Monday, April 24, 2006

Back in the Fast Lane: Plus, Mount Hermon part 1

Here I am, home again with a full plate and stuff spilling from the plate onto the table. We went to Austin for our anniversary this weekend. I bought a shirt (besides a pair of cute sandals, but that's not important to this post) that seems fitting right now. "Mrs. Incredible...Stretched to My Limits." A book due in about seven weeks with hmmm chapters left to go. I owe critiques to friends. I need to find mentors for writers and put people in critique groups. Oh, and shuttle kids places. My cousin-in-law, I've just found out, is an aspiring children's author who has some questions about writing so I'd like to help her find some resources. Tomorrow night, the local nursing home is hosting an appreciation dinner for its volunteers. I'm going. Not only do I volunteer, but I won't have to cook tomorrow night.

First, about Mount Hermon. If you want to write in the CBA market, go to Mount Hermon. The atmosphere is phenomenal. I had no pressure since I wasn't "trying" to meet anyone or sell anything, just go and have a good time. And I did. James Scott Bell's Fiction track was fabulous. If you didn't go, BUY the CDs. You won't be disappointed. He is an extremely gracious and entertaining speaker who packs a lot into his seminars.

One night at supper I sat at his table, and after we all introduced ourselves and what we wrote, someone asked him how he got through writer's block. He answered them, then looked at me (I guess he thought I was the junior published author).

"So, Lynette, what do you do about writer's block?"

Gulp. Who, me? I felt like the kid in A Christmas Story when Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas. Doh--doh--um..."A football?"

"I do like you do," I squeaked out, unsure if anyone heard. All eyes were fixed on me. "I spend time with my family, read a good book, or even write something for fun." What was he thinking, asking me, who still feels like a wet-behind-the-ears newbie?

This is what I also should have added:
When in the throes of writer's block, sometimes you have to just push through and write, no matter how bad you think it stinks. And pray. You can go back later and fix things when the mood lifts. Most of the time for me, it's a mood thing. If it's not, I pray and see if there's something about the story I've gotten wrong.

Also, I look at writing as my part-time job. When you have a job, you don't have worker's block. You have to work. Or the pay doesn't come, or worse, you lose your job.

I learned, too, that no matter where we are in our writer's journey, we have something to offer another writer who might not be in the know. I sometimes take for granted things I've known for years, not realizing that to another it might be a startling new revelation. And then, I realize how much I have yet to learn.

More on Mount Hermon reflections another time...gotta finish chapter hmmm...


Christine Lynxwiler said...

LOL, Mrs. Incredible! I think you do a fantastic job. I'm in the boat right beside you, honey! With a deadline zooming toward me and hmmmm chapters left to go. You can do it. Some things will have to wait. Some won't. I guess it's our job to figure out the difference! Thanks for the Mt. Hermon tidbits. Looking forward to more after you write hmmmm chapters! ~ Love you! Chris

Cathy West said...

You'll get through!
I will be happy to help if you need an extra eye for critiquing.