Saturday, June 12, 2010

Does the writer in you ever take a rest?

I'm beginning to think that the writer in me never sleeps. 

My daughter and I went to a cozy little sandwich shop yesterday, she made a beeline for one of those too-tall tables that make teenagers feel so grown-up. I sat quietly, listening to her chatter about our continuing world tour of college campuses. She stopped mid-sentence and tilted her head, her eyes narrowed in thought.

 "Mom," she whispered, leaning in, "the people behind us are breaking up!"

I've always been amazed at Kate's ability to ease drop. Even in the middle of a conversation her ears are on alert.  As a child, she use to come home and tell me which teacher was getting divorced, what the principal said to a distraught parent in the hall, who got kissed under the monkey bars at recess, etc. For years I've tried to squelch this freak talent of hers; recently, I've been encouraging it. I know it sounds shameless, but Kate is an endless pool of writing material. 

When I dusted off the pen and paper a few years back, I found myself seated in the Barnes and Noble coffee shop, notebook in hand. The kiddo's were firmly ensconced in the music aisle (yes, I'm that parent), and I concentrated on the conversations around me, trying to write snippets of dialogue. Problem was I couldn't hone in on just one conversation. The voices were jumbled, and I found myself writing reactionary words or snippets of sentences. It was extremely frustrating. I eventually gave up.

As we listened to the hushed pleas of the girl behind Kate imploring her boyfriend to see reason, I longed for pen and paper. Is that twisted?


  1. Not at all! Perfectly understandable. I feel that I'd love to have pen & paper with me all the time, but I sometimes feel weird dragging it out of my bag in public places, unless it's a bookstore or library,

  2. LOL yes, and no - though if you use it to break up Nora and Gavin I might have to seek you out LOL

    I think what makes authors so special is there ability to observe unnoticed, I mean think about it, when your writing about a department store, or your characters are shopping for a "dress" lets say, and they are IN a changing room, KNOWING how girls talk in a changing room makes the story seem more real, and full - if you've never listened to girls IN a changing room, the scene will read false, forced and not flow like it should.

    So, being observant is part of your job...I think it even carries over to bloggers I am forever seeking out a word or group of words that make sense, might provide a glimpse into how I felt about a particular book - of course you don't use word for word ect, but - yes idea's bits, pieces.

    I don't think your weird, or twisted - I think that add's a realness to your writing, which then leads to it flowing better and being even more spectacular!

  3. I was just about to say the same thing as Jenn....that I hope you won't use that scene to break Nora and Gavin up lol
    And I too think that that is not twisted...I mean okay the girl might have probly been crying because she was about to ger her heart broken and you just wrote down what happened(LOl okay on second IS a little bit jk) but it's very important to be observant. Like Jenn said it makes some dailogue or scene more real...
    Writing is your job so you have to get inspiration whereever you can find it.
    And a break up isn't thaz'd be waaay more tiwsted if there was some kind of accident or something lol


  4. I PROMISE Gavin and Nora won't break up in a sandwich shop :-)


  6. I'm working on Keepers right now, and their doing fine :-)

  7. Thank God, OMG if they break up in a sandwich shop or anywhere, then I might just have to reconsider, LOL :D Just kidding...goodness your going to give me a heart attack woman :D

  8. Thanks for entering the contest and spreading the word, I've heard so many great things about your novel and I'm dying to read it, thanks again!