Opening Blahg

Welcome! I’m glad to have you visit! For my first foray into the blogging world, I considered trying to expound on a really deep subject with profound insight and mind bending intellectualism, but since I’m not sure I have either of those qualities, I figured a brief introduction to why I’m here would have to suffice.

I have written my first novel, and I’m excited to finally see it in print.  It’s been a long process, years in the making, but then so have I.

I have a very dear friend who is a prolific writer. I envy her ability to sit at the computer for an entire day and work constantly, remaining focused on the task at hand and turning out pages of prose. She will only break for fresh water and lunch, and maybe the occasional potty break. I do not have that ability. I am easily distracted. I take multiple snack breaks, which means I get thirsty and need multiple diet coke breaks that lead to multiple bathroom breaks. Then there is the motivational game of Spider Solitaire, Minesweeper, FreeCell or sometimes a rousing round of all three to get the creative juices going. Never mind that I have to find the right mood music first.

If I am waxing nostalgic, it may be the soothing tones of Nora Jones that I run through the media player. If it is a certain melancholy then out comes my favorite, Sarah McLachlan, and for a rockier edge there is always Sheryl Crow. If I need some spiritual encouragement, I may try Rita Springer, Ally Matthews, or Carolyn Arends depending on what I am needing in that moment.

I know some people, my friend included, prefer quiet to  organize their thoughts, but me, I like the words. I need the words. Sometimes they can take me to where I need to be in order to get to where I need to go. And once I get there, I hate to come out. That’s when I find that phone calls, or knocks on the door, or the obligations of a job and family make me irritated and short with people. I want to stay with my characters and follow them on the journey that, even though I am shaping it, is sometimes a surprise to me. Because I feel my creativity is more like dark, strong tasting molasses that flows slowly no matter what temperature than it is sweet golden and easily flowing maple syrup, I need the time to mull and stew over plot points and dialogue, and character choices before I put pen to paper. And for most of this journey, I did use a pen, preferring to edit as the information was typed into the computer and needing the ability to flip back and see where the characters had been and where they were in the moment. With a few flips of a page, I could find the reference I needed to make sure I connected to one in the next chapter. Unlike my friend, I am unable to just dump my ideas onto the page and go back and weed through, or refine them later. I needed to have a firm grasp on the details right away and see them spread out before me.

But that has changed out of necessity and I have trained myself to compose at the computer, even if that means sitting and staring at the flashing cursor for twenty minutes before writing a single sentence. I’ve also had to retrain my brain to find my creative mode during daylight hours. Before working the nine to five gig I have now, I found that I had my best ideas arrived between 11:oopm and 3:00am, but then I also had a job that allowed me to make use of that time.

I also lacked direction for what I wanted to do with the story I was working on. I believed in the story, felt passionately about it from the first genesis of the idea years ago, but didn’t know if anyone else would. Sure I had handed out the first fifty pages to a lot of friends and they all said the same thing: “When can I get more?” But it wasn’t until I went to a writer’s conference in Guelph, Ontario, the Write! Canada conference, and participated in a fiction intensive that I began to find my way. I made a friend in that class and found in her a mentor who would read the stuff I wrote, and whose insight proved very valuable in helping me see story details from a different point of view. She fed me when I went out to visit her and work on the book, and she then read every word faithfully.

Then when I had more written, almost two books worth, I went to the conference again. This time I made an appointment to get some critique and feedback. That’s where I met the person who would eventually publish my book. Through the course of our professional relationship, the story went through more revision, which took more time, but he waited the years patiently, until now we will finally we arrive at December 1, 2011 when the book will be released officially.

That’s why I’m blogging. My publisher, Greenbrier Books, insists I have a web presence, and I see his point, so I do this, and I Twitter, sort of. Eventually I’m sure I will thank him, as I am thankful for his choice to publish an unknown writer, and I am thankful for his patience and his belief in me from his first read of my sample pages. Thanks, Ron and Janet.

So I will continue to blog, or as I like to call it blahg, because to me I’ve just blah, blah, blahed this down. Or blahged. I can’t promise it will be weekly, or monthly, but the next time I feel the need to blah, I will do so here on my blog. Eventually I will get the hang of it I’m sure.

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2 Responses to Opening Blahg

  1. Irving Letto says:

    Caroline, I have just read the first four chapters and looking forward to hearing Jessie’s story. I knew your Aunt Millie and has got to know her daughter, Marjorie, who lent me your book when I visited her last week. Your grandfather, Roland Kean, was a good friend of my grandfather, and Millie was one of my mother’s best friends. So there’s a special connection with you and your family. All the best in your writing.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for reading and for posting! The world seems to get smaller everyday with people connecting over the internet. Do you know my father as well as Aunt Millie? Perhaps he had left the island before you knew him? Anyway, I hope you enjoy the rest of the book and thanks for saying, “hi!” Blessings to you!

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