Mood Writing

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?


There are three things in this world without which I cannot live: jeans, pearls and baseball.  Okay, so air, food and water rank up there too, but those are out of my control.  I dabble in control freak, so it’s those three things that I can control which define me. 

If I could only choose one item of clothing to live in for the rest of my life, it would be jeans.  I have them in every imaginable size, length, cut, and color.  I’m equally enamored of ones that adorn my backside with rhinestones as I am of pairs with button-flap back pockets.  If I really love a pair, I buy them in short and regular.  If you’re 5’2″ or 5’8″, that probably sounds crazy.  Try being 5’4″ and trying to find jeans that work with both flip flops and 3-inch stacked heels though.  I’d say it was annoying, except it gives me an excuse to buy more jeans.  A quick glance in my closet tonight found 28 pairs of jeans.  I prefer not to comment on how many of those I actually wear.

Perhaps it’s because I was raised in the South (by the grace of the big guy upstairs), but there’s nothing I love more than dressing up my favorite pair of dark wash jeans with a silk sleeveless shirt and a strand of big fat pearls.  I’m also prone to buying those in every color, length and size I can find.  You can never go wrong with classic white, but I instantly feel exotic when I slip into my Tahitian pearls and a slinky black dress. 

On a normal day though, you’ll find me pairing a baseball cap with jeans.  Especially if I’m flying.  My uniform for traveling by air is a pair of jeans, flip flops, a tank top and a baseball cap.  The hats have almost outnumbered the jeans in my closet at 22 and have their own dedicated shelf.  The Braves, Red Sox and Gators stacks are the highest, but I don’t discriminate; I have caps from the Cubs, Dodgers and Angels as well.

So, that’s me in a nutshell.  I wear jeans…a lot.  I think pairing dark wash jeans with pearls passes for evening wear.  And no one knows when I’m having a bad hair day, because I own enough hats to outfit two little league teams.  If you simply must know more, you can check out my About page.

As for what this blog will become, only time can tell.  What I can tell you is that I have a short story I’m going to put up in somewhere around four parts.  It’s my little way of bringing suspense to the short story.  I’m thinking I might play around with character development by creating a few characters who will live here at the blog and “guest post.”  I may also post the first chapter of my current manuscript BACK TO ME in the next few days.  You’ll just have to check back and see!