Archive for …the writing life…
Working as both a wife of nearly 29 years, and mother of 3, has prepared me in various ways to accomplish the work of a fiction writer.
Working as a wife and mother requires a lot of what an Islamic Imam described as grinding pepper.
Grinding pepper, from the perspective of the imam encompasses those activities that we here in the west describe as comprising the bane of our existence–mindless tasks, that we view as disrespectful of our intelligence and that devalue our worth as a person.
The world banal implies a lack of uniqueness.
Something that is banal possesses no originality.
It is like the wheel that begs for no reinvention, rather more unique and original ways of bringing a deeper level of presence and attention to the task(s) at hand–tasks that when practiced with a presence of mind and heart sharpen our skills and artistry in all areas of life, yield an original creation, and transform us as individuals.
I know this may sound like a cliché to writers, but I never chose to write.
Writing chose me. I started telling stories not long after I could talk, and, by the time I was three, my parents starting writing down the stories I would dictate.
They were simple stories, and usually about cute animals or dinosaurs, but they had plots. Back then, I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I just knew there were stories going through my head and I would tell them.
I am always amazed how much screen time Bollywood movies donate to establishing and clarifying family relations of the film’s protagonist compared to the nil to absent mention of family connections in American movies.
The protagonist of an American made movie can be undergoing the direst and most despairing of circumstances and the screenplay makes no mention of mother, father, sister, or brother. Often very little time or explanation is given to the ex-spouse or ex-significant other, unless she or he is central to the plot.
Where Bollywood movies perhaps overdramatize the gifts and goodness of family, American theater emphasizes the need to break away and discover who one truly is.
What caught my attention in a recent article on author Janet Evanovich, more specifically her asking price for the rights to publish her next 4 novels–$50 million from St. Martin’s Press–were the complaints and criticism concerning the quality of Evanovich’s recent novels launched by many who described themselves as loyal fans.
In toto, most stated that recent installments of her Stephanie Plum Series , the latest installment being, Sizzling Sixteen, had grown flat with the protagonist, Stephanie Plum, growing stagnant and not evolving.
Some even stated that it was clear to them she had been writing with her focus on fulfilling her contract obligation rather than providing fans with an engaging and entertaining story.
This all brings me to the point of where does one, more specifically the writer/author, draw the line between meeting the demands of their contract and providing readers with what they have come to expect and you, as well as they know you can achieve?
Posted by Anjuelle Floyd | Filed under ...the writing life...
“I have learned, on my journeys, that if I let a day go by without writing, I grow uneasy. Two days and I am in tremor. Three and I suspect lunacy. Four and I might as well be a hog, suffering the flux in a wallow. An hour’s writing is a tonic. …Taking your pinch […]
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Recently it became painfully obvious I have not been spending enough time with our youngest who is eleven.
It’s hard as a writer. And time is our most valuable commodity.
Yet, unlike money, time cannot be regained. I use money in the comparison because of the old American or capitalistic adage of “Time is money, and money is time,” the implication being that time and money hold equal value.
But they do not.