Since a number of nice surprises have come my way recently, I wanted to share some of that positivity with you all. I hope you find something here that lifts your spirits!
I'd heard so many good things about Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center that even though it's a different genre for me - more contemporary fiction/women's fiction/romance – I had to give it a try. I LOVED it. Loved. It. It's heartbreaking AND heartwarming. I cried, I laughed, I rooted for pretty much every single character. I can't recommend it enough.
OUT AND ABOUT -
You know that saying about finding heroes in unlikely places? Well, the other day, my husband and I were out walking – social distancing rules applying (not for each other, although my husband might have wanted a break from me but was too nice – afraid? – to ask.) We're passing by a tree with a plant – orchid? – growing around it. I keep walking, but my husband stops. Laughing, he waves me back to show me . . .
|Photo by Madeline Mora-Summonte, 2020|
Of course, we then spent the rest of our walk wondering about that Batman figure. Who put it there and why? Is it some sort of secret code for local kids? Did an adult find it and place it there, hoping the owner of the lost toy would come back for it? How long has it been there? No one stole it?
THE CRAFT OF WRITING -
The post "Have Shocking Coffee with Your Lead Character" by James Scott Bell is a fantastic tool to get us past those "safe places" in our writing. He mentions a few different ideas in the post, and I hope to try them all, but this is my favorite:
You, the author, imagine you are seated with your main character over a cup of coffee. She tells you she doesn’t think you’ve quite captured her. That surprises you a bit. I mean, after all, you created her.
So you ask, “In what way?” And your character tells you something that shocks you. What is it? (I have the students write for one minute.)
Then I say: You’ve spit out your coffee. Your character hands you a napkin and then tells you something shocking! (Write for one minute.)
After struggling with creativity and focus, I was thrilled to learn one of my flash fiction stories received second place in a contest AND will be published in an upcoming anthology. More information to come!
This month, the tortoises turn 11 years old! The surprise here is that while I like animals fine, I never really considered myself an animal person or a pet person . . . until the tortoises came along. These two make me smile every single day. They're like my own little superheroes, only they have shells instead of capes.
What pleasant surprises have come your way lately? Read any good books? Seen any superheroes lately? Will you have coffee with your characters? Any creative/publishing/writing news? Do your pets get anything special on their birthday? (The tortoises will get banana but sssh, don't tell them! It's a surprise!)