It’s obvious I haven’t posted anything in months. I wish that I could say the reason is because I was busy finishing my two novels-one a historical romance, the other a western saga about a madam. Alas, that was not the case. They are still mere outlines and skeletons of what they should be. I’m a part-time student and mom to a 4 year old cutie, so there are several things having to do with family, holidays and school that have consumed my life over the past 6-8 months. I’ll post more about my adventures in volunteering and fundraising at another time.
I would, however, like to share what I have been up to writing-wise, as I feel that writing is a process that sometimes involved gathering materials and research in order to complete the task. Plus, it makes me feel better to look over the things I was able to produce so that I don’t feel like a torpid and idle person. Here goes:
1.) I started a poem-that still needs a bit of revision during the holidays.
2.) I completed and submitted a poem about the Titanic to the Nashville Review last month. Hoping it gets published.
3.) Got my first freelance writing gig as an online greeting card writer-woohoo! I have always wanted to do that. I look forward to doing that again, although coming up with 20-30 greetings within a day stretched my poetic mind muscles to their limit. 🙂
4.) An older poem entitled, “Forget Me Not: A Day of the Dead Poem,” was published in the Siren, my college magazine. And it was put on display at the White Library on campus. It is moments such as these that give novice writers like me that boost to keep going!
5.) I started out the holidays reading Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel. which fed my mind and soul in various ways. I fell in love with the Mexican recipes and traditions in the book. It was as if these these things were being handed down to me by an unknown family member. As a history buff, and lover of all things vintage, I appreciated the tidbits and explanations of how things were prepared and stored. Things that we take for granted with all of the modern conveniences. It’s an awesome book and I love that it takes place in my backyard, the Mexican border and in San Antonio, Texas. I hardly ever get to see or hear about what was happening within my culture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This book touches on that which in of itself was a delightful treat.
6.) The other book I read was one I had longed to read for years now entitled, Jubilee by Dr. Margaret Walker, about the Old South. It fed my consciousness, Civil War intrigue and helped me to develop a key character in my western novel. I enjoy watching documentaries on Youtube, and after soon after reading the book I watched an interview with the author of a book called Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slave Holding South in the American Civil War, Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust. She is a historian and the current President of Harvard University, who has written several books on the subject of the South and Civil War.
She discussed several aspects within her book that compare to those mentioned in, Jubilee. Women experiencing PTSD and losing their sanity and women starting out extremely patriotic but then losing their patriotism were two major themes mentioned in Walker’s book. Which was, by the way based on her great-great grandmother. It reads a lot like a history lesson, and at times you forget that its a novel. There is hardly any romance or fluff within the book’s pages. This is undoubtedly because the story that revolves around the lives of slave and their hardships. I admire Dr. Walker, because she was a part of the Harlem Renaissance and knew my favorite poet Langston Hughes. Again, reading her book helped me to develop one of the key characters in my western novel. She was to have been brought up during the Civil War and influence the life of the heroine in my story.
7.) A month ago, I went over to my friend’s home for one of our writing sessions. I usually don’t ever write, however this time I wrote a few pages about this same character, named Eleanor. At first I wrote her into a few chapters of my novel during a novel writing course. However, her past was shrouded in darkness for me. Well, thankfully during that mini writing session at my friend’s house, I was able to develop her background and give her more depth. And now after finishing the novel, Jubilee, Dr. Walker was able to help me fill in the gaps, due to her very truthful tale of the Old South.
8.) I’d like to add that I’ve been watching several documentaries and historical/period movies that have not only been inspiring me but also giving me some “food for thought,” where my novels are concerned.
So, anyway there you (or I) have it. I’ve been idle when it comes to writing, but have been gathering knowledge and inspiration for my books. And today, I was inspired to make this post which sort of pulls together everything I’ve been doing over the past few months. My hope is to continue writing and posting. So many online articles and fellow writers drive the point home about having a social media trail that publishers and editors want to see. And well, everyone needs a beginning.