Monday, March 31, 2014

Keeping the Ball Rolling

I met Lynn Obermoeller one December weekend when there was a book launch in Joplin for Storm Country. She and many others contributed to the anthology. I have continued to follow her blog Present Letters where she keeps readers abreast of her writing…and her writing pals! She has passed on a blog chain to me that started with Margo Dill. I have never met Margo, but I have read some of her YA novels. She is an excellent writer. I am not in the same category of excellence as these women, but I do accept the challenge of participating in the blog chain without dropping the ball!

I am to answer the four following questions:

1)     What am I working on?

Well, at the minute I have a couple of irons in the fire. but they are cooling off due to events in my life. I do intend to get back to them. One is a “part” for a novel. It is about 9000 words and I have a problem with time sequences; but the storyline did come to a natural ending. I see this as part of a multigenerational saga type book. This is so interesting to me because I “see” my own great grandmothers (who I never met) as the characters. No, I am not telling their true story, but I am using their time period and creating people on the page I would like them to be. 

I am also trying to write a historical romance short story for a contest. Not sure what I am doing exactly, but I am really liking the characters. They too have a potential for a longer work and keeping it a short story is hard. I chose to set the historical era part in the corner of Kansas when the M-K-T railroad raced with others to get a southern route built through Indian Territory. Not many people know that this competition was as hot as the earlier railroad race to the West coast.

When inspired, I write poems, but poetry has been quiet these last months.

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That is one of the problems; my work isn’t vastly different from other stories out there. It might be rather blah for that reason. But I am not giving up.
 My poems are different in that I don’t reach for profound statements or extraordinary enlightenment. They are simply my voice, capturing a moment that I want to share, want others to see with me.
3)     Why do I write what I do?

I knew I wanted to write something, anything, when I was a child. I loved books…words…stories…sentences…even the way a #2 pencil scratched across the paper of a Big Chief tablet.  I have bounced around wondering all my life what I was to write. I liked to write essays, but the world did not seem to need them. I wanted to write short fiction for magazines, but magazines don’t use such things anymore.  Poetry will never buy bread. I have dabbled in several things, but lately I have decided I don’t have enough life left to please the world. Now I must please myself. So I write what I want: fiction and poetry-for me. If it is published, that is wonderful. If it pays, even better. But right now, I write because I love the people I meet on the page and the things I learn in the process of following them around!  


4)     How does my writing process work?

My writing process depends on what day it is and what kind of inspiration has struck. There are many “methods” and plans and organizational plans for producing a written work. For me, it might come into my head so fast and be so bothersome that I simply must turn the cooking pot off or get out of the bathtub and just WRITE.

However, more often than not, my writing begins like the pea that was put under the mattresses of the princess who wanted to marry the prince. It is a tiny kernel of a thought that begins to disrupt the book in my hand that I am reading, is last thing that dances through my mind before sleep, or causes me to pull a notepad from my purse to scribble a color, a verb or dress style as I ride down the highway. I let the idea fall into fertile dirt of my head, to germinate, to grow until I begin to “see” a story line. Then I begin to write and let the plot or the characters take me along to where they want me to go. I shape some, but usually try to stay out of the way. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised as to what happens in the end.


Now I need to pass this chain to two other writers to answer the four questions:

Debora over at Things Are Lovely ( is on the West Coast. I started following her as she posted the most beautiful photos! About three weeks ago she explained she has been quiet lately due to setting out on writing a novel. I am hoping she will take a few minutes to share her thoughts with us.

Marilyn Warner grew up about 45 minutes from me and I never knew it. I can’t remember how I ever bumped into her blog (, but it was my lucky day. Marilyn writes beautiful posts with exquisite, thought-provoking material. Her memories are about her 95 year old mother who has Alzheimer’s and who happens to be in the hospital right now. So Marilyn might not have time to write quickly now, but I can assure you, her post will be worth any wait.


Elephant's Child said...

Writing for you, because it is what makes you happy, sounds a perfect reason to continue. I hope all your dreams come to fruition - and reward your hard work.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Claudia,
Your analogy of the Princess and the Pea is right on.

I think it's so great that you write prose and poetry. Not an easy feat at all!

P.S. When I first read your answer to your writing process--I read quickly and thought you wrote about getting off the pot and writing. ;)

Sioux said...

Claudia--Donna is right. Your "princess and the pea" analogy is a keeper...

Thanks for sharing some tidbits about you as a writer. It's always interesting to get into the head of an author.

Marylin Warner said...

Thank you for the honor, Claudia, and especially thank you for your note, understanding that this is a very difficult time. My energy is so low right now; my life is thirsty but I'm dipping into an empty well.
As much as I enjoyed your wonderful answers sharing your writing projects and struggles and dreams, I truly dipping into an empty well in my own life right now. My mother rallied and was sent home from the hospital, but tomorrow she might be admitted again is things don't improve. This pattern could end soon or repeat again and again; the timing is in God's hands.
Thank you again for understanding this difficult and draining time, Claudia.

Linda O'Connell said...

This was fun. Glad to discover you are not a seat in chair everyday writer. I understand the pea analogy.

Lynn said...

You said, "I'm not in the same category of excellence as these women..." and who are you kidding? Your writing is wonderful and far exceeds my writing... How about we say that we are all great writers because we all have our own unique styles, and what's not great about that? Enjoyed hearing your process - thanks for keeping the ball rolling!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

First, I'd love to read your historical romance. I love romance! Second, I think you're being too humble. You're a wonderful writer! Your style is unique enough that you have plenty of blog readers, including me!

Susan said...

Claudia, I am just glad that you write! To me, writing is as imperative as breathing. Enjoyed the post. Susan p.s. Thank you so much for all your sweet visits and comments.