Posted in books, characters, choices, Goal, Uncategorized, Writing, writing lessons

How do you Know?


I am taking a course at UTexas called Kickstart your Novel. Last week I brought in a sample of my story and a few classmates and the instructor took it home in order to critique it. Normally the instructor critiques your writing while you are in a small group setting. But for reasons I won’t go into, my writing was critiqued in from the entire group.

The instructor is kind and has a way of delivering a critique without squashing your dreams. Overall it was a favorable review by all who read it with one classmate saying it was the best thing she’d read so far in class. The instructor pointed out my good word and phrase choices. An example, “Michael casually shredded her life.”

I have the most difficult (my therapist would say impossible) time accepting praise. I sift out the good and only keep bad. Silly, I know and I’m working on changing.

So who knows, maybe I will someday realize my dream and be a published author.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ready for Your Close-up.”

movie

   I’ve thought about this prompt for a while. It isn’t an easy challenge because I have to decide which part of my life I’d like to make into a movie. Should I choose the early years which I can’t remember and how would a screenwriter get it right? Do I choose my turbulent teens years? No, that would just be another movie about a girl (me) being the target of mean girls. That’s already been done. Do I choose all 30 years of my marriage? No, that would be too long. So in the end I would make a movie of the last ten years of my life. Those were the most challenging, heartbreaking and ultimately rewarding.

  Casting is a challenge because the actors I would choose don’t necessarily meet the correct age requirements but since this is a fantasy movie, I figure I have leeway and can imagine the actors at the appropriate ages for the part.

A slightly older Keri Russell would be me. She has fabulous curly hair which she embraces. I have never been able to embrace my curly hair and would love to see me played by someone who does. She also has the ability to play a loving, creative and happy woman with a strong, resilient side.

Ron Howard would be my husband ex-husband. He would have to a play a character with a dual personality. He would be the nice guy next door with a dark and nasty secret that ultimately destroys his family.

A young Maggie Gyllenhaal would be my oldest daughter. She looks so much like my daughter many people have asked if she is actually Maggie G. Maggie is very talented, has a fabulous smile, is a great actress and has a happy adult life. All which describe my daughter.

A young Kirsten Dunst would be my younger daughter. My younger daughter looks a lot like Kirsten, has an infectious smile, a serious side and a streak of independence.

Toby McGuire would play my son-in-law. He has such incredible talent and so does my son-in-law. He can do anything he sets his mind to so an actor of great versatility would be needed. Toby has played a superhero to a drive jockey who suffered abuse. He would be able to capture the uniqueness of my son-in-law.

Stephen King would have to write the story because he has a way of weaving a tale of normalcy which is laced with intrigue and horror because that is exactly what the last ten years of my life have been. On the surface my life appeared happy and normal but there were secrets. These secrets were nasty, dirty and life altering. A nice, loving suburban family was the chosen hiding place for a psychopathic narcissist. And when the truth comes out, our world explodes and it is only through love that the three remaining survive.

It would need an incredible soundtrack because music evokes emotion and sets the tone. I think a soundtrack of music from the time period would be best interspersed with original music. My oldest daughter would sing the original signature song and my younger daughter would be the costume designer.

And ultimately it would be a blockbuster movie because the audience would see elements of their own lives in the characters and story.

Ready for My Close-up

Posted in Uncategorized

Tweet Response

     I have no idea if I added the twitter link correctly, so I copied and pasted the actual tweet into my blog. I went to a meetup group tonight. If you don’t know what a meetup group is you can find out by going to http://www.meetup.com  It is a place where you can find people in your area with similar interests. There is a wide variety of choices, so there is something for everyone. I went to a writing prompt group. There were just 3 of us which made it much less intimidating for a first time visitor.

    The group leader gave us our first prompt. He used story dice. I got an eyeball and a man thinking. The tweet above was definitely true for me tonight. How do you begin a story based on an eyeball and a man thinking? Each of us got different things. I definitely had the worst roll. From where would the words come? Should I even be there? Could I really write something someone would want to read?

   As I watched the other people write when we began our second prompt, lines from a song, I was amazed at how quickly they could put their words to paper. And then when they read them, they were so good, so creative. My story sounded like something an 8th grader would turn in for a creative writing project. Would my writing every mature?

   Our last prompt was a collage of photos. We could write something in general about all of the photos in our collage or we could select just one photo. I wrote about one photo and when the young woman next to me read her story, I was blown away. She had chosen to focus on the fact almost all of her photos had blue in them. Where do people get such creative ideas?

   So I agree with the tweet. It seems that writing comes so easily for other authors. Their stories, their blogs, their books all seem effortless. My stuff reads heavy, like a bag of trash someone has to drag behind them. When will the words mature and the story come?

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