Sunday Salon: Reading and writing mojo

He is risen!

Happy Easter!  I was thinking on the way into the shop Saturday morning, how Easter presents one of those opportunities for a fresh start, mid year.  How lent gives you a time to contemplate, rethink how you do things, prepare you for something new or for a change.  I always make these grandiose plans to get inspired by reading this book or that book, taking up a new habit or getting rid of an old one.  Somehow my plans always seem to change.   My unplugged friday's sort of got derailed by class stuff.  I couldn't completely unplug because my class is, of course, online.  Instead of reading the books I originally planned, I ended up rereading Charles Filmore's Keep a True Lent and book one of  Thomas Merton's  Bridges to Contemplative Living series "Entering the School of Your Experience."

I also found myself not wanting to read fiction for some odd reason, just couldn't get into any book.  I started several non fiction books, multitasking away and after a while, realized I was having trouble writing fiction as well.  Hmmm!   Finally came to the realization, that fiction feeds my soul, both intellectually and imaginatively.   My mantra - reading is as necessary as breathing.  I've amended that - reading fiction is as necessary as breathing.  It's not only an escape, but fills my brain with ideas.  Non fiction - takes my brain down another path entirely.  So, backing off and sticking with one non fiction book at a time.  Who saved me:  Nora Roberts, of course.  She's my diva, the one author I will read anything she writes.  Her latest "Chasing Fire" came out a couple weeks ago and I sat down to read it. Like taking in a breath of fresh air.  Nobody does it better, in my humble opinion.  My reading mojo is back.   :)

It's also helped revive my writing.  I was struggling with the story, thinking this is going nowhere. Yesterday I sat down and read the last few chapters I'd written of Red Thief.  Yes, I know, everyone says, don't go back and read what you've written before you are finished because you'll want to edit it and blah, blah, blah.  I was pleasantly surprised. The story flowed, made sense, it was all connecting.  Father interrupted me in the middle of reading, to ask me a question and it was like getting snapped up out of book you are deeply entrenched in. It took me a moment to focus on him.  What an awesome feeling, to know it was my own writing, that gave me that feeling.
I came across this video of Lady Gaga talking about her writing process and in it she said:  

"All of the songs on the album, to be completely candid [were written quickly]. The creative process is approximately 15 minutes of vomiting my creative ideas, in the forms of melodies, usually, or chord progressions and melodies and some sort of a theme lyric idea. It all happens in approximately 15 minutes of this giant regurgitation of my thoughts and feelings. And then I spend days, weeks, months, years fine tuning. But the idea is that you honor your vomit. You have to honor your vomit. You have to honor those 15 minutes."

She reminds me so much of Madonna. When Madonna came out in the 80's with her songs, Like a Prayer and Like a Virgin, it created a furor.  Now Lady Gaga is following the same path - the clothes, makeup, the sacrileges videos, the shock and awe.  But underneath it all she has a voice and a presence.  And when, like Madonna, she grows into her skin, she'll become herself.  We'll get the real person, the real talent.  Personally I don't know how she manages to stand up in those shoes. I'd have broken both ankles by now.  But I digress. 

So, I'm not going to sweat the small stuff and just keep plugging away.   I remember when I saw David Baldacci and Lee Child at Bouchercon last year, even they said they don't always know how their stories are going to end. They pretty much wing it.  I have a idea of how I want the story to end.  We'll see what happens when I get there.  

Round 2:  April 4 to June 23, 2011

My goals for this week:  

1) Write for half hour every morning on current WIP: Red Thief
2) Complete Week 9 in the Artist's Way
3) Research resources for Final Project page for Humanities class: subject George Bernard Shaw

 Check out how everyone else is doing here.

The Sunday

Blogoversary Winners:

(Book of her choice) 

Michelle Davidson Argyle of The Innocent Flower
(book of her choice)

Michelle of the True Book Addict 
(Scarlet Lion)

(Something Wicked This Way Comes) 

Congratulations Ladies!


  1. First and foremost...Happy Easter to you and your family!!!

    I'm with you on Gaga growing up and into her real self. I think she's talented but could do without some of the outrageous behavior.

    I'm glad that Roberts got you back into fiction. I think she's a great writer!! Good luck with your ending!!

  2. I was just scrolling down to comment on your post and I noticed the giveaway winners...and I was on it! Wow...thank you so much! I'll email you my mailing address.

    Anyway, back to the comment. I wanted to thank you for this post. I'm taking a break from ROW80 for a couple of weeks because we are moving, but your words are so inspirational. I'll probably come back several times and read it again. I love the idea of Easter being a time to start over. Sort of a second new year. With this move out of the way completely, it will be the perfect time for renewal and starting over. I also loved the Lady Gaga quote. I'm a big fan of hers...and Madonna. I agree that she is quite similar and will one day really come into her own. And yeah the shoes and the raw meat clothing...not sure how she does it. It's her 'thing', I guess.

    Anyway, Happy Easter and I hope you have a great week! I'll email you my address for the book. =O)

  3. Happy reading...and writing! I do that same thing, BTW...go back and reread what I've written, even if it involves "tweaking." If I don't do that, I lose my "flow."

    I really want to get back into reading Nora Roberts...I think I still have one unread book of hers on my TBRs.

    Happy Sunday!


  4. I hope that you had a wonderful Easter and am so glad to hear that your story was so absorbing when you reread. It is a gift to be able to write like that. I hope you have a great reading week!

  5. Thanks Staci - Happy Easter!

    @Michelle - good luck with your move.

    @Laurel - Yep, reading and tweaking. Sometimes just gotta do it.

    @Zibilee - You too! Did you see you won a book? I'll email you.

  6. I think going back over what you've written can be helpful. I edit as I go--when I get just the right word or phrase, it sparks a new idea. Process isn't one-size-fits-all.

    Congratulations on your accomplishments and best of luck for the upcoming week.

  7. Congrats to the winners!!

    I'm so glad Nora was there when you needed her. It's great to have a go-to author who is as prolific as she is.

    The 15 minutes of creativity is interesting. The important part was the time it takes to tweak and perfect after that -- where the grunt work resides.

    Good goals for the week.

  8. I haven't done my update yet... sigh... Easter really slowed me down. But that's awesome how you got so focused whilst reading your last few chapters. And discovering that non-fiction can be distracting. I'm the opposite! The more fiction I read, the harder it is to write! Which is really really hard, since like you, reading is necessary like breathing to me. My solution: read like crazy M-Thursday. keep Fri-Sunday for writing. Let's see if it works.

  9. I'm really lame for not seeing this earlier, or at least I don't think I did. I have such a horrible memory.

    What do I need to do? Is it too late to claim a prize? Either way, thanks for choosing me as a winner!


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