, glad to have you in the FB group. Jeff is also good people. You seem to be all over the place, much like I am. I will have to read more blog posts, it's one thing I could never stick with consistently.

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