Tuesday, August 18, 2015

On Writing and Passing It On

Today, as I drove home from back to school shopping with my daughter, I listened to her talk about the story she’s been writing for the past few weeks, how it was progressing and all the brainstorming she’d been doing to come up with different plot twists and character traits. The more I listened, the more I was reminded of myself at her age, when I first fell in love with writing.

As a child, I loved to read, it was my favorite thing on earth.  I loved being outdoors when I could be, but books were always my escape, and at some point, I began to ask myself ‘what if?’ What if the characters in the story had done this instead of that? What if this character had responded to this other character a different way? What if I could introduce my own character into that world, what would happen?

I’m almost forty, so obviously this was long before the days of ‘fan fiction’ heck, this was pre-internet, pre-cell phone, pre-in-home-computer, pre-every tech convenience we had today.  Everything I wrote was pen and paper much as all my first drafts still are today, and my favorite places in the world were the library on the military base where we lived, and the used bookstore where I worked my first job shelving books.

I have to admit that on slow days, and many were slow days, I spent as much time skimming chapters as I did putting the books away. I learned to appreciate all different types of writing, from the classics, to modern literature, to fantasy, science fiction, and romance, if a story spoke to me, I settled in to read. I love the fact that my little girl is the same way. She has wonderfully eclectic taste in books, movies and music and the older she gets the more I am able to introduce her to.

Books taught me that there was beauty to be found in everything, and photography has only enhanced that belief. As a writer, I try to pull all of that into my stories. The things that are beautiful on the outside as well as the things you have to dig deeper into in order to find the beauty of. To me, that’s a reality of life. I have several stories coming up in which characters struggle to see the good or the beauty in themselves and others. While these are some of my favorite pieces to write, in this upcoming writing year, I am looking to branch out from that.

Some of the things I have been tossing around in my head are: exploring M/M/M and M/F/M as I’ve been curious to write a few ménage stories, avian shapeshifters, superheroes/magic users, and western romance. I hate the idea of being pigeonholed into any one style or category of writing, especially when I have ideas on top of ideas that range over a large scope of topics.

This brings me back to my daughter, brainstorming story plots, and the joy of having learned that no idea is impossible with hard work, research and dedication to craft.  Becoming an author has been one of my greatest joys in life. Knowing I have stories to tell and that there are people out there who enjoy reading them makes me proud to have followed my dream. 

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