Friday, April 22, 2011

Memories of a Royal Wedding

One summer day when I was eleven, my mother woke me early in the morning. We lived in town called Alden, a small suburb of Buffalo, NY. I remember it was still dark outside when she gently shook me awake and urged me to follow her. Thinking back, I believe I may have been slightly peeved at her pulling me out of bed so early to watch some people get married. I am sure I was likely grumbling as I made my way downstairs to the family room.  
Still rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I sat on the carpet in front of the television while my mother tuned in to NBC. With a bowl of raisin bran in front of us, we had front row seats as Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw took us live to the beautiful spectacle that was Prince Charles, and Diana Spencer’s wedding. As soon as it began in all its glory, my grogginess quickly vanished. Swept away with the romantic illusion in front of me, I was in awe. Diana's splendid gown was, without doubt the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Prince Charles was a prince after all, and he brought with him the princely splendor a girl could only dream of. It truly was a fairy tale wedding and from then on, I was a fan. I loved Princess Diana and I loved everything Royal.
After the wedding, I like many people I loved everything Diana. If she were on the cover of People magazine, I would buy it. I dreamed of going to England one day just so I could visit the places I'd seen on TV and read about in books. When Princes’ William and Harry were born, I was thrilled. Their births only added to the happily ever after, the Royal family represented. When Diana died, a part of me died too. Glued to the TV, I was drawn to her, just as I had been for the day of her wedding. I was broken hearted and I cried for her. I cried for them all.
Looking back, I realize that wedding had a profound effect on how I envisioned love. When I first got married in 1990, the train on my dress was long, long, long! I never connected the dots at the time but I can see now why that long train swept me away. It was like hers. The poufy sleeves, the lace... the princess-like qualities I saw in its satin.
And here we are, just about thirty years later. I've paid attention and watched those boys grow to men. I have kept up with their lives, education, and romances just like I always have. When I saw the Diana's sapphire ring on Kate’s hand, it brought me joy. With the recent coverage on TV and all the retrospective glimpses of Diana's wedding I can see now, with my much wiser vision; there was no love between them. It is plain on each of their faces. William and Kate however, they wear their love openly and I hope their wedding is just as beautiful and memorable to me as his parents wedding was. I cannot wait to wake up next week and watch it, just like I watched his mother's wedding on that hot August day back in 1981.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A paragraph I love... What do you think? A teaser from my novel...

The horse seemed to know the pace and direction he was meant to follow. Oliver dropped the reins from his right hand leaving only his left in charge.  My hands had been folded neatly in my lap when his free hand invited my left hand to join it. It accepted and remained, entwined with his for the rest of our ride home. There was no need to speak, for everything we felt for each other could be translated through the way his thumb rubbed my hand while he held it securely in its palm. My fingers returned the sentiment with a squeeze of their own. This dance repeated the length of the ride, until we pulled into the drive. His strong hand gave mine its ovation before dropping it gently back on my lap.  The smile in my heart almost betrayed me, for I wanted to laugh out loud with happiness and yet at the same time, cry as our day was fast coming to an end.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Crossroads and Strawberry Pie

As of this moment right now my novel stands at 23,125 words in length.  Now, taking in consideration I've never written anything this long in my entire life, I am really quite proud of the accomplishment.  What I find even more fascinating is the fact there is still so much more floating around in that mushy head of mine.  I feel very confident my WIP will reach my completed 90,000 word goal. 

Aside from goals and numbers which are all really completely boring unless you are the agent who is going to fall in love with my wit and honesty, ultimately begging for the opportunity to represent me.... like I was saying, aside from that, I'm at a crossroads in my story. For the first 7 chapters I have just "known" when to end it with a line that sung to me.  Personally, I love reading a book where the end of the chapter makes you hungry to start the next, so naturally that's the path I have been taking.  So, far it's been working really well but for some reason I have found myself stuck and may end up scrapping some pages... basically I don't want to start out taking the readers on a really great ride only to let them down. 

And then I walked away from the project. 

Ate dinner…Carnitas from Las Golondrinas in San Juan Capistrano... it was very yummy indeed. 

Pondered having some leftover strawberry pie... but, summer is right around the corner and there was that bag of cinnamon-sugar pita chips I practically married last night...

When it dawned on me...  the way to end the chapter keeping the reader hooked... got a great idea and I'm going to write it down... right now.  Sometimes just walking away, giving the mind time to marinate in itself is all one needs to see things clearly.

Good night my few followers.  I'll never forget who you are.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pulling Genius Out of My Head

So, I've been sitting here for half an hour trying to come up with something witty to blog about today. I've typed, re-typed, and deleted more than once. Why is it some days the words just flow like water from a spring and others it seems the only thoughts in my grey matter are comprised of what level I'm on in Assassins Creed or did Sharon Newman get released from jail yet?  My fellow Y&R fans will know what I'm talking about.

What I've learned over the last couple of months since I started my novel is this... writer’s block is real.  I've discovered it is not just a figure of speech or an excuse. However scary it might seem at is nothing more than a simple block.  It's not 'writer’s wall' or 'writer’s dead end'. It's a block; a step if you will.  I've found I do my best writing when I just go for it, push through it, and start typing.  Before I know it I have the bones to something I believe has great potential to build upon.

The first time it happened I felt slightly defeated.  “Oh... NO!”  I thought to myself... “I'm going to get blocked, pick up my PS3 controller and find myself hooked on the game.  My writing will fade away with my list of other creative endeavors I've started but never finished! Oh, and please, when you sit on my couch go easy on my pillows for I never hand stitched the last holes closed.”

Do you see how easily I am distracted?  I'm like a fourth grade boy with ADHD trying to do a jig-saw puzzle while watching SpongeBob at a birthday party. 

Well, back to writing! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

From as early as I can remember I've had a love for poetry.  My shelves were lined with the likes of Walt Whitman and Edgar Allen Poe.  There are numerous poems I can call my favorite on any given day... from little lymerics, ballads, and ode's  but, Robert Frost's, The Road Not Taken is the one my heart can relate too... at least today.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Ahhh!  What a journey I am on! 

When I made the decision to write a novel I went into it with no practical experience to call upon.  I got about a paragraph in when I realized there would be research involved.  So, I called up Google and Wikipedia to begin my journey back in time.

Over the next few days as I continued to write I grew more and more anxious!  Information was everywhere in the form of hand written scribbled notes and websites I had saved to my computer.  My mind was abuzz with the story in my head braided toghether with the voices of my mother and grandmother who have been lending me their recollections....  I sat in the midst of all of the chaos and realized I needed to get some sort of organization figured out or there would be no book. 

Before I had even really begun I almost quit.... But I didn't.

It's been about a month or so now and I'm still going strong.  I've gotten a rhythm that works for me and I've stuck to it.  My research notes are still not filed alphabetically and the huge favorites file on my PC not only still exists, but it's grown tremendously and used often.  In addition I also received some WONDERFUL books from my grandmother filled with the historical information specific to my story and the people in it. 

When the dates and seasons began to blur I realized I needed a timeline....  So, I also created a timeline.  It began to get difficult trying to remember each place I referenced a can't switch one without switching them all...   I'm one of those people who add dates up in my head to make sure the author was paying attention... Sandra Gulland, you have always passed the test...

What I've learned so far.... 1.  there is no right way or wrong way to catalog your notes, go with what works for you.  2. Writing is like a croissant... it's just layers upon layers of goodness.  I write and re-write, tweak and touch-up and my story is morphing and breathing life on it's own.  3.  Don't research too much on how to land an agent... it will only intimidate you.   

So, I'm just about 60 pages (18,000) words into my novel and I LOVE it!  My life long love of poetry seems to be paying off and I'm sure I'll have no problem of reaching my 90,000 word goal.  For now, I'm going to just keep on writing until I'm sure it's perfect and then?  Well, I'll cross that bridge when I reach it.