...about plots.

There are 36 or 37 of them, they say. Or maybe only 7. And some say there are as few as 2, with many variations.


I don't really care how many there are. I don't care what they are. And I don't even care which "plot" defines the current story I'm writing, just as long as it has a plot and it's interesting. The important thing to me when I'm writing is the emotion a story generates in me as I write it, and, hopefully, the emotions it will stir in those who read it.

What brought up this topic? I've started the process of writing my next novel, the first sequel to "High on a Mountain," and I'm beginning to get involved in my characters' lives, to see their faces, to hear them speak, to watch their actions, to understand their thoughts.

And that is what engrosses me as I write -- watching these people "come alive." More than the plot. More than the "arc." More than the beautiful turn of a phrase (do I even have any of those?).

Granted, there are some technical aspects to writing, and without a plot, there isn't really a story. But, for me, those technical things seem to apply after the story has been told, and their purpose is to make the reading more enjoyable, so that writing mistakes don't stand between the reader and an interesting tale.

So, Ailean and Aodh and Cootiyah -- I'm watching and waiting. What plot are you going to give me this time?

...about writing.

Ah, that inner editor. That stumblingblock to creativity.

One of the best things I've learned during the short time I've been writing is the value of silencing that built-in critic, to write the first draft unencumbered, unshackled by the inner voice which tells you what you've written is wrong, bad, laden with mistakes.

Of course there are mistakes. You wouldn't be human if you didn't make mistakes. BUT. They are correctable, fixable, root-out-able. No problem.

The real problem in writing, for me, is to allow the spectre of the mistakes flowing from my fingers, through the keys and onto my screen, to stop me, to allow it to slow the torrent of that first draft, to keep it from pouring out.

Because, I WILL edit. Forever and incessantly, I will edit. I just have to get my story fully told first, then I can allow myself to meddle, to whittle, to strike out and to add.

As a matter of fact, if my novel is accepted for publication and sees the light of day in print, I will probably be at the bookstore, chasing down the people who buy it, pen in hand, saying, "Please, please, just let me fix that one word. You'll be glad I did....."

...about the writer's conference.

I began writing this blog post while at the conference. And, yes, I brought my laptop with me to the conference. (My laptop and the motel's wireless made it easy to feed my computer/internet addiction and keep the cybermonkey on my back happy.)

The conference was great -- there were great speakers, it was great meeting fellow writers and it was a great opportunity to pitch my novel to editors and literary agents (who, it turns out, are such nice folks, kind and gracious). If you are a writer and haven't attended a writers' conference, I recommend doing so.

I approached my pitches with fear and trembling, but, surprise, I received requests for synopses/sample chapters.

To say that I am bowled over is the understatement of the year. I am stoked. I am excited, delighted, elated, and exhilarated (check your thesaurus for other synonyms of the word "exhilarate" if these words I've chosen don't paint a clear picture for you). And I say a big "THANK YOU" to my friends who prayed for my success this weekend.

...a second post. Wow!

Ok. So I've set up a blog. Of sorts.

Not being an inveterate bloggee (or should that be, "blogger?" -- no, it shouldn't be "blogger," because...oh dear, I've lost my train of thought; where was I? oh yes...), not being a person who regularly visits or reads blogs myself, I'm at a loss as to what a bloggee (oops! I'm not getting into that again)...I'm not sure what a person who regularly visits blogs expects to find, so I'm unsure what I should write. Maybe, if I keep at it long enough, I'll learn.

Hmmm. How about a little news about me? (ha! as though that would be interesting to anyone else...)

I'm finishing my preparations for the upcoming writers' conference this weekend. I've honed, shined, rearranged and reworded my pitch for my novel "High on a Mountain" a dozen times. I'll be so confused when my turn comes with each agent/editor that I'm likely to forget my name or the title of...of...what was that title again?

If, on the off-chance that someone should read this post before March 23, please give me a passing thought and a wish for success as I make my pitch. I'd appreciate it.

...her first blog posting

Everyone else has one, I'm told.

So, I have to have one, too, if I'm to be an effective, noticed writer of professional proportions. (I have some proportions of another kind...but we won't talk about that.)

But if I have my own blog, I ask, what am I to say? What should I write? What pithy words, earth-shaking advice or droll, ROFL comments can I make that haven't graced the blogs of writers far more experienced and respected than I?

Ah, well, gentle reader (or ungentle, as the case may be), perhaps I will find those wonderful, bring-tears-to-your-eyes-they-are-so-beautiful phrases you are breathlessly awaiting. Or not.

Only time will tell...