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Friday, August 7, 2009

Words and Images

The goal of the writer is to create an image in your mind that grabs your emotions. A photographer wants to capture an image that creates a story and pulls you into the picture.

I have read from early childhood. some of my fondest memories are of the library in my home town. I would take home as many books as they would allow. I not only read, but I would lay awake at night and make-up stories in my head. I never dreamed I would someday put my stories on paper.

A few years ago I discovered the fun and excitement of taking pictures. The new digitals make it so easy. I came by the love of photography naturally as my parents had a portrait studio for a short period of time after World War II.

They started their business in our home. We were people in a lower income bracket and the cost of a studio was out of the question. You've heard of starting on a shoestring? I remember my father digging out our cellar and putting up walls to make a darkroom for developing pictures under our house.

I was only nine years old so I don't know the technical terms for his equipment but I do remember the spotlights and large portrait camera set up in our living room when clients were expected. Sometimes he let me look in the camera , which showed the people upside down. I couldn't figure out how the picture came out right side up, but it always did. He took family and glamour shots. He practiced on my mom, brother, myself and our friends. Even our three cats.

I loved to go with him into the dark room and watch him develop the pictures. To my young mind it was magic to see him place a plain sheet of paper in a solution and watch the images appear. On some pictures he used an enlarger to magnify the scene. They would be hung up to dry then trimmed with a sharp cutter.

It's a lot like writing. You bring the characters together, swish them around in the plot. Move them from situation to situation with care. You magnify the relationship between the hero and heroine and cut away the extra words and unneeded scenes. There it is, a beautifully done manuscript waiting for the world to read.

Writing or taking pictures I am creating something and that brings me joy and satisfaction.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Another venture into the crazy world of computers and the internet. To those of us who used radios and record players this is a big step.

I've been told if you are going to write novels and risk entering the wide world of publishing you must have a blog. Thrust your name out into the world. Allow people to know who you are and what you do (or in my case hope to do).

Last year my grandson plunged out of an airplane for the thrill of skydiving. I'm not sure about the thrill, yet, but it took about that much courage for me to try blogging.
I never intended to write anything. I'd rather pick up a phone than write a letter. I wrote the monthly checks and the grocery list. When I went back to college at fifty-two I dreaded the professor's words, ' There'll be a 1000 word term paper this semester.' I really had to stretch to make it happen.

To some of you this will sound silly, even a little unbalanced. But those of you who write stories of any kind or length will understand. A tragic figure in a movie I saw in 2005 inspired me to write. How could I leave this poor fellow alone and hiding. I had to give him hope and love. And so my writing career began. I wrote all hours of the day and night, and when I wasn't at the computer I was thinking of my next chapter. You have to have a supportive husband to do this. When I finished the book of 50,000 words I went into mourning. Now what would I do? I shall write a 'Son of'' sequel. Another 48,000. All those words without any understanding of what makes good writing today.

That's when I found Ozarks Romance Authors. A group of writers, who inspite of their name write in every genre. I was also blest to find a critique group of wonderful ladies who have helped me grow in knowledge. Alas, my first two books are still on my shelf needing a great deal more editing. Someday, maybe.

I am now writing sweet Regency romance. Unfortunately the muse is periodic and it takes a little more time to be creative, but I still love it and can't think of a better way to spend my time.