Guest Post

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

When it's time to call yourself a writer

cj Sez: Author Pat Conroy, who wrote literary fiction—including The Prince of Tides which was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film—credits his English teachers . . . no, make that lauds the “genius of” his English teachers for instilling in him a love of the English language.  
   As Mr. Conroy was quoted on Goodreads: 
“I've been in ten thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English language. ” ( ).

   Though I will never have anything close to Mr. Conroy’s expertise, I was, am, and always will be fascinated with words and syntax. I love, love, love the task of putting words together to create characters and plots that lure readers into the story, where they can see the scenes and experience the emotions in their imaginations.

   What really draws me to Mr. Conroy is something he wrote in his memoir My Losing Season: A Memoir  

“Do you think that Hemingway knew he was a writer at twenty years old? No, he did not. Or Fitzgerald, or Wolfe. This is a difficult concept to grasp.  . . .  But they had to take the first step. They had to call themselves writers. That is the first revolutionary act a writer has to make. It takes courage. But it's necessary.” 

   That’s what it’s all about. We have to call ourselves “writers.” That’s a grand title I long hesitated to give myself despite having been published in several genres (and been paid for it) over several years. Now that I’ve said it out loud, guess what? It sounded good and natural.
   I hope you have taken ownership of the title you've earned through study, discipline, and determination. If not, maybe it's time to try it. Celebrate it. Say it: “I am a writer!” I bet you’ll like it too.

Passing along info: 

A Journey into the Mystery of the Criminal Mind . . . A Conference for Writers and Readers of Crime Fiction

Sponsored by Sisters in Crime - New Orleans 
Featuring keynote speaker Hank Phillipi Ryan and local authors BJ Bourg, O'Neil De Noux, Jean M. Redmann, and Erica Spindler.

Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8:30 AM

Holiday Inn, New Orleans Airport 2261 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie, LA

   As the masthead of Lyrical Pens says, if you have a book you want to promote, let me know. We can arrange a blog date…the only caveat is that this site is PG 13.

   That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. See you next week?


CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Get your Kindle copy on Amazon…visit my Amazon Central Author Page = for more information about my stories.

TO ORDER an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook

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