Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mood Writing

February 21st, 2011 | 1 comment »

Before I get this post started, I want apologize for the long hiatus from writing here.  My non-fiction book was due to the publisher this month, so I’ve been focusing on it the past few months.  Rest assured, however, that I’ve been writing fiction when I need a break from the world of baseball collective bargaining agreements.

Now on to the post at hand.  I was reading over something I wrote in one of my manuscripts and thinking about how I felt when I wrote it, which led me to question how our mood bleeds into our writing, or vice versa.

Here’s the passage that inspired this post:

Kate turned to look out her office window.  Early shades of winter were descending upon the city.  Normally it was her least favorite season, but this year it seemed fitting.  The world felt cold and dark already anyway.

I wrote this at a really bleak point in my own life.  I was mourning the death of someone I loved, and I couldn’t imagine feeling a light within myself again for a long time. 

However, it’s two years later now and my days are filled with sunshine and blue skies.  Both literally (thank you early spring!) and figuratively.  I’m in love with a man who has brought me back to life, and it feels fantastic.

I used to enjoy writing about characters who were eluded by love, but now I find it more difficult to get into their heads.  I want to tell them to just hold out a little longer, love is only around the corner. 

Now I enjoy writing about meeting that special someone and falling deeply, madly in love, because that’s where I am in my life.  I go back and read what I wrote during my darker days, and I’m genuinely surprised by some of the things I wrote.  Was I really that sad?

Yes, I was, and it produced some terrific writing.  Can I still be a good writer when I’m happy or are the best writers depressed and reclusive?  Certainly some of the greats fit that bill.

I like to believe that my writing abilities are strong enough to overcome my insane happiness in my real life when it comes time to sit down and write something sad or angry.  When I write about something, I usually channel events in my own life that made me feel that way.  Sometimes I worry that going back to those times will somehow threaten my current state of bliss, somehow poison my emotions.  Isn’t that what we all do though – write from experience?  I think there’s a little piece of us in everything we write, however small.

So, to all you writers out there, I wonder…do you have to be in the same mood as the characters you are writing? Do you draw on your own memories to put yourself inside their heads?

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Aubrey Abbott (Part 1)

November 14th, 2010 | Comment »

I thought it might be fun to write Reed’s friend Aubrey since I’ve written so much Reed now.  If you haven’t read Reed’s story, you can find Parts 1-9 here.

“One…two…three!  Open your eyes,” Carrie says excitedly.

I muffle a gasp as my eyes adjust to the sight of myself in the mirror.  My naturally straight blonde hair is shellacked into tiny corkscrew curls.  And my makeup.  There simply aren’t words. 

“It’s lovely,” I say, pasting on a smile.

“That means she hates it,” Reed says dryly as she sprays her own mess of curls.

“No, I didn’t say that,” I say, fingering a lock that has fallen in my face.

“You look fabulous,” Carrie says, stepping back to admire her work.  “The men are going to want to eat you alive!”

Nothing about that sounds appealing.  I attempt to remove some of the dark gray eyeshadow with a swipe of my finger.

“Stop, you’ll smear it,” Carrie says.  “Speaking of eating you alive, we have something for you!”

Carrie runs into the bedroom attached to the bathroom we’re all crowded into while Reed continues to fluff her curls.  I catch Reed’s eyes in the mirror as I attempt to tone down my curls by smoothing my hands over the top from root to tip.  She gives me a sly smile.  I know she’s loving every minute of this.

Truth is, this bachelorette party is more for Reed and Carrie than me.  I would have been happy going out for a nice dinner and drinking wine in our pajamas back at home afterwards.  But no, Reed and Carrie insisted we have an all-girls beach weekend, complete with bar crawl. 

“This,” Carrie says, holding up what appears to be a candy necklace, “should have gone on before we did your hair.  I’m afraid we’ll mash it down putting it on.  Reed, help me.”

I have no idea why a candy necklace is a part of my outfit for the night, but I have a feeling I’m not going to like the answer. Continue reading »

Reed Callaway (Part 9)

October 30th, 2010 | 1 comment »

I’m practicing writing something a little “steamy” for a contest.  I decided Reed was an easy target for the scene.   

If you need to get caught up, here are the links for Parts 1-7: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8.

“Nice view –”

Before I can finish my sentence he has one hand behind my head and the other on the small of my back.  His mouth crushes against mine, needy with traces of the tequila we were shooting earlier.

I stumble back against the stucco exterior of the high-rise.  I only had a moment to take in the Atlantic Ocean sprawled in front of the building before he had me up against the wall.

A voice in my head tells me to pull away, but I tell it to shut up.  It’s been months since a man has touched me like this, and I’m kind of enjoying the sensation of his tongue plunging inside my mouth. 

I let out a groan as he tugs on my long hair, pulling himself closer against me, if that’s possible.

“Did I hurt you?” he asks, no trace of genuine concern in his voice.

“No,” I say, not recognizing my own voice, low and guttural.

Now I find it’s me putting a hand behind his head and pulling him closer.

It’s only seconds before his hand is under my shirt, making small circles on my back.  It’s nearly a hundred degrees out but the goose bumps appear on my skin anyway. Continue reading »

Reed Callaway (Part 8)

October 17th, 2010 | 1 comment »

 If you need to get caught up, here are the links for Parts 1-7: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7. 

I’ve been here under ten minutes and have already downed two glasses of champagne.  Have you seen the size of a champagne flute?  And then they don’t even fill it to the top. 

All around me, women adorned in chic cocktail attire share stories of their recent honeymoon or affectionately pat pregnant stomachs.  

I have died and gone to hell, otherwise known as an engagement party.  Continue reading »

Back to Me – Chapter 1

October 16th, 2010 | Comment »

I’m done with my manuscript for BACK TO ME, which I’ve written about on here.  I recently entered my first 250 words in a contest, so I wanted to share the entire first chapter here for those who were curious what happens next.   

Kate Dalton’s heart raced as she replayed the voicemail, listening for clues hidden somewhere in the deep, Southern tones of Jake Bailey’s voice.  She missed most of what he said the first time. She was too busy celebrating that Jake had finally come to his senses and realized he couldn’t live without her.

“Hey Kate, it’s Jake.  There’s something I really need to tell you before you hear it from someone else.  Give me a call…please.”  He was almost pleading at the end.

Her heart sank.  Jake was getting married, she was sure of it.

How could he be getting married?  A year ago, when they rekindled the relationship they’d had in college, she thought they were finally getting their happily ever after.  It had only been six months since they’d broken up.  How could he have met someone so fast?  He was supposed to come back to her, just like he always had.

Surely Abby would have mentioned if she knew he was dating someone.  Whenever they broke up, which had been more frequent than she would have liked over the years, they joked that they shared custody of Abby.  They both knew Abby’s true loyalty lie with Kate, however.

Her stomach churned with an odd mixture of excitement and terror as she dialed his number and braced herself for news of his impending nuptials. 

“Hey,” he said in an even tone she couldn’t read.

“Hey there, how are you?” she asked, hoping her voice didn’t shake. 

“Are you sitting down?” he asked in a tone that seemed a little too serious to be about wedding bells. 

“Well, I’m driving.  So, yes.  What’s up?”  Come on.  It’s like a Band-Aid, just rip it off and get it over with already.

“I know you said not to call, but this isn’t about us.  I need to tell you something.”  There was a pause before he continued, “After all these years, you deserve to hear it from me.”

His tone was so sincere.  He had something he needed to tell her.  She’d always been his confidant.  Maybe it had nothing to do with marriage.  After all, they’d only been apart for a matter of months.

Her heart fluttered, and she silently reminded herself not to get too excited just yet.

 “Okay…” she said tentatively, waiting for him to go on.

“I don’t know how to say this…” 

Oh, just get it over with, she pleaded with her mind.  Continue reading »

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