Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tuesday evening saw the launch of Dark City Books’ new mystery anthology, Spokane is Still Deader Than Dead. The book is published by a local house with the stories written by local writers, and set in and around Spokane, Washington. I have a story in the book so I toddled downtown to Auntie’s Bookstore (a good-sized independent) for a reading. There I joined seven of the other writers and we each spoke a couple minutes before reading a passage from our stories.

Some people, as you may guess, are good readers, others not so much. I was surprised to discover a former city attorney actually made me uncomfortable. Another was so good she read her entire story using a heavy southern accent because that’s how she heard the story in her head. She was great!

But what really struck me about this little party was the enthusiasm everyone shared. Most everyone is working on a novel. One, a former policeman, says he has two in first draft stage stuck in a drawer until he feels confident enough to work further. He’s starting small, he says, and enjoys the short story form.

The editor/publisher introduced each of us with a short bio that had to do with the dreams we see/hear in our heads as we write, which I thought a rather innovative intro. What he said got me thinking. He says we’re all weird, and he may be right.

Right, anyway, if the euphoria of capturing the visions in our heads is maybe THE most important part of our lives. Well, maybe not placed above family, but with me it’s neck-and-neck. I consider myself a writer, but I don’t have the words to describe how the creation of a story makes me feel. Whether set in a place I know, or in one only of my imagination, which I then populate with characters I give life to, giving birth to a story is a total rush. I get to include minutiae to flesh these characters out, give them emotion to feel, make them happy or sad or raging, let them love, put them in danger, and occasionally kill them off.

That makes me a Goddess, folks. There’s just nothing like creating a book.

Carol Crigger


Holli said...

Very good description of the emotional side of writing. I have said finishing my book was a lot like giving birth, except not as messy and I was wearing underwear.

I get really down when I am finally finished writing, whether it's a novel or a short story. I miss the characters like they were my own family, and feel a sense of loss, kind of how it feels when someone dies. But then I start writing again, and the cycle repeats itself. I don't know, maybe I just need more real-life friends.

Kit Sloane said...

I know what Holli means. I always make sure I've started the "NEXT" book before I finish the new one. If not exactly started writing it, I already always have it in my head and, usually, with notes in my notebook. This makes the finish of one much easier to bear!


CK said...

Fortunately, I never run out of ideas for stories, or the characters to people them. Isn't it great? You can always depend on having that rush at the end one book, and then look forward to the next time.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Great blog. I think we writers are a different breed than most folks. Just think of all the time we spend thinking about and writing and then promoting. Not everyone does that. Poor them.


Helen Ginger said...

Goddess Crigger. That has a heavenly ring about it. I have the most fun when a character comes to life and seems to just tell her own story.

WS Gager said...

I think Kit hit it for me. I too am down after I finish a book and find it hard to motivate myself to start another. I need to have that second project in the wings, so to speak to jump on when I'm finished. I also love Holli's description of giving birth but keeping the underwear!
Great post Carol!

Helen Ginger said...

I often dream about my characters and when I write it sometimes like I'm channeling them. Nothing woo-woo, but it does seem like that.