When a Writer Pours Her Heart Onto the Pages

Dear Reader,

While my tea is steeping, I decided to stop in for a few moments. I’m staring at a heavily frosted landscape. It is 28 degrees F. I’m left longing once again for a warm spring day, wondering if this will elude us in 2022 and instead have summer come crashing in with hot temps and humidity. Our summers are getting shorter and shorter each year. My daydreams consist of sitting on my front porch in the morning hours and soaking warmth into my chilled bones. Afternoons are too hot on my porch when the sun moves to the west and shines directly onto the front of my condo with no trees to protect it.

I remember how I enjoyed time writing on the porch the first year I moved here. Yesterday I wrote, as usual, at my desk in the morning hours. The first and last scenes of a book are the most fun for me. The characters are at a place of major decisions which will change their lives. It’s the time when they must trust in God’s love. This has been an especially emotional time of writing for me. I’ve been immersed in memories of grief and faith from my own Christian walk. I’ve left fingerprints from my heart on the pages.

My hope is you will fall in love with Katy’s heart in this book which is what the story is about. The title reflects this, too. Katy’s Heart.

And, so, dear reader I will sign off now to drink my tea before moving on with the writing. Look for the published release on Amazon in June. Don’t worry though. I will be notifying you and offering a special introductory price. Until later, God bless!

Love, Carol Ann

And Then They Went Where?

My dear friend and fellow author’s books are always so long, her editor has her cut back on the number of words. We write in different genres, but I doubt I could ever write as many words in a novel as she does. I write contemporary inspirational romance novels which typically are around 65,000 words.

The biggest struggle for me is creating different locations for my characters to keep the setting interesting. Sometimes I get hung up on doing this, when it probably isn’t necessary. My books are heavily character driven, so I hope the reader is invested in the characters instead of where they are at any given moment.

Still, it would be terribly boring if every scene was staged in the very same place. People don’t spend their entire days in one spot. Oh, wait, for the most part, I do! LOL! Most days are spent in my office! Now that would be a very boring book! The author sat to write. And she wrote that day, and the next, and the next. I’m envisioning Snoopy sitting on his doghouse writing those words after it was a dark and stormy night.

Writing is a fun adventure. I admire all the authors who create new worlds of fantasy. New words, new languages…I love to read them, but what a mind-boggling task it would be for me to attempt. Which I won’t. Ever. Instead I’ll sit here moving my characters through scenes, hoping I vary the settings just the right amount.

Creative Minds Need More Than One Outlet

Yesterday I wrote one of the most emotional and info revealing scenes in my current book in progress. I’m always emotionally invested in my character driven stories, so writing this kind of scene always drains me emotionally and mentally. When I wrote the last word in the scene, I immediately sent the pages to my writing friend and mentor. Then I closed down the computer for a break.

This is when coloring comes into play for me. It is a stress reliever, a quiet change of pace to allow my brain to focus on a different kind of creativity. This is the coloring page I am working on. I still have to work on the gold portions of the sundial before continuing with the rest of the coloring. The colors I am using reflect the same colors I used in the opposite page which is the completed “flood of knowledge.” I like to use the same colors to make the completed book look harmonious.

Oh, and I received the feedback from my writing mentor. She told me I succeeded in showing the characters’ emotions and she liked it a lot! Whew! And the writing continues today with a fresh and rested mind.

The Well Pump and the Outhouse

I really love to write. When I was still in grade school, I enjoyed writing stories to entertain. What I didn’t understand then is how I was the one being entertained. I wrote funny things which made me laugh when the teacher asked me to read my story to the class.

My mother turned me on to the joy of escaping into stories when I was young. Growing up without my brother and sister created a longing in my heart for a different kind of life. I had a few friends but the “hollow” had less than ten families with children my age. Not all of them lived close enough for visits until we were in high school and had a little more freedom.

Books took me into different worlds and I began writing stories in my head. My friends and I didn’t have hobbies. We played outdoors, along the railroad tracks, in the woods, following the bank of the creek which meandered into eternity.

I was six when I began to weave stories making my friends be different characters and we would ad lib our parts. At that time I lived with my grandmother and grandfather and only saw my mother about once a year. There was always a mother and child. I insisted on being the child, wanting but not realizing I craved a normal family life.

When I was eight, I moved to the “hollow” and lived with my mother, my new father and new grandmother and grandfather. Life was different. There were more people, but it still wasn’t the kind of family I’d imagined. I envied my friends. So the story weaving continued.

Now in my golden years, I see stories in my childhood years. These are the stories I’m writing today as part of a legacy I want to leave to my children and grandchildren. While it isn’t fiction, it is a wonderful walk into the past. A past where I pumped water into a bucket and carried it into the house, where I was frightened to go to the outside bathroom where spiders lurked. It is truly writing from the heart. It’s a world they will never see, and it was the best of times and the worst of times.

Perhaps it will become a published book in time. For now my goal is to have it published in time for Christmas this year.

Writing in 3D

Coming soon!

My writing mentor and I have had discussions about “being in the zone.” This is a phrase I’ve heard often in writing circles. It’s that place where we are totally absorbed in the words we write, a feeling as if we are actually living out the scene. This morning I thought a better term for this phenomenon is writing in 3D. Up close and personal with the characters, the setting, the action, the emotions, and invested in every second.

Yesterday in writing a critical scene, one filled with emotion that tore at my heart, I was transported to that point of writing in 3D. The words just kept pouring out. I knew what my main character felt, what the secondary character felt, the tension, the pain, the unveiling of truth. I wrote until the emotions so overpowered me I needed to step away and breathe.

It’s a good place to stop even if it is in the middle of a major scene. Why? We need to distance ourselves for our own health! At least, I do. I need a break. The scene keeps fresh in my mind and I’m unable to let it go entirely. This allows me to step back into the scene, rested, and ready to move the story forward.

I understand many people love to read and often think they could write a book. Believe me it isn’t as easy they might think. Writing is hard work. Good writing reaches deep inside our soul and pulls at the pain stuffed into tightly sealed rooms and pours out into various scenes in a new way. It’s a relieving of some things we thought we had let go of long ago. So it’s true a reader will find pieces of the author in each of their books. Not that the same things have happened, but moments where those same feelings once existed and bleed into the story.

Yesterday I posted on my Facebook Author Page about needing a hug after I stepped away from the scene I’d been writing. If you aren’t connected yet to my Facebook Page “Books by Carol Ann,” I am inviting you to look me up and either follow or like to keep up with the latest news and book releases. Maybe you can even give me a hug there!