Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Writing. Why I Do It, and a Plea!

First of all, yes, I did change my blog name back. It's whimsical, and I'm feeling all whimsicalish these days, and yes, I reserve the right to make up words whenever I please.  I especially like to end words in "ish". 

Can you tell I'm feeling a tad rebellious?

I've been thinking a lot about writing these days, for two reasons:

1. I'm trying to get to the LDS Storymakers conference this year.

2. This post by my friend, L.T. Elliot.

I've always thought of myself as a wannabe writer, not someone who had a burning desire to write since she first picked up a pen. What I have been though, is a voracious reader since I was three years old.  If it had words, I read it.  Everything from the ingredients on my cereal box (when I was a kid I could never understand the admonition to read ingredient labels; you mean there are people who don't?) to shampoo and conditioner bottles when I was on the--I mean in the bathroom, indisposed.

Thinking back, however, there were signs.  I believe I was three or four when I made my first book.  The covers were uneven squares cut from a disposable diaper box, held together with tape.  The pages inside held the story of me and Mommy going to the store, complete with one-dimensional stick figures and aisles with short captions.  I wish I still had it; it was priceless.  To me.  I doubt anyone on Ebay would care--except when I make it  huge with my first novel.  Heh heh.

The second and last book I wrote was a few years later.  I don't remember the exact title, I think it was "Princess and Jasmine", maybe my mother will remember.  This book was made from various colors of construction paper.  The story consisted of a girl (based on me, imagine that) and her horse.  Typical fodder for a seven or eight-year-old girl.

Then when I was about ten or twelve I occasionally wrote poetry.  Fun stuff, silly stuff.  When I was a teen and remembered to sit down and write, I wrote more poetry.  I kept a journal intermittently.  I stopped for a long while when I left it in the living room when I was fifteen.  I wrote pretty often up until that point, but when my dad found it laying about and read something I had written about him (I plead teen angst and freedom of speech!) and wasn't pleased, I quit.  Thankfully that wasn't the end-all to my writing.

I don't know why there were long periods when I didn't write.  I always thought a real writer was one who felt the urge to write all the time.  I didn't, but when I chose to do it I would get completely enthralled and remember how much I enjoyed it. I was so glad when I realized I could blog and type stories on my computer.  My fingers don't get as sore as they did when I used a pencil.

Apparently, my fingers hate exercise.  Doesn't bode well for the rest of me, does it?

Then, a couple of years ago, I began telling my children stories.  They loved them so much I decided to write them down.  That has become a mire of a tale in which I have about six chapters complete.  Six whole chapters--that sorely need a rewrite to add some depth and substance.  I also have the beginnings of a fictional work aimed at moms with young children, a mystery, and a fairytale reinvention of which I've written nearly twelve thousand words that I have decided will now go somewhere in the middle of the story.  No, it's not from a dream in which Cinderella stumbles upon Prince Charming sparkling in a meadow or anything. (Sorry my dreams aren't as magical as Ms. Meyer's; mine are along the lines of metallic blue and green insects chasing me, running from tornadoes, and deer that turn to little girls hiding in washing machines scattered on the lawn while bears that turn into Russians are hunting them.  Obviously, I have issues.) 

I just love the feeling when I connect my fingers to my brain and let them go.  I set them free, and when I'm done (or someone needs to eat, needs a diaper change, or it's 2:00 am) like a boomerang, they come back to me.   I feel so free when I'm writing; it's like I'm flying through the air over dips and swells, never knowing for sure what is going to happen until I land.  It's the take-off that's difficult for me, the sitting down and just doing it.

Writing in the old blog helps me exercise my brain-finger connectivity for these writing adventures.  I just have run out of things to write about except when my children do something funny.  So I'm taking a note from L.T. and asking anyone who may read this to help me out.  Give me something you'd like to see me write about.    Ask me a question, beg for a certain tale--help a girl out, please! 

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I know people read me that don't let on and hey--I don't mind being someone's guilty pleasure. I know how it goes.  I've done it myself. Oh, I know some of you think you're sneaky--but here's the thing.  I have a blog tracker.  I do know who some of you are, even if you live in a different country. I also know when people from my hometown read my blog, just not exactly who you are if you don't have a blog.  Really, it's not a secret.  It's on the internet, and I put a link up to a post on Facebook. Even you, private follower who knows me in real life and lives an hour or so away from me and doesn't think I know that you read my blog--I know. Even though you have your own blog private so I can't read yours.  It's not like I'm going to think you guys are sneakily reading me (ok, maybe, but I think it's funny and I'm quite flattered.)

So if you know me in real life, stumbled upon me somehow and don't know me from Adam, or are even related to me, (Ah-ha!), you are not exempt from this request.  It's not like it's a well-kept secret anyway.  Use this opportunity to come clean, people. I promise you'll feel better.  After all, it's not like I don't know.

You might even help me write something worth reading.  However, I'm making no promises. :)


Kizzie said...

I love reading your blog! And I love all the silly things your kids do!

I hope you can find a way to get to the storymakers conference, that would be so cool for you!
And when you get published I'll totally buy your books!!

TheOneTrueSue said...

Well after that comment - how could I not come back? ;>

I'm going to Storymakers too - we'll have to sit together.

Rebecca said...

Thanks, Kiz!

TheOneTrueSue: I just died. Stone cold dead. Everyone, a moment of silence, please. Sue just visited my blog. Again.

No matter what happens in this life, I can die happy. Wait--I already did. But I'm going to live again for a while, so I can meet her at Storymakers! Whoohoo!

Kimberly said...

I am SO excited you're going to Storymakers. Woot!

I'm happy to read anything you write because it's written by you. Anything that involves getting to know you better makes me happy. Maybe a Flashback series - tales of how the Rebecca we know now came to be? What about how you and James met and how your courtship progressed?

Helmbunch said...

Amen to the comments. Love reading you, but then you know that. You are a great writer, with a funkyish attitude that I love. Keep it up!!!!!

L.T. Elliot said...

Awww. I love you, Rebecca. You're simply the best.

And while writers do write, remember that life happens. We have to continually find ourselves and it's not always easy to find the words that help us find ourselves.

I'm with Kim. I always love reading WHATEVER you have to say because I love all of you.

However, I would love to know more about you. Tell me your favorite movie (or type of movie) your favorite snack to eat, and the best date that James ever took you on. =]

Karen said...

So, I pretty much know almost everything everyone wants to know, but I too like reading your stories! I didn't know about your early books because, well, I wasn't born yet! I do remember the silly poetry and songs.