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Well ain’t that some shit, Kathryn Magendie: kicking the ass of my fears.

ipod photos 082I done been here, and I done been there, and I done this and I done that and I done the other. I done thangs I never done before. I done thangs I haven’t in a long long time.

I been where I’ve never been, and where I’ve seldom been, and where I’ve left, and where I’ve said I’d never go, or never return to.

This here woman done seen thangs that made her speechless with wonder. Made her stop right there and say, “Well . . . oh my god.”

This here woman done done thangs that opened her up and turned her inside out bursting kaleidoscopic super-nova–KaBOOM! Ka-POW! Ka-BAM!

And I ate things I said I’d never again eat. I broke many “food rules;” like, never eat pork: I ate bacon and damned if it wasn’t tasty; I ate peaches with the skin on them and the juice ran down my arm and I licked it away; and my rule of never ever ever EVER eat in the middle of the night: welp, I ate cheesecake in bed with my bare hands (no utensils available–who cares!) at 2:30 PM in a hotel and it was GOOD! And I ate turtle pie at 2:30 AM in bed at someone’s house (something about 2:30, huh?) but that time I had a fork, and it was GOOD! And the world kept turning, turning, turning.

Nothing bad came of my rebellion against Self Denial–

So many things on the Kathryn’s List Of Things I denied myself over the years as I tried to control my world: POOF! I devoured those rules–I ate up those rules for breakfast lunch and dinner. I gluttoned myself on Rule Breaking. I stopped trying to control all the wild and strength and excitement and wonder and curiosity that I’d kept hidden from myself and the world. Hello, World–nice to meet you–how you like me now?

ipod photos 093I considered things I’d never considered. I reconsidered things I’d never reconsidered. I walked where my shoes had never been and tossed off my shoes and felt unfamiliar ground beneath my feet. I stomped in puddles. The ground didn’t open up and swallow me.

I drank too much a couple of times and lived to tell the tales though they shall remain secret. I became angry enough to break something that wasn’t even mine, at least twice–and that felt AWESOME! Though contriteness followed the breaking it still felt awesome.

Sleep was lost–lots of sleep was lost, but I didn’t care because it was on-purpose lost sleep.

Oh but I kissed without restraint.

And I laughed–a lot. I cried, but not where anyone could see; well, maybe someone did see but they understood the whys of it all.

The new novel was opened and I gazed at my words and I wrote many more words and I created new characters and I knew that I’d always do this even if, or though, I will not, or may not, ever make any really good solid money at it. I will write the words and the words will empty from me and then I will fill up again. Empty. Fill. Empty. Fill. Empty. Fill.–a metaphor of the rest of my life – fill fill fill empty fill fill fill empty FILL FILL FILL FILL FILL! OMG FILL ME UP, LIFE!

ipod photos 081Give me more life. Give me more love. Give me more people. Give me more food. Give me more new experiences. Give me more family. Give me more friends. Give me more lover. Give me more more more of the universe one two three blast-off!

There were the days that blazed brilliant. And there were the days that I drug my ass around in a daze.

There were old friends and new friends. There were people, and more people, and more people–and I did not hide (much).

For the last few months, I lived one hundred years of my life full out for nothing–full out for everything–full.

All the years I was the aging Rapunzel locked in her tower (where she’d locked herself by the way), I finally stepped out into the world and blinked and then ran towards everything I’d ever been afraid of–and some of it I am still afraid of but I’m kicking the ass of my fears. Kicking the ass of my fears. Kicking the goddammed ass of my fears.

Kicking the ass of my fears, y’all.

ipod photos 213

Tuesday Morning Coffee: getting your groove on or back or sideways or however a groove works – haw!

When Angie’s nekkid husband comes in (but we didn’t get to see him – lawd!) and Ann says she flaps around her house like a bird – well dang — and I receive texts that Ann interprets as inappropriate (because they usually are – teehee). But we do manage to stay on topic, a little anyway.

And yes, I have neglected my blog and for that I offer up only discombobulated grunts. One day my life will fall back into place, but won’t that be boring? haw! My life, right now, is all about exploration and discovery and wild rides and meeting new people and seeing new (and old) places and experiencing things I’ve never experienced because I’ve been afraid or busy or made excuses or was hiding — now, well, WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAAWWWWWWWWWWW! watch out, Kat (or watch out, World – maybe I should say!). All many of these experiences will go into my new novel. Yeah. WHUPOW!

Oh yes yes yes – sex sex sex! Burn me to the core vs hard core . . . .

The Lightning Charmer coverWith apologies (or maybe only just gentle warnings) to my family (poor long-suffering brothers, mom, and son!) I am writing about Sex today. Or, at least the sex in my latest book, The Lightning Charmer.

You see, y’allses, my other  books really did not have sex scenes in them—with the exception of implied sex or heavily metaphored sex Virginia Kate has in the Graces novels .  So, some of my readers, and family, may be going, or in some cases are going, “Well, dang!”

Really, though, folkses, the sex in The Lightning Charmer is tame compared to things we see on HBO/Showtime, or some books out there; it’s not as graphic or as HOTTY HOT HOT (as least this is what my editor tells me, and she knows allllll about that, don’t you, Deborah Smith NYT Best seller? – haw haw *grin*) as it is in some Romance Category books, or Erotica. So, what makes people message me and say, “Omg, this book is hawt! I’m fanning myself” . . . ?

007Is it the suggestion of something otherworldly that fuels the fantasies? Is it the leaving some things to the imagination, and some things not? Sure, there’s a couple of on the edge of graphic sex scenes—there’s angry sex, there’s a  not too graphic scene of oral sex, and there’s masturbation scenes both implied and a little bit more than implied (I counted at least four, maybe five of these—hmmmmm, Kat? Teehee). But still, they aren’t written like Erotica or even like a Hot Romance. And there’s no mention of throbbing body parts at all—there is subtlety mixed in with the real. There’s no  “He pile-drived his throbbing member into her quivering waiting love canal” Omg, I just burst out laughing – haw haw haw! Yeah, I can’t write that way because it makes me laugh! And what we do not want to do when we are writing sex scenes is to laugh. What we want to write is whatever makes us feel HOT, oh so HOT, oh so so very very hot—where we want to shut off the computer and, and . . . get busy. Where we are squirming in our chair every time we read these scenes. Where we are going, “I.Want.That.Now.Please.Please.Please.Please.Please.” For some it’s this and for others it’s that and for me it’s the idea of something so out there that I am imagining it would be AWESOME!

It is the LIGHTNING. The energy. The hot white light. When Laura has a sexual encounter with a lightning bolt, there is that POWER, that searing 040desire, that energy entering her. Who cares that in real life being fucked by a bolt of lightning would not only kill us but hurt like a sumabitch—but in the book, it works, and it is a fantasy that sounds delicious—something powerful and filled with the hottest energy you can imagine, something that hot and filled with INTENT to please, something that fills you with HEAT HEAT HEAT and ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY and . . . oh . . . my . . . gawd! (and I just realized I wrote “fucked by a lightning bolt” – huhn, I didn’t think that til just now . . . lawd!)

ipod pics 012And then there is Ayron. Ah. Ayron. The lightning charmer himself. If he and Laura come together—what might happen with a man who can charm/control lightning? What might sex be like? What might happen if that searing hot light enters them both, zipping through their spines and out their extremities? Or will it happen? Can it happen? Maybe that conflagration is just too much—maybe things just cannot work out that way for them because it would be the end of life as they know it—it would mean nothing else would ever ever be the same. If they can even come together. Sometimes two strong wild creatures can only want want and never have.

ipod pics 014I think why readers (and I don’t know if these readers do not read Hot Romance and Erotica so my sex scenes are hot by comparison) tell me it melted their kindle or burned their hands is because of all the unsaid/unwritten things along with the said/written things. With the possibility of fantasies beyond what maybe anyone has considered before. The way Laura is so very ready for something or someone to calm the Feral Wild Woman nature that is boiling inside her marrow. She must have. She wants. She wants wants wants. She craves craves craves. I think it is this Wanting Craving that readers could be feeling at some core of themselves and through Laura they are saying, “Yes, oh yes, me, too; me too, please please please please oh please!”

Now, if you are reading this and expecting Erotica or a Hot Romance Novel, it is not that, and if that’s what you love and gets you going, then this you may read and go “what’s the big deal?”

But somehow, some way, it is hot all the same. It is heated white light. It is moaning out a want so intense—if the ones reading it have their own want either unfulfilled or once fulfilled and no more, or fulfilled and waiting for what comes next, then the imagination turns feral, wild, wanting.

We are sexual sensual creatures and when I write sex, I hope to tap into that sensual without it being porn or erotica, but instead something that feels real and approachable and full of imagery. What? Oh, you are saying, “Real? But we cannot have sexual encounters with lightning, Kat! DUH!” Oh, but, we can pull that white heated light, that energy, that back arching aching desire into us by the will of our imagination and fantasies. I filled in a lot of blanks in my own head when I wrote, and then read, these scenes. I sure did. Maybe you will, too.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Oh Yes.

Five lies, out of many, that we tell ourselves . . . .

askyourdoctorLIE: I’ll start on that manuscript as soon as I finish this Facebook update.

REALITY: Haw haw haw! You’ll start on that manuscript as soon as you stop sniveling and whining and carrying on about how haaaaarrrrd this is and about how you aren’t appreciated by so and so and such and them and whositwhat. You’ll start on that manuscript as soon as you kick the ass of Fearsome Monster—and Fearsome Monster is difficult to kick the ass of since every time you kick it, YOU are the one who feels the pain. Right? Right. Riiighhht.

Oh, and for some of you out there *Kat gives the personal trainer evil eye* insert “exercise” where starting on manuscript is written. Yeah.  Uh huh.

LIE: If I fit into these jeans comfortably, I’ll stop losing weight. Or: All I want is to fit into my jeans comfortably. Or: My jeans shrunk! No wonder I can’t fit into them comfortably.

cartoonREALITY: If you have any kind of eating disorder/disordered thinking about food/weight, then I am on to you. Oh, I know you mean it when you say it, but I also know those jeans will fit comfortably and then the mind games start up: Well, if they fit comfortably, then what if they fit a little looser ; well, people are telling me I look good, I better not fail them! I better keep this weight off! And in fact, I better lose a few more pounds for a “Safety Net” so I won’t look as if I am failing by gaining it back. If my jeans fit comfortably, I then forget that they once fit tight and I think the “fit comfortably” is now “oh, my jeans should be looser” so I have to lose weight to make them looser and then I may forget how they fit after—you see the circuitous crazy-ass-psycho thinking here? Please god, make it stop, y’all! For those who think their jeans shrunk—I’ll give that to you once, and then after that, LIE LIE LIE!

I’m sure there’s a writing metaphor in there—I’ll leave that to you.

well, sheee'it

well, sheee’it

LIE: Once my novel is published, I will be forevermore happy! I will never want for another thing! I just want to see my book published even if only I read it and maybe a friend or family member or two!

REALITY: HAW HAHAHAHAHAHA HAW HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasping for breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, okay, right. It ain’t happenin’ – you will have that book published and then you will want something else. And then something else.  And then maybe something else. Will to! Will to! WILL TO!

*See Above Lie about fitting jeans comfortably – hey! I found a way to tie it to writing. WHUPOW!

LIE: I don’t care!

REALITY: Yes you goddamn do.

It's easy to be sucked down - but then again, I wonder what's in that hole?

It’s easy to be sucked down – but then again, I wonder what’s in that hole?

LIE: I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy for so and so’s: weight loss, publishing contract, award, accolades, rise to the Kindle Millionaire list, cash flow, new baby, face, body, legs, breasts, lips, ass, writing, husband, wife, dog, cat, house, car . . . .

REALITY: I’ll give you this one, that you really are happy for them,  but with a caveat: though you may be truly happy for this person, there is a tiny part of you that may feel like shit on a big fat ugly ass stick that you have not accomplished these things or do not have these things and may never have these things or most certainly will never have these things or may always want want want and never have have have. And meanwhile, someone is envying you for what you have, and on and on it goes. What I will tell you if envy hits: Own it.  Own up to it. It just could be the thang that spurs you on. But when envy turns to Jealousy, when you are being eaten alive by it, then it’s time to take stock—it’s time to consider the realities: can you have it? Do you really want it? How much will it cost you (not just in $)? And how do you pull yourself out of your Green-Eyed Monster’s Ass?

Hey! He has more seeds than I do! BASTARD!

Hey! He has more seeds than I do! BASTARD!

I always say: A teaspoon (or even a tablespoon) of Envy is a great motivator. But Jealousy is destructive and negative and big ass ugly.

Also, I will tell you: Sometimes going to that person and congratulating them and really meaning it, feeling their happiness, feeling good for them, will make the envy lose some of its power—you face the demon of your own lacking, your own wanting and can’t (or not yet) having.

What lies do you tell yourself and do you or will you recognize the reality?

(*and folks – The Lightning Charmer is now on sale at Amazon and at Bell Bridge Books site. The “official release date” is November 1, so it should be going up for sale at other places, like Nook and bookstores and wherever else books go to find their ways to wonderful readers’ hands. I thank you all for your support. I *heart* you dearly*)

The Lightning Charmer cover

Today at Writer Unboxed: The Isolated Author (by lil ole me)

I am at Writer Unboxed today. If you are not a member, then get ye over there and check it out. Not just for my ramblings today, but for all the kickass offerings there. A wonderful group! They’re on twitter and Facebook, as well.

I was on a panel yesterday in the beautiful city of Hayesville, NC, and was reminded of how much fun blogging and blogs and bloggers can be – I promise to do better here. I do! I do! I do! *grins at you every so sincerely*

At Writer Unboxed today:


2f95c122-b7f3-4ea9-8afb-ed71deb90477_zps0f985647Today’s guest is Kathryn Magendie, the author of five novels and a novella published through Bell Bridge Books—most recently The Lightning Charmer coming out this month. She’s also the Publishing Editor of The Rose & Thorn (which just recently closed its doors after fifteen years), and former Personal Trainer. She lives in a little log house tucked within a cove in Maggie Valley, Western North Carolina—where all the wild things are.

Of her post today, Kathryn says…

Thoughts of the “isolation” of this job came to me when I realized most every character I write is lonely. Then I recognized that I, me, myself, lil ole Kat Magendie, was deeply, incredibly, sadly, lonely. Well, danged if I didn’t feel right pitiful. I then read other WU posts, other author’s FB updates and Twitter feeds, and realized that feeling of isolation is shared—we’re all at one big banquet table, but the banquet table has partitions so that even though we’re surrounded by people, we’re still eating alone. I allowed myself to feel pitiful for about a week, and then I decided it was time to do something about the isolation. We’re much more than we appear to be, we band of writers, we.

You can find Kathryn on Twitter and Facebook and on her blog. More about her books here.

The “Isolated Author”

We can see the clichéd “isolated author,” one who writes in her fuzzy socks, a bottle of vodka—make that a healthy smoothie, yeah—by her side, creating micro-worlds where tiny-in-our-peahead-but-oh-so-much-bigger-than-life characters frolic and play and bring joy and epiphanies to all the land of readers. Farther pan out and see the writer hunched over her keyboard, ever more pan out and see the study she sits in with books and pens and pencils and chapstick and good luck charms and crumbs littering her keyboard and lap, and farther still to see her little log house, and outward we go ever outward to the Moon. And there we’ll stop a moment and consider just how tiny this author is. Just how inconsequential, miniscule. All the scurrying and living and loving and being around her is muffled and dark because all she experiences is: “tippity tappity tippity tappity tippity tappity *slurp munch* tippity tappity.”

The truth is, the more an author puts herself out there (But of course I mean you guys, too—we’re genderless in the World of Writing), the more isolated she becomes. The more public her life, the more private she must be. It’s an insidious endeavor, one she doesn’t recognize until it is almost too late—when the crazies visit upon her *picture here the Harpies from Jason and the Argonauts, feasting upon the sanity laid out in bounty upon the table until there’s nothing left but scraps of rational thought.*


The Lightning Charmer cover . . . . it’s purdy

Welp, here ’tis – the cover art for The Lightning Charmer. It’ll be out this month. Something a little different from my former novels. I’m excited and happy, and I hope my readers will love Laura, Ayron, Betty, the crows, the wolf-dog, the lightning, the sex, the love, the supernatural, the fire — I hope my readers will love it all. *Fingers Tightly Crossed*

The Lightning Charmer cover




A haunted man shadows the Smoky Mountain forest. A lonely woman returns to what she left behind. A legacy unfulfilled calls out to them both. .

The sky darkens, the lightning seeks . . .  

The Lightning Charmer is full of whimsy, enchantment, ancient secrets, and dark earthy seduction.  Magendie taps into those primal secret places we all harbor, with a powerful story of learning where one fits in a world that may not fit us.  Braided with color, humor, and loyalty to family, this is storytelling at its best!  Sharla Lovelace, Bestselling and Award Winning author of THE REASON IS YOU

The spell was cast when they were children. That bond cannot be broken. In the deep hollows and high ridges of the ancient Appalachian mountains, a legacy of stunning magic will change their lives forever.

Laura is caught between the modern and the mystical, struggling to lead a normal life in New York despite a powerful psychic connection to her childhood home in North Carolina—and to the mysterious stranger who calls her name. She’s a synesthete—someone who mentally “sees” and “tastes” splashes of color connected to people, emotions, and things. She’s struggled against the distracting ability all her life; now the effects have grown stronger. She returns home to the mountains, desperate to resolve the obsessive pull of their mysteries.

But life in her mountain community is far from peaceful. An arsonist has the town on edge, and she discovers Ayron, scarred and tormented, an irresistible recluse who rarely leaves the forest. As her childhood memories of him surface, the façade of her ordinary world begins to fade. The knots she’s tied around her heart and her beliefs start unraveling. Ayron has never forgotten her or the meaning of their astonishing bond. If his kind is to survive in modern times, he and Laura must face the consequences of falling in love.

On the radio: NorthwestPrime with Lori Ness

Hey, all y’allses wonderfuls. No no, I’m not flying in oblivion; okay, I am, but I done told y’all I wouldn’t post unless I had news, or something I wanted to say, or just felt like it, or the 8th sign of the Apocalypse happened and I had to gush over it, or . . . . etc etc etc. Cause I’m just that chaotic. yeah.

So, today’s news is that in about 30 minutes from now, at 3:00 PM my time, I’m going to be on the radio at NorthwestPrime.com -

For those of you who asked for  the archived file, it is HERE on NorthwestPrime. 

If’n you want to give it a listen, great.  I’m always appreciative of my readers and any interest *smiling*

Later, y’all!


Ten answers without questions . . . .

Keep your eye on the prize, y'all

1. Well, since you asked—more than I want to admit.

2. Yes, I have, and it hurt like the dickens.

3. When hell freezes over, you jackass.

4. I might, if I have enough vodka tonics racing through my veins—teeheehee. Oh You!

 5. Because if I don’t, the voices in my head take over by shouting and jumping up and down and punching me in the brain and playing football with my synapses and it ain’t pretty, and in fact, is rather disturbingly weirdly fascinating.

6. I will if you will.

7. There is no evidence. You can’t prove it.

116-0018. Yes, they are real; they have always been real; they will forevermore be real; they have been real since 5th or 6th grade and they will be real when I die. Everything from the tippity top to the bittity bottom is Real and Mine. Please stop asking.

9. A lot more than you think *coy smile*

10. Three big huge earth-shattering ones, but I was alone. *winks*

Free for all Wed: I am your Personal Trainer . . . get off your ass.

As always, before beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician. When’s the last time you had a good “check up” or “physical” . . . hmmm? When’s the last time you tuned in and listened to your body’s signals? Hmmm?

Now. While flailing about with my ‘treadmill aerobics,” I listen to music on my iPod Nano to help set the tempo and distract me from anything “outward” other than Me, My Body, Movement. After an hour on the treadmill, I do resistance training for my muscles, and then yoga to stretch—three times a week without fail unless the failing cannot be helped. On the “non-treadmill days,” GMR and I walk—not leisurely walks in a la tee dah, but at least a good strong 30 – 45 minute walk, or occasionally a longer more strenuous hike.

I do this because I have come to love it and my body has come to accept and embrace it. I do this because I’ll be 55 this month and though I don’t want to look 25 or even 35, I want to be strong and supple. I do not want anyone in my family to have to care for me in my “olden age” because I did not care for myself. Do you see/understand that? You out there who are smoking and eating shit-that-ain’t-good-for-nothing-but-nasty and sitting on your butt never moving, etc etc etc? *Personal Trainer Kat gives stern look* When our bodies fail us, someone has to pick up the slack, whether financially or physically/emotionally, or all of those things. I do not want this. Yes, I do understand how sometimes things do happen that are not under our control and we need help, but you know this is not what I am talking about, right? Right. I’m talking about Choices. Choices that we make every moment of our lives that we do control.

Folks, if you really do want to stay healthy. If you really do want to age well. If you really do want to have energy and stamina and strength, then you must work for it. WHAAAAA? You may say. But . . . but . . .  so and so said all I need to do is take a pill, or eat this bar, or drink this elixir, or put this contraption on my abdominals and sit on my ass, and all those things will do the work for me! Lawd y’all! All the research dollars wasted (to me it is a waste) on finding some magical pill or device so people can sit on their couches and eat crap and not be affected/effected by it. My personal trainer heart just squeezes at this. Ungh! Ungh!

I wrote some “work-out writer” posts and in one of them I asked, “How bad do you want this?” Well, it applies to life; it applies to love; it applies to work; it applies to our health—how bad do you want this? And if you do not want it, then why? Are you kidding yourself? We humans are expert at Justifications(/Excuses). Oh, yes, we are!

Sometimes we have to feel some “discomfort” to achieve our goals. Sometimes things are not easy. Sometimes life is just haaaaarrrrd *pouting whine.* Well, Personal Trainer Kat is here to tell you to Suck It UP, because nothing easy ever really lasts, or nothing easy is really appreciated to its fullest, or nothing easy makes us feel Accomplished and Proud.

Okay, maybe I never told my clients to suck it up (in those words . . . teeheehee). Because I have empathy, and because I understand how difficult making life-decisions are. How it really is hard to stop an old comfy habit and replace it with a sucky habit like working out and eating healthfully—unless you are as I am and love to work out, and if you are as I am and most times enjoy eating healthfully. When I eat crap, I feel like crap. When I don’t move, I feel like crap. When I sit on my arse and whine about how hard life is, I feel like crap. Who wants to feel like crap? Children move with such abandon: when did we lose this?

Off your ass—it’s the only way. Pay attention to what you put into your mouth and make healthier choices—it’s the only way. Or maybe I should write: It’s the only sure way to stay healthy and strong for the duration. Magical pills and quick fixes and most every “Diet” on the planet may help you in the short-term, but if it is not something you will do for Life, then you just may fail, or do things half-heartedly and only reach a tiny bit of your goals. Small changes make for later larger ones—

Do you drink soft drinks/soda/pop/Cokes? What if you replaced even one of those with a glass of water? Do you have a candy bar for your “afternoon slump” snack? What if you replaced that one snack with something healthier—a little fruit and a little low-fat cheese, or, oh, shoot, there’s so much information on healthy snacks out there that surely you can find something besides a candy bar? Save the candy bar for a “dessert treat,” or better yet, eat something really decadent that you will savor and enjoy for your “dessert treat” instead of quickly gobbling down whatever is in easy reach. Do you ever park farther out to walk to your building/shopping mall/grocery? When’s the last time you took the dog for a walk? Played outside with your kids? When’s the last time you felt really good?

How we think about ourselves and our bodies becomes our reality. I believe this. Of course, yes, as I wrote above, bad things happen to us that are not in our control—this too is life. But while we do have that control, why not use it to our advantage?

So, I’m on the treadmill, and there is a cardio song that starts off at a nice energetic tempo that I jog to, but near the end of the music, there is a deep but barely there voice that simply says: now—I can almost miss it if I’m not paying attention. Up until that point, my heart rate is pretty steady, but when I hear that deep but soft now I know the tempo/beat is about to rise, rise, rise, rise soar rise—asking me to give it all I have. I then speed up the treadmill to where I am running full out for nothing, near as fast as my legs will go; I am sprinting on that treadmill. I am near to flying on it. My heart rate soars. I am flying.

But what interests me is this: right as I know that now is coming, my heart rate picks up a little. Then when he says now and I know the music is going to ask me to Kick It Up, my heart rate picks up even more so—even though I have not yet increased my speed.

My brain asks my heart to prepare for what it knows is coming based on my expectation/anticipation. My brain hears that now and sends a “Hey! Here we go! Get ready!” to my heart, and it begins to pick up its beat even before I change my action. We control much by our thoughts. Our brains send signals based on how we anticipate what comes next. I think there must be a metaphor/analogy in there, don’t you?

How do you want to live the rest of your life?

Monday’s Classroom: Following the thought, the character is everything, point of view, own it . . .

Oh I miss this cup that I broke one sad morning.

Morning Y’all!

“I often think that the best writing is done after you’ve forgotten what you wanted to say, but end up putting something down anyway just as though it were the actual evidence of your original intention.”—Clarence Major

This has happened to me. When I sat down to write, the idea would not come, the original thought stalled. The words stuck. But if I keep writing, put down the words that do come, soon something else emerges, something that does work and that I can be excited about.

I follow the new thought without letting the original thought tie me to a post, simple (and as complicated) as that.

Sometimes our mind is changed before even we know it needs to be changed. There are many times when we must follow where we are led. What a journey! This is living, folks. This is writing. This is manipulating the language and words without constant constraint—ah.

The use of point of view is to bring the reader into immediate and continuous contact with the heart of the story and sustain him there.”—Tom Jenks

Your reader will see, feel/experience, and be through the “eyes” of the character who speaks. To me, the characters are not just the heart of the story—they ARE the story; although for me, the setting is so important it is also “character.”

A bit about Point of View: think of a camera and the person in control of that camera. When I have the camera, I am the controller of that camera lens. I see and interpret through the lens and then I take snapshots so that others may see, or experience, what I have—this is the point of view “first person: I” experience. Until I explain it or show the image I have captured, no one can know what I am thinking or feeling. I show them. I tell them.

If I hand the camera to George, he then sees everything through his own eyes/interpretations—this is “third person-limited: George/he” point of view. I can’t know what he sees and what he is thinking, what has captured his imagination/interest, until he relays it to me by showing me the photo, or telling me about it—and through both the showing and the telling, I see and experience through his eyes/experience.

(painting by Lorelle Bacon)

Or, consider you are painting a portrait—you are in control of the paintbrush and what appears on the page as you interpret the model before you. You do not know what your subject is thinking—you cannot read her mind—but you can guess by her movements, her facial expressions, her body language, what “props” she may have, or, if she speaks, by tone of voice or by words or both.

It is about who controls the paintbrush or the camera, then showing and telling what is captured/experienced so others may experience it as well.

Surely the test of a novel’s characters is that you feel a strong interest in them and their affairs,—the good to be successful, the bad to suffer failure.”—Mark Twain

If you are not interested in your characters and what they do and say and are, why should anyone else be? If you do not believe in your work, why should anyone else?—believe me, it will show. The reader always knows.

Give readers your best. Give them the truths—and this word “truth” sometimes means more than what may first appear to you. Writing what you know doesn’t have to be so literal, so concrete, for we can interpret it in as many ways as we allow ourselves to, as long as we speak a truth at the kernel of it, or even the whole of it.

“….You start out putting words down and there are three things—you, the pen, and the page. Then gradually the three things merge until they are one and you feel about the page as you do about your arm. Only you love it more than you love your arm.”—John Steinbeck.

This quote resonates with me more than people may know. I’ve sacrificed family, friends, time “out in the world,” and ignored the dust and disorder about my little log house here at Killian knob, all for this thing I do. All without knowing how it will turn out for me and for my words and characters. The writing, the language, is everything. The love of my life, and oh, writing that phrase feels both exciting and sad. But to give it up means a death, something rotting away from the inside out. I will sacrifice those things, and more, to do this thing I love. I don’t give up because I have fought so hard to do this thing I love.

There are those times when the world as we know it goes away and our own inner world takes over, and soon the words come and the characters speak and the story or essay forms and there is nothing else but this world, this place, this feeling we as writers are creating. Hours pass and at last we lift our heads and—wait! It can’t be three o’clock; just a moment ago it was eleven o’clock. We have been to other-worlds, alternate universes, going gone, and the coming back is surreal—at times seemingly less real than the created world we’ve just come back from.

Not every writer loves his craft, and that is something I do not understand, but yet I respect each writer’s experience. Not every writer enjoys manipulating the language. Not every writer (and I doubt any of them, including me) is deliriously happy every time they sit down to work—especially when it comes to the umpteenth round of revisions revisions revisions and more revisions.

Well, if you do not always love it, so what? If you want to write, then write. Write what excites you and motivates you and makes you happy—be that a novel, a short story, essay, a blog, letters, family memoirs, journals, technical papers, recipes.

Find your comfortable space, or challenge that comfy spot if you want to. Consider just why you do this thing you do, whatever it is you want to do. It is Yours. It is This Thing You Do. Yours. Even when you push it out into the world, strange and surreal and terrrible and exciting birth, it is still Your Work. Be proud of it.

Own it.

Have any quotes you relate to or can relate your writing life to?

(and Rose & Thorn Journal is now live – links below! We appreciate your support, as do our authors, poets, artist!)

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