Fear in Writing: September 2009

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays...

From 'My Cousin Rachel' by Daphne Du Maurier:
'"I have been to the Villa Sangalletti," I said. "I have seen the room where he died..."' (p. 49)
'His manner was oddly stiff and unbending, as if any information that he gave me must be considered first and sorted in his mind.' (p.49)

Keeping a few books going at a time - at least one classic and one current mystery - That's my habit as I dive into the world of literature. Enjoy these quotes and surfing the 'Should be Reading' blog!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Research and madness

Journalism training is a great helper and a great weight. While writing, I find myself meticulously researching every nuance, from location to phrasing. There's certainly something to be said for truth, but there's also something to be gained from literary license. And I think I'm starting to get that.
I'm also starting to realize how differently every writer approaches a book. Take Eileen Dryer, who writes both suspense and romance (as Kathleen Korbel). She is not a born researcher, in fact she was a nurse for 16 years and, she says,
...nurses don't do libraries. We play with things.

Deborah Sharp of the Mama series, was a reporter for US Today for nearly 20 years. In an email to me she wrote,
I definitely remember seeing you at Killer Nashville. Good questions, but no surprise there since you come from a journalism background!
Questioning is in our blood.
In this jumbled post of research and writing, I'd like to pass on an exercise I read in Writer's Digest: write a bunch of First Lines. Do it! And go from there!

Here is mine...
I followed a man to suicide one day.

Read the story I developed from that First Line at my website: http://www.micheleemrath.net/stories.html

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hard to write again

If I can't write with the ocean spray at my back, the salt air at my nose, and the wind refreshing my spirit, how can I write at home? Here at home, amidst the piles of clothes and scattered children's toys. Here in my master bedroom sitting area, staring at the door in anticipation of the next 'I want' or 'Mo-meeeeeeeeee!'
Am I fighting my muse by ignoring the reality around me? Must I be in a certain setting to write? Is my writing external or internal reflection?
What do writers do?

Last day on the Outer Banks

The sky is a blue canvas, stretched in a clouded frame. The sun has dried the leftover rain into beaded strands along the porch rails. It is our last day at the edge of the ocean, and it is the most beautiful day yet.
Last night we celebrated Jake's fourth birthday. He was up till 10 and awoke at 7 to play with his gifts, namely a 40-piece Rescue Heroes set. All he wanted this year was 'action figures, Mom!' Turning four means turning a big corner in maturity. I love it, but I don't want him to grow up.
There is something significant about waking up to play on your own. There's an independence that I've never seen before in him today. For an hour before waking, I could hear Jake speaking the voices of his action figures. Soft cries of 'Got you now!' and 'You can't get past this!' cut through my dreams. I woke with a smile on my lips.
It's better than Thursday morning, when I awoke from a dream of shark bites and refused healthcare amid a city in war-like chaos.
But today we must pack in the last of our relaxation. We must steel ourselves for reality, the commonality of home, the monotony of daily routine, the burden of responsibility. I'm getting stressed just thinking about compressing enough relaxing time into the remaining 12 hours...

Crashing waves, disappearing beach

Today we walked on the beach - all eight feet of it!
The white-capped sea pummeled the sand, creating a ridge - a cliff against which the frothing water crashed and peeled back to sea.
The wailing wind heightened the ghostly feeling...Wind whipping shards of rain against our faces, and our backs as we turned away.
We finally climbed the weathered steps overMy son clung to my hand, and any slip of his tiny fingers sent my heart racing. At one point, water rushed over our ankles, followed by water that soaked my pants and flowed over my waist. I quickly hugged Jake to my body and planted my feet in the disappearing sand floor as the return waves pulled at our clothes like underwater spirits begging us out to share their fate.
the dunes and back to neighborhood streets. There we faced more icy rain and road shoulders filled to overflowing. This we met with typical Hindman attitude: my 54-year-old father, my 4-year-old son, my husband and I jumping through them to an equally boisterous rendition of Singing in the Rain.
Had we been pulled out to sea, this minor vacation adventure might never be recorded. But to my memory, it serves as the great meeting of all things Hindman: joy in the face of adversity.

Writing on Vacation

Muscles relaxed, air infused with salty spray, clothes loose and soft...Sounds like the perfect incubator for developing novels, right? Then why have I spent more time on this webpage than my actual writing? Even on vacation I find a way to play with color over black and white, nose to the grindstone work.Oh, and I've never blogged before, so I hope this lives up to all of our expectations. My father snores beyond the wall. My husband pours over his 'Economist' - whoa, he just interrupted me to talk about holographic imaging...And now I'm off track.
Welcome to the first ever Michele Emrath the Author Myster Blog. I hope to continue this far into the future with you and other readers.