Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Writer's block

I'd like to know what the term Writer's Block really means. For some writers the definition is simple. They say it's when they sit with a pen in hand or at the computer, like I do, and nothing comes to mind. How can that be true, though? As far as I know, people always have something, whatever it may be, on their minds. A mind is never really blank. Of course, we can have things drifting through like what we need at the grocery store or whether we have enough time to go there before picking up Johnny from baseball practice, but some thoughts are always there.

True, writers are a different breed. Some want a full outline before beginning to write. But it may work to just sit down and type whatever IS on your mind. That thought, no matter how insignificant, could lead to a story. I avoid using cliches, even in dialogue. That requires effort. Instead, I'm trying to use more original metaphors and similes in my writing, so, I plan to write down random thoughts and see how I can transform them into figures of speech. That should give me a way to use those seemingly useless ideas floating around in my brain.

I also discovered that almost any incident can find a place in a manuscript. Especially the humorous ones that happen to all of us. I generally jot down notes on these on the spot. As soon as possible, I develop them into a couple of paragraphs. Later, I find a home for them in another story. Quite often, they provide comic relief. The serious ones which pop into my subconscious can be more difficult to place. One example was a time I rescued a toddler wandering on a highway at night. I forgot the incident for years. Something may have triggered my memory because one day I found myself wondering what happened to him as he grew up. I didn't have the answer but I found a place to use the incident in a book.

I've been told that I don't waste anything. I either eat leftovers or save them for soup. I suppose that habit spills over into my writing. If I find words wandering around in my brain, I latch onto them, put them into sentence form, develop the batch into paragraphs and, finally, I will tuck them into a manuscript. Does this help turn the key to unlatch Writer's Block? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013



With good news,
It's a good day
I'm having one
I'm glad to say.

The sequel to
Is coming soon,
I hope it sells.

Is in Musa's hands
I hope it climbs
To a status grand.

And then TIME WAS,
The third book,
Will be published, too,
Please take a look.

When a contract's signed
It's a step on the way,
Hopefully leading to
More happy days.

Mary S. Palmer