Ok, So I am supposed to be giving parenting advice on Mondays. But in this case, let me give the advice–keep your promises–short and sweet. Before I changed the days of my blog to segment it into various elements, I had already promised to trade blogs with fellow Desert Breeze Publishing author, Patty Froese. So, today I am posting for the July 16 post, Patty’s take on writing. And, if my tech skills are working, also a photo of the cover of her latest! Patty is hosting my musings on characterization and how I do it. I did not put in any links to my site. I am new to this blogging stuff.
From Patty to all of you
Today, my son broke my tea cup. I liked that one–it was new! I found it at a second hand store, and it was in perfect condition, so I was a little heartbroken that now it is only a saucer… no cup.
Saucers have a life of their own around here. They might hold a candle, or become a soap dish in the bathroom. Saucers are still pretty, but when you have a four year old, expect your pretty things to get broken, drawn on or otherwise altered. An item in perfect condition might be a source a pride, considering that keeping it that way is a herculean effort, but a damaged item turns into a conversation piece.
A perfect tea cup doesn’t have much of a story. “Oh, I picked that one up at ________.” But a broken tea cup has a story. “I turned my back for one minute to flip the pancakes, and I heard this tinkling sound and when I turned around, there was my son with only the handle in his hand. So now the saucer holds the soap.”
As a novelist, I’m always on the lookout for a story, and I’ve noticed that stories are found in the pieces. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tragedy or a comedy, if things don’t break apart, there’s no story. A story happens when things fall apart, when things go wrong, when favorite tea cups get broken and when people who are meant to be together have mountains thrown up between them.
Inspiration happens in the pieces, too. When I browse through an antique shop, I always feel drawn to the chipped pitcher or the wooden chair with a deep scratch from long, long ago. Something happened, and I want to know what. Who knocked the pitcher over? What stole her attention and sent it clattering to the ground?
In my book Perfect on Paper [ http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-on-Paper-ebook/dp/B007UB24OW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342293828&sr=8-1&keywords=patty+froese ], Anne Stanborough is searching through the random pieces of her late aunt’s life, looking for the story. Something happened, but she doesn’t know what. Someone loved her, but Anne doesn’t know who. Love, like cracks in china and scratches in wood, leaves a lasting mark.