My Newest Obsession (Besides Squirrels)

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DSCN0788No, not the squirrel and not photography. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve loved squirrels for quite some time now. This is just my buddy eating her peanut snack yesterday while I stood out on the front porch, trying to catch a glimpse of the Blue Angels from my house. Unfortunately, all I could manage was one really far away shot as they looped around to make another pass over the airport. They don’t fly directly over my house apparently.

DSCN0796No, my newest obsession has become writing. After attending my first writers’ group meeting, I have been working on my novel. I have a pretty good idea for my book, and I’ve been just running with it. I was worried about where I was going though and what I would do when I ran out of steam. I have read suggestions about creating an outline. Outlines don’t work all that well for me; they never help me figure out what to write next. When forced to create an outline for school projects, I’d usually write the piece first and then create an outline after the fact. This morning I read an article that suggested I write the ending of the book first. What a great idea!

DSCN0800I sat down today and wrote most of the LAST chapter of my book. I was almost in tears as I wrote it – except I was smiling on the inside too much. It was such a relief to finally have it mapped out. It suddenly became so clear to me where I wanted to take the storyline. NOW I know where I am going, and I can continue writing the beginning and middle parts, knowing the destination that I have in mind. I can tweak things as I go along, but I’m happy with what I’ve decided.

DSCN0803I still have a children’s book starring the squirrels in mind, too. I wrote that one a couple of years back and never finished it. It’s just waiting for me to pick it back up again. Soon, my little squirrelly friends.

Writer’s Group – First Meeting

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That was interesting. It was also fun. I do have to admit that I felt like a bit of a fraud. I was in over my head. It was a group of approximately 10 people (if you count me, I believe there were 7 women and 3 men present). They were all older people. I was nervous, but I had it under control. The worst part was when I had to talk about myself (of course). I expected that, though.

They all knew who they were (as writers). Not all are published, but they had all written more than I have. One lady in particular was fairly successful – she’s written and published enough books to have purchased a second home in Florida on the waterfront where she spends half of her year.

I joined as a member, but I do feel a little out of my depth, and it wasn’t just the nerves taking over. I couldn’t really identify what it is that I write (or want to write) – it’s too much of an abstract for me yet. I will return for future meetings, and I really wanted to volunteer for something or contribute in a bigger way, but I don’t have enough experience yet. My hope is that I can learn from these nice people and maybe soak something up through osmosis.

surroundThe next meeting is what they call a critique meeting – there is no actual meeting; they just review each other’s writing samples. Unless I can write a lot more between now and then, I’m not sure I’ll go to that one, but we shall see. I’ve connected with some of them online, and I’ve signed up for various suggested newsletters, blogs and information.

In terms of my writing, I keep wondering if I should just write, or if I need to learn how to do it better first. There’s so much information out there on how to craft this and that, but most of it just serves to make me doubt myself more. Perhaps I should just write and then worry about making it perfect later on when I edit. I really want to do this. I just didn’t realize it was so hard.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Cold and Courage

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IMG_8957Well, it’s certainly a cold one here today.  May 23rd, and we are still getting frost warnings.  I had to bring the potted plant inside (again!) last night.  At least it didn’t snow here (like it did in some places in the midwest).  It’s 36 degrees at the moment, though.  I guess it’s back to jeans for me.  I’m certain I’ll see a few idiots running around in shorts and flip-flops.  That happens here whenever the sun shines – doesn’t matter what season it is.  I’ve seen them dressed like that in the middle of winter! They will dress for summer if they even get the slightest hint that it might warm up a smidge.  We Upstate New Yorkers are made of sterner stuff.  No flip-flops for me, though. Thanks anyway.

This morning I am gathering up my courage and draping it around me like a huge cape. I’m going to need it.  I am attending my first meeting of the Lilac City Writers Group.  I’ve emailed back and forth with the gentleman in charge of the group, and he seems very nice.  The hard part is meeting new people. I’m not certain of the size of the group, and I don’t know how the meeting will go. I do know they have a “business” part first and then they do a presentation of some sort. I was invited to attend the entire meeting (“business” part, too) since I am joining as a member.  They asked me to come early because they want to get to know me.  Hopefully, the self-assured, older Donna will show up and the younger, Oh-my-God-I’m-nervous Donna will not. I know the older Donna can do a great job if she remembers to smack down the younger Donna if she shows her silly self.

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Well, wish me luck!  I will write later or tomorrow to let everyone know how it goes!

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