My book signing of “Superstition Murder Club” is scheduled for October 26 at 7 p.m. in the Pueblo Room at Monte Vista Village Resort, 8865 E Baseline Road, Mesa, AZ.
There is beauty in the strangeness of things created in the world. Oddities abound– strange flowers, strange fruit, strange beasts, and even stranger humans. Strangeness is arresting–you have to stop and look. You can’t accept what your eyes see.
Each of us is different, unique in the world. No one else is like you. You are the creation of an infinite God whose creativity is infinite. Did you ever wonder why snowflakes are unique? If a perfect pattern is created, why not keep reproducing it over and over? Why the need for incomparable designs?
Think about fingerprints. Each is different, enough so that a person can be identified by the oily impressions left behind by touch. And then, of course, there is the mother of all identifiers: DNA. Scientific discoveries continually tell us that we are created completely unique to all others.
History shows that America will offer bombs to end national conflicts, but will history show that we are willing to offer a healing balm to the Syrian refugees?
I began writing at a very early age. I was three when I learned the alphabet and four when I learned that I could make words out of letters. When I learned that words strung together made sentences and sentences made stories, I found a creative outlet to last a lifetime.
When I was five, I wrote my first poem about the moon:
come down to me
or I will fly
up to you
and poke you in the eye.
Okay, stop laughing. I was only five.
My father was so proud of me that he taped my poem to the refrigerator. He stated that I was certainly destined for a writing life. It was defining moment for me.
Writing is a lonely occupation, but if you’re a writer there is nothing more rewarding than sitting with your own thoughts and creating something out of nothing with the power of your words. It’s just you, your thoughts, and your implement of choice for capturing your words.
No one can write for you. You have to write all by yourself. You may have taken courses, gone to conferences, learned from the best, but still—when you sit down to compose your thoughts, write your story, or tap into your creativity—you are alone.
When I was a reporter, I had to write while surrounded by people. The newsroom was a noisy place—people shouting, laughing, talking about what they were working on and an editor shouting at someone about something they wrote. I had to produce three stories a day, including developing the story, interview people, check my facts and race back to the newsroom to file the stories before a 5 o’clock deadline. I became very fast at writing accurately and succinctly.
Even though I had people around me, I learned how to block out the noise and let go of the distractions.
Have you ever been out to dinner and encountered the practice of the server “rounding up” your bill?
I went to dinner at a nice sushi restaurant with a friend the other night. We had a great time and planned to tip well. We paid our separate bills with cash, providing more than the cost of the meal so that we could have change back to tip our waiter. This is common practice, is it not?
After years of writing fiction, I learned a technique that helps me stay on track with my story so that nothing interrupts the flow of my writing. It is a list of character names. If ever I’m in need of a name for a character, I don’t have far to look.
I have been collecting people’s names for years and probably have over a hundred names from which to choose. I keep this list as a file on my computer so that it is always available to me.
I heard a sermon on Sunday about forgiveness and only gave it half a listen. I had forgiven everyone who had ever wronged me. When I became a Christian at 17, I learned how important it was to forgive people quickly for a deep spiritual life.
I didn’t think I was harboring a grudge or hanging on to past hurts and injustices. I’d forgiven all those who had wronged me long ago — hadn’t I? Then why couldn’t I shake the feeling that there were deep roots of bitterness in my heart?
I was asked where I get the ideas for my novels, which made me have to think about this part of the creative process. In this second installment of my two-part blog on Where Do Ideas Come From? I realized that the ideas come from just about everywhere.
Most ideas come from just living my life, but some ideas come to me in unexpected ways. It can come from a conversation I overhear at a restaurant or when I’m standing in line at the post office. It can come from a quirky news story I read online or a throwaway blurb in a newspaper. It can be a story from my own life married to someone else’s story—a union of ideas.
For instance, for my new book, Superstition Murder Club (available October, 2015), the idea came from my daily water aerobics class. Every weekday morning I meet with a group of ladies who are dedicated to keeping in shape, flexible and mentally alert through this activity.