I’m proud to say, “I am a writer.”

I subscribe to Joe Bunting’s The Write Practice. He sends me an email everyday on some facet of writing. Today’s was particularly relevant to me since he encouraged his readers to: “Be brave. Be bold. Claim your title. Say it with me: ‘I am a writer.’” That’s what I did yesterday while Stewart at the Apple store was helping me set up my new iPhone. When Stewart asked what I did, without hesitation I told him, “I am a writer.” And he wanted to know immediately what I write. It turns out that I’m still in my poetry practice phase, so I told him I’ve been getting back on my writing feet by writing two or three poems a day using prompts I get online. However, I also shared that I have a published memoir out, Leaving the Hall Light On, and I’m working on a novel. At that point I gave him my author business card. With that he shared with me that he has a degree in creative writing from a local university. And you guessed it. We were off and running. Within our twenty-thirty minute … [Read more...]

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“Writing is the painting of the voice!”

I think you must already know how much I love quotes - especially about writing. So I've amassed a few more. Please let me know if you resonate with any. … [Read more...]

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Writers’ inspirations

I love to collect quotes - especially by writers I admire. Here's a few I'd like to share with you - perhaps for a little inspiration - definitely something I need right now.           … [Read more...]

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Reading like a writer

So about the big read. (See my February 11 blog post about this process.) I’m about two thirds through, and it’s easy to tell my novel in progress needs a lot of work. In fact, in the words of Anne Lamott in her wonderful book on writing Bird by Bird, it’s a "shitty first draft." I just don’t know if I’m clever enough to give it what it needs to turn it into a "good second draft" and a "terrific third draft" that she predicts will happen. I’m finding little problems like lots of typos, inconsistencies, and redundancies – those I know how to fix. It’s the big problems like creating more interest in the characters and the story that is the major work. I need to describe the characters better; I need to make the story more interesting and suspenseful. In truth I need to figure out a way to make my readers want to turn the page. This morning I read a LinkedIn conversation about whether to include prologues or not – lots of pros and cons on the subject. So I need to revisit leaving … [Read more...]

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My writing life – still all good

Did I really say I wouldn’t be working constantly while on my three-month virtual blog tour? I must have been dreaming. Writing, revising, and refining each and every one of my articles and getting them to the blog owners in enough time for them to post have kept me very busy. Plus, I’ve had new several requests from other bloggers to write for them that I've tucked into my blog tour schedule Right now I have a yellow sticky on my virtual desktop reminding me of the eight posts due in the next thirty days. Now that might not seem like a lot to you. However, just coming up with blog post ideas is a challenge – that is unless one of the blog owners asks for something specific. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been asked to write about: 1) how I realized poetry alone was not enough to convey the story I told in my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, 2) my concept of gratitude, and 3) what I would say to someone who has just lost a loved one to suicide. These are not so simple assi … [Read more...]

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Don’t go there. You don’t need to imagine it.

When people want to know the details about my son's death, I try to avoid specifics; not to protect myself, I already know all the gory details. No, I want to protect the asker, especially if he or she has children. I want to protect imaginations from going to a place where they have no reason or need to be. People can’t help asking these questions. They feel their interest is comforting to me, but I find it more of a burden. The tables get turned, and I feel the need to comfort them. It’s happened over and over. When they say they just can’t imagine losing a child, let alone losing one the way I lost mine, I say, “Don’t go there. You don’t need to imagine it.” I love Anne Lamott's books. And she's a great public speaker as well. That's why I decided to use a quote from her book, Operating Instructions (Anchor Books, 1995), to start off my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On http://www.LuckyPress.com/madelinesharples.html. The death of a child is a parent's worst nightmare, and she put … [Read more...]

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