Spring is here a bit early this year, even for the Deep South. Temps in Mobile are already in the high seventies. Flowers are bursting open and the sound of raking and mowing fill the air. I love Spring when the earth brags about it's accomplishments and showers us with the rich smells of turned earth for planting and flowers galore. It spurs me on to new heights and to that end I'm writing up a storm and trying new ideas once again. The swirl of words on the page - whether hand written or typed - are so full of wonderful possibilities, and although not always as prosaic as my critique group would wish, I find it an exciting exercise of my brain matter to seek and find a new way of saying the same old thing.
Caroline, the protagonist of my novel,A Few Degrees Off Center,has given me such an opportunity for creativity. A twelve-year-old girl with a good, old fashioned fifties Southern accent and flair for words, she has had a ball filling my mind with new ways to describe a scene or express her sense of reality. I will miss that once she is shelved, but for now, I'm continuing to cull the words and scenes to create a worthy read for future audiences and thanks to my critique buddies, Wanda, Nolan, and Marilyn, the scenes are addressing those needs.
As for other fun activities, I had the pleasure of working with a creative writing class of high school students at Faith Academy recently and what fun we had discussing how to plot a short story. Bright and articulate, the students posed appropriate questions and kept me on my toes. Good luck to Tyler with all his enthusiasm, Haley and Josh slogging through the middle of their stories (hard for any writer) and Eric who was kind enough to staple my handouts. I will be starting a summer salon for high school writers in the near future, so to you and any of your friends, let me know if you will be interested in joining the creative process for six weeks or so. Mrs. Jester has my e-mail address if you have questions. We will have a good time growing in the creative process.
Oh, by the way, I've gotten so side-tracked on researching my new book, I put aside the idea of writing two hundred short stories and instead am focusing on the continuous short story collection for the book. As with most writers, I chastised myself for giving up what seemed like a good and organized idea, but I decided I'm going to do what my writing angel tells me to do since it always seems to be the right idea. In addition the characters in my new novel are to the point of shouting at me now, so I'm collecting background info for them as well. Gotta do what I gotta do.
For those of you still shoveling snow, spring is on its way! Mahala