23 October 2014

Awakening narratives

Over the last year or so I've started to notice a recurring narrative in some of the books I've read, one that I'm calling the awakening narrative.

The awakening narrative has at its core this story: protagonist (usually female) becomes aware, usually with help of one or more men, of innate spiritual/supernatural abilities that she had hitherto not suspected or had used in a sort of accidental way without understanding them fully. Over the course of the books (usually a trilogy) she learns more about her abilities and becomes one of the most powerful people around. Through the developmental of her talents, she becomes the key to some kind of huge change in her world, whether a shift in balance of good and evil or a complete paradigm shift or the revealing of hitherto obscured truths that change everyone's understanding of the world.

Examples of the awakening narrative:
  • The Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K. Host
  • The All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  • The Farseer trilogy by Robyn Hobb (male protagonist)
  • The Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones (currently at 7 books)
  • The Hot Damned series by Robyn Peterman

15 October 2014

Writing is a whole-person activity

When I read that Hemingway quote about bleeding on the page, this is what comes to mind:

What I think I know is that writing - or at least creative writing, the kind of writing I want to do - is a whole-person activity. What I think I know is that if I'm stuck in life, I'll be stuck in my writing. That if I'm not being honest with myself, if I'm not willing to face the hard questions and risk the answers I don't want, if I distract myself from my feelings and experiences instead of processing them, if I disconnect from myself out of fear or to avoid discomfort, I won't be able to connect with my creativity and hence won't be able to write stories that connect in a meaningful way with other people.

I imagine I'll have more to say about these things later, that in fact every post I write is some version of this, but for now this is all.

ROW80 Update 

"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."

08 October 2014

Hay is for horses

Is it just me, or does everyone seem to be talking about horses lately?

Every so often I'll notice that there's a recurring theme in my life. Call it coincidence or fate or whatever you want, but the same idea or word will pop up repeatedly within a short period of time. (I'm sure this happens over long periods of time, too, but I don't notice because too much time passes between events and my memory isn't that great anymore.) I have several of these recurring themes going on in my life right now, one of which is horses. It's weird when your friend, whom you've known for 15 years and have never associated with horses, is suddenly contemplating quitting her office job to go work on a horse farm, right? Right.

Anyway, one of the horse-related news items is particularly exciting: My friend Kiersi Burkhart (different from the friend mentioned before) announced that she and her co-author have a book deal for their middle grade horse book series! Woot! Congrats, Kiersi! And exciting news for me, too, because I've known about this for a while and can FINALLY invite her to talk about it here on my blog. Yay! (She said yes, by the way, so stay tuned.)

01 October 2014

A long, loud scream (& ROW80 Round 4 Goals)


Photo by Rick Campbell
My feet-dragging turned into a full-blown crisis of confidence when I sat down to apply to a couple of writing residencies yesterday. While I still found my artist's statement inspiring, as I read through my completed stories, rolling my eyes at any perceived imperfection, all I could think was, "This isn't good enough. I'm not good enough."

Good enough for what? For someone to pick me, to think I'm worth investing in as a writer. Good enough to have someone give me free room and board and possibly to pay me a stipend as well. Good enough for someone else to think it's any good.

My writing doesn't fit the contemporary trend. It doesn't fit what I was taught was "good writing" in my college creative writing courses. It doesn't look or sound like the writing I admire. There is an element of my writing not yet being equal to my taste level, but more than that it's an issue of my writing being different.

24 September 2014

Narcolepsy, HSP & my writing life

So...if you've been following this blog, you'll know that I've been struggling all month to readjust after my European travels. I've been tired and easily distracted. I've had a really hard time focusing when I sit down to write, which has resulted in blog posts taking (seemingly) forever to write and has meant no creative writing has been getting done at all. What energy I've had has gone to keeping up with my work for clients.

At first I thought I was just making excuses and needed to buckle down. Then I realized I was burned out and sincerely had to give myself time to recuperate, even if I couldn't pinpoint why I was burned out. And while I was taking it easy last week, I started to do some thinking/research related to narcolepsy and to the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).