2015 is coming to a close - whether we are ready or not; whether we like it or not. Am not ready, and I wish I had a few more weeks, but here are a few reflections to ponder: what worked and what could possibly change?
Every writer I know is at some point surprised by what they write. In fact, being surprised by what we write is as dependable as it is uncontrollable. Garth Stein, the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, came to novel-writing via screenwriting.
I don't know if emojis will ever be deemed appropriate enough to use in a news article, but the thought alone is pretty cool. And what about for essays? No more changing "it's" to "it is" in an attempt to get your word count up: just add some emojis!
Audiences, each and every year, and even for those that don't celebrate the Christmas holiday, sit down with their friends and family to watch movies they've seen over and over and over again. So what is it about these movies that make people come back for more?
Lately, I have noticed that the only moments during the day when I can maintain an absolute silence is when my fingers are hosting my feelings and the piano in a conversation. Perhaps one might be inclined to think that this is the reason why my lips are sealed shut, because my hands are the ones participating in a dialogue with the instrument.
My "other life" has led me to experiences that have been markedly different from my life as a lawyer. I've read fiction and poetry at high schools, colleges, bookstores and scholarly conferences.
Bruce Cook's Trumbo, reissued as a tie-in to a major motion picture starring Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren, delves into the life, jail-time and, most importantly, the "blacklisting" of James Dalton Trumbo.
Like any relationship, it's not easy breaking up with a manuscript, especially when you put so much time and effort into it, and at the end of the day there are still strong feelings involved. And it's even harder when it was your first.
Hot summer romances are a long distant memory as the northern hemisphere winter closes in and tempts us towards hibernation, hot chocolate, and heated holiday party debates.
The other thing that happens when we sit down to write (or accomplish any creative goal) is that whether or not we previously had something to say becomes completely irrelevant. Sometimes having "something to say" actually becomes an impediment to our getting closer to a work of truth and value.
Being the first book fair I have attended as an author, I have to admit how ill prepared I was. That being said, I was curious to learn from the experience and discover how other authors successfully market and sell their books.
For a writer, these details (or the lack thereof) can make or break a good piece. And, for someone still grieving, the missing pieces are just another reminder of how real a loss is.
Either way, I was letting what someone else thought of what I'd written determine how I should feel about what I'd written, and this is an untenable position for a writer.
As a writer I've been fascinated by the controversy regarding the discrepancies and potential falsehoods in Ben Carson's biographical writings and speeches. Dr. Carson is hardly the first politician to embellish, misrepresent or fabricate the "truth." What fascinates me is the increasingly common and truly shameless audacity of denying what one has previously stated -- regardless of whether it was in writing, presented orally, or captured on video.
It's not sexy. It's not mysterious. It's not revolutionary. But I don't care. I'm writing.
It is no secret that authors create worlds for readers. They shape new worlds, new words and new characters that eventually become our best friends. James Dashner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner series, is one of these brilliant minds.