Monday, January 30, 2012

The Write Stories

What do kiss and tell women of a certain age have in common with a 118-year-old church?  Absolutely nothing.  Except... I wrote about both in short stories published this month. 

Instead of my usual thought provoking maniacal musings, this week I will talk a bit about my writing.  If you have read my Welcome to The Write Break, you will know that my writing ambitions are the reason I started this blog.

People ask where I get my ideas for my stories.  Well, ideas are everywhere−a casual conversation, a store window...even a dream.  I have so many ideas that I fear there will never be adequate time to turn them all into stories. 

I don’t have a particular genre.  My novel is mainstream fiction with just a smidge of paranormal.  I like to experiment with the short stories.  Some of my stories deal with the bizarre:  the afterlife, as in Soldier’s Last Wish and Whisper of Angels, the supernatural, as in Words of Love from the Other Side.  One story was an interview between a journalist and a woman on death row −that was an interesting my view.  Fatal Family Tree is a personal favourite.  In that story, it would have been better to leave the past unknown.

One of my writer friends told me that my best stories are the ones that are slightly off kilter.  I think those were her words.  I took that as a compliment.  Those are the stories that challenge me.  Of course, I also write about passion, children, true experiences, etc.

Anyway, to explain why I conjured up a sexy senior, I had read a couple of dark stories to the writing group −Shame being one of them, I think.  For a change of mood,  I wrote The Affairs of Pearl Peacock to bring a little humour to my turn at the table the following week.  Pearl is a great old girl who has the zest we talked about in last week’s blog, The Write Outlook.  Pearl keeps active.

“It is not my fault that three husbands died, and a fourth ran off with someone’s wife.  Then, of course, there were the others.”

For the direct link to this story at, click on The Affairs of Pearl Peacock in the sidebar of this blog site under Published Stories.

The story of the 118-year-old church might be of interest to Lambton County history buffs.  Historian/author, Bob McCarthy, showed interest in an off-hand comment I made about our property in Camlachie being the site of a church for 118 years.  He suggested I write a story for The Lambton Shield, an online Lambton County newspaper.  This is an excellent publication.  (I made that claim even before they published my story.) 

Unsure how to approach this piece, Bob recommended I write the story as if relating the history of the church on our property to a grandchild. 

“...Well, Pop got his shovel and dug into the hard dirt.  He struck something solid about twelve inches below ground level.” 

Everything in the story is true.  Well, not everything.  Sophie is actually only four years old and she calls me Nana, not Grandma.  Now you have it. 

I originally entitled it, The Legend of Hallowed Ground.  The Lambton Shield published it under The Story of the Maxwell Church.  The link for this story is right here under Published Stories.  As a side note, the picture you see in the article is the garden my husband and I refer to as the church berm. 

I guess it is a publisher’s privilege to change the title of a piece.  It happened with a submission that Canadian Stories published.  My title was, ‘In this Small World’.  They published it as ‘Margaret and Phyllis’.  Huh?  Not such a good change but that is just my opinion.  Maybe you will agree with the publisher.

While we are referring to sidebars and headings on this site, it might be a good chance to introduce you to other features. 

Just a wee note on navigation:

Reaction:  At the bottom of each blog are squares where you can check off your reaction.  Very good    good    try again.  If you find a particular blog post boring, you might click on ‘try again’.  Don’t be shy.  I have no way of knowing who is rating my blogs.

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OH! And one more thing....Have a fabulous week!

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