Thursday’s Quote


I skimmed through many quotes before I found the following. Wow, if that doesn’t describe a writer’s work in progress, I don’t know what does? I could be way out to left field in my interpretation, but I thought it would be fun to break it down, and tell you what I picture when reading it. Keep in mind this is just my opinion.

All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I read it again, I thought how amazing it would be to have an artist either draw or paint the pages of a book instead of a vegetable coming up from the ground. Wouldn’t it be amazing?  Can you picture it?

Emerson starts with:

All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. That could be your story, as it takes shape, starting to develop as you write it out. 

You have first an instinct–that could be your idea, what you want to write about, the plot dancing in your head, just dying to come out, and be set free.

Then you have an opinion–perhaps that’s the research you’ve done to get better acquainted with the subject (part of Disraeli’s quote from last week) before you put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard.

And then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. I see that as your novel slowly moving forward with a firm foundation, its bud’s are coming out (those are your scenes). Soon ripe fruit burst forth (your chapters).

Trust the instinct to the end. I would call that the impulse propelling your forward. You’ve done great so far, you can’t stop now. You have to run with it, keep going… yes until the end.  

Though you can render no reason. Of course not. After all that hard work, why would you stop now? 

Sometimes, though, your progress may be slow. Try as you may, words won’t come. Other times, it’s like it has stopped completely. You’re unable to move forward. You’re stuck. It happens to most everyone. I’d be surprised if any writer said “I never had writer’s block.”

It’s okay. Think about it…isn’t it the same with your garden? You don’t expect to sow the seeds and reap the harvest the next day, do you? Isn’t writing a novel the same thing? It takes time. You need to feed and water it. You have to make sure it gets the heat and light it needs. When the stem starts to lean, you need to give it support. 

Isn’t that how it is with your stories? You feed it by writing all those ideas. Sometimes, it may not make a whole lot of sense, but that’s all right, it’s your first draft. There’ll be plenty of time to pull the weeds out later. Just write!



Greatest influencers in my writing


I’d make a lousy police investigator. When I watch a suspense on TV with my husband, he always figures out who did what before I do. Here’s what bugs me the most. We’re sitting there, both lost in the story. I’m on the edge of my seat, and ready to dig my fingernails into his arm as the momentum builds. Out of the blue, and as matter-of-fact as can be, hubby says “Bang!” The word’s barely out of his mouth, the bad guy gets shot. How in the world did my husband know that was going to happen when neither of those guys had a gun?  Someway, somehow, he’d figured out someone else was going to show up and shoot the bad guy. It used to drive me batty to the point that I didn’t want to watch those movies with him anymore. He’s good at predicting what happens next–I’m not. That’s the reason I sometimes call him my muse and often go to him for help when I write.

I’ve always loved suspense movies. Let me ask you, though, is there anything better than a good whodunit novel? I like that no one can tell me what’s going to happen before it does.

Back in the late 1980s, I came across one of Mary Higgins Clark’s early novels. I wasn’t an avid reader back then, and had never heard of her. The back blurb of the book sounded  quite suspenseful so I bought it. It had me hooked from the start and kept me reading until the end. The moment I closed the paperback, I had to get another one of hers. And then, another. Next thing I knew, I was buying her books left, right, and centre. Clark’s stories held me spellbound. I loved her writing style, how she hooked her readers and kept them turning the pages, and personally, the fact that I couldn’t figure out whodunit until the end. Her books inspired me to read more. Oh the many nights I stayed up until the wee hours. 

Fast forward to 2009. I picked up a book by T. Davis Bunn, but didn’t notice it was part of a series. I must admit, he too hooked me from the start with his Marcus Glenwood 3-book series and once I was done, I had to read the other two. Bunn’s writing is much different from Clark’s but still a suspense/thriller style I absolutely love reading. I have acquired more of his books and he’s actually one of the few authors whose books I still collect. Reading Bunn’s books, more specifically his Marcus Glenwood series, inspired me to write again. It was something I’d done for many years but had never taken seriously. I decided it was time I did. 

Since then, I’ve read tons of books by great novelists. Some have left a footprint on my heart. If you were to ask me who has been the most influential writer when I decided to pen my first novel, there’d be no hesitation. I’d have to name both Mary Higgins Clark, and T. Davis Bunn. Hands down!

Who were your influencers?  

March 2011 – WIN Blog/Brunch

I don’t think today could have been more perfect. The weather was perfect for people to go out – it was warm enough that I had a window opened until about 5:30 p.m. – and if it stays this way I’ll be at the WIN meeting Monday night. The company was great. And so was the food . . . there was a lot by the way . . .  But best of all, we had a great time.

For those of you who were here today, Chris, Louise, Doris, Dawn and Lisa, a heartfelt thank you for coming. Let me also say thank you for leaving the leftovers, this means I don’t have to buy groceries for another week!!! I forget who brough the pie but hubby is enjoying it. Oh is he ever! 🙂

For those of you who couldn’t join us, this post is especially for you. We had so much fun (no I’m not rubbing it in) and let me begin by saying that we missed you all. We even talked about you . . . um… i think it was all good ! ! !

We began at 11 a.m. with the business side of things, discussing the stories that are due in April – yeah, you know the ones we’re all working on – you ARE all working on your three stories from the prompts, right??? Right, of course you are!

I just had to say this because, since the book is only coming out at the end of the year, AND since I missed almost 2 months of meetings, I forgot that the three stories have to be finished before April’s end so the group can read and let us know which is the best . . . thanks for the reminder Louise, I’ll get right to it.

I’m sure I can speak for the others when I say “Thanks” to Chris and Louise for their help with the blogs. Not only did they help with linking our blog to the WIN site, they also helped Doris set/start hers up. Until today, I wasn’t sure if we needed to set up a new blog “within” the WIN website or just link an original blog to it.

And of course, once the order of business was done, we all dove into the food. Let me see, there was: Caesar Salad, veggie tray, cheese tray, quiche, vegetable lasagna, sun dried tomato sausage and linguini, and loads of desserts (cookies, muffins, banana cream pie, berry cobbler).

I apologize for not offering anyone any salad dressing (I had a DUH moment). I rarely use salad dressing and although I have some in the fridge (probably for guests…) I don’t think to offer any . . . that’s probably why it  lasts so long! LOL

I mentioned an author today, as I know some of you are writers and readers of vampire stories. I read a blog last week about a young 26-year-old author named Amanda Hocking, who became a millionaire in just one month, after self-publishing her books online. The article talks about the advantage of self-publishing which I found most interesting, and for those of you who like these kinds of stories, you might like Amanda’s books.

Also, I want to mention a few other writers. Well worth mentioning as they are New Brunswickers.

Norah Wilson: Needing Nita

Lina Gardiner: Grave Illusions

Stella MacLean: A Child Changes Everything

Barbara Phinney: Silent Protector also at Love Inspired Suspense

Linda Hall: Critical Impact

Gail MacMillan: A Wolf in Winter

Joan Hall Hovey: Night Corridor

Carol McPhee: Shadowed Pursuit

There are several others whose website I don’t have. But you can check these out and if you join the group, you’ll get to meet several published and aspired authors like you.

Have a good weekend everyone and see you (hopefully) Monday night.