Saturday, September 22, 2012

Write Something Every Day? But What?



A FEW SCRIBBLED THOUGHTS THAT TURNED INTO NOVELS
Crystal Lake Reunion-The Stars at Night-Wish for the Moon-Heart of a Hero
If you are an author, I believe you understand the urge to write something. Anything. This is the best advice I hear repeatedly about "finding time to write." Just write. However, even this advice doesn't always work for me, but when it does I invariably begin a new story. If I could complete each one, I'd have files filled with new novels or novellas.

If I don't have my computer nearby or even a scrap of paper, then I "write" in my head. Do you do this? No doubt, you do. My head is filled with brilliant ideas for incredibly intriguing Best Sellers.
I wish.
 
Years ago, as we drove along a very long stretch of West Texas highway on our way home from a school reunion, the monotony of the scenery and the hum of the engine almost put me to sleep. Instead, I thought about the school reunion I'd just attended and wanted to write about it. Of course, it began in my head, and after ten minutes or so, I had to get this on paper so I wouldn't forget it. I searched my purse and every nook and cranny in the vehicle for a notepad and pen or pencil. There was nothing! Not one thing. I opened the car pocket and voila! I found a blue paper towel, the kind you use at service stations to clean the windshield. Since it was thick and tough, I could write on it...but no pen. There had to be something. My husband said he had a short pencil--the kind we use on the golf course for a scorecard--in his shaving kit. He stopped and found it for me. This taught me a lesson--never leave home without a pen and notepad.

Here are examples of two story beginnings in my files:
~*~*~
The Pro
        Julie clutched her printout ticket and stood in the long snaking line as patiently as she could. Whatever happened to the adventure of flying? Everything turned into a hassle—no water bottles, liquids in 3 ounce bottles, and no more than four. Or was it three? She could never remember, so if the airline personnel decided it was too much, so be it. Discount stores were on every corner of the planet.
        She could barely believe she’d snagged a seat in First-Class. She, Julie Newcastle, erstwhile lawn-mower repairman, sometimes pizza deliverer, and laid-off wedding planner assistant to the assistant had taken the offer to give up her seat in coach for the reward of sitting in First-Class on the next flight.
        Another time, when she boarded an over-booked flight, she took the deal, two hundred dollars in cash. That was a real boon, enough money to pay her phone bill and stock up on groceries. This time, though, she guessed the airlines were hurting for cash just like the passengers and the rest of the country.
        As she neared the security station, she hoisted her carry-on bag to her other shoulder, and reached down to remove her slip-on sandals. Walking barefoot to the conveyor belt, she was dropping the bag onto the moving carrier when someone bumped her from behind. One shoe and her shoulder bag dropped to the floor.
       “Ohh,” she muttered. In the process of stooping to pick up the two items, people behind her began to grumble.
       Looking over her shoulder, she said, “Okay, okay, hold your horses. I’m doing the best I can.”
       The griping didn’t lessen, but someone with a deep voice said, “Let’s give the lady a chance here, what do you say, folks?”
        She looked at the man in front of her. So far, she’d only seen his back, but now she saw his blinding, white smile from a pleasing, tanned face. Everyone hushed and muttered “sorry”, or “sure, thing.”
       Julie wondered who he was to command such attention.
~*~*~
The Kings of Texas
      Early Twentieth Century
      He looked up at the huge sign splashed across the top of a multi-story brick building in downtown Houston. King Oil Company. Looks like big brother did it right.
      With no hesitation, he walked through the enormous glass double doors in the foyer of the building. On the wall to the right was a sign behind glass listing the names of the offices, floor, and number.
       It seemed his big brother occupied the entire top floor. Unimpressed, he punched the button for the electric elevator. The door slid open and he stepped in.
       "Floor, sir?" The operator stood to the side as if at attention.
       Lee grinned at the man in the red uniform trimmed in gold braid and the round hat that topped his head.
      "Top."
      "Mr. King's offices?"
      "That right."
      "Very good, sir. Now, if you will just step to the rear, we'll be off."
      Since Lee had never been in an elevator, he held his breath while the car moved, leaving his stomach behind. The weightless feeling almost made him gasp. Now, that's impressive.
      Directly in front of him when he stepped off, loomed the main office. Polished mahogany lined the walls, and crystal wall sconces burned softly, illuminating the hall.
      Pausing, he lifted his right leg and brushed the dust off the toe of his boot. He repeated the process with the other boot. Tugging his well-worn hat down, he pushed the door open and stepped in to luxurious surroundings, fit maybe for a king. The thought caused him to chuckle.
     "I need to see Dalton King," he announced to the receptionist behind the curved counter.
     "Your name, sir?"
     "Lee King."
~*~
Oh, yes, I have a dozen more. One day, I'll select one and give it everything I have.
When I find time to write.
 
~*~*~

Note: the banner containing book covers at the top of the post is a creation by LK Hunsaker. Contact her here:   http://www.lkhunsaker.com/  

38 comments:

  1. Yep, lots of these scribbled in notebooks or typed out over the years. Both of your examples leave me asking to know more. I hope you do get to them one day.
    As a former reporter, I try to never leave home without notebook and pen. But we're human and do sometimes forget.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great starts, Celia! I'm pulled in already. :-)

    Time to get to them... yes, that's the big crux of it. I have a bunch of starts I need to fulfill, as well.

    Thanks for the nod! It was fun to jump over here and see it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tsk tsk tsk, Celia! No notebook? You're right--never leave home without one! I go to Michael's and browse the 10/$10 rack and always have a supply of cute notebooks just the size to tuck into my purse.

    Loved your thoughts on writing in your head, finding stories everywhere, etc. I do it all the time!

    Will be returning to West Texas October 12-14 for my 50th HS reunion! Want to bet I come home with a story idea or two?

    ReplyDelete
  4. JR--I suppose as a reporter it's in your DNA to always carry a pen and notebook.Thank you for the nice comment, too, about the WIP. I'm really bad about not finishing stories, when that's not my usual way of doing things. I am programmed to finish what I began. But with writing--it doesn't work as well. I wish....

    ReplyDelete
  5. LK--oh, I'm so glad you noticed. I was going to tell you...but I'm happier that it was a surprise.
    Yes, I like both begginings I posted here, but I also have about ten more stashed away. I blame it mostly on so much promotion I've had to do...because of so many books at one time. That will come to an end, though...and maybe that will propel me forward!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Judy-I know, foolish not to carry anything. But this was for my 50th which was four years ago--in a time when I had just a couple of books out. Next summer, Judy? My 55th. Oh, I know..I don't look that old--(I'm pretending you're saying that. haha.)
    I can't wait to read your post about your reunion. I remember walking into this big meeting room and thinking...sheesh, all these people are old!!!But when we began talking, the years rolled away and I saw the high school friend or boyfriend--it was a fun time. I loved school.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd love to have the time to write everyday! But I work 2 other jobs, so when I leave the house at 7am and don't get home until 10pm, then have to get up at 6 again the next day, it's really hard to tell myself that I can get by on only 3-4 hours of sleep and write for a couple! I've passed out on my keyboard before! Neither of my jobs allow for the down time required to write. I do try to keep stories going in my head, like you suggested, Celia. But alas, with multiple kids still in college, retirement is only a distant dream...and we'll STILL be paying off student loans! I guess it's a miracle I get any writing don at all!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fiona--you are the kind of author/mother/worker that I admire. Lord, how do you do it?
    I forget at times that I taught school and worked on a Master's degree and raised two kids with my husband also working long hours--and all the same time. It's a distant memory now, but if I think hard I can remember those long tedious hours. If I had tried to write during those years, I couldn't have done it at all.
    And so, you have my greatest admiration and praise for trying to handle it all.
    But don't give up writing or at least thinking about it...it may be the thing to keep you grounded!Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great beginnings to both contemporary and historical novels, Celia. I can't decide which I like best. So I hope you will write them both ASAP. Linda

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  10. Love both those first pages, Celia - hope you'll continue with both of them.
    I write a lot in my head too - usually when I'm driving, so I can't write it on paper, and then I forget it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you, Linda--the second one has the most promise. The first is sort of fluffy--or at least what I call a fluffy. Story--soft with no a lot of substance. But the one with Lee King could begin another series. Dalton King's younger brother Lee, and Dalton's two children, Laura Lynn King and Alexander King.

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  12. Paula--forget? Oh, yes, I've forgotten more than I have remembered and wrote! I'd probably drive myself crazy if I tried to do all of them.

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