Tuesday, May 29, 2007

There's always a writing connection

Today is my birthday, and I plan to play. Tomorrow, I'll work like a dog on revisions. Today, it's playtime! I plan to head out to the mall, see Pirates of the Caribbean 3, see what's new at Barnes & Noble, browse through the stores, and eat some chocolate frozen yogurt with strawberries on top. But even with a play day, there's always a writing connection. Movies often inspire characters or new story ideas; people watching at the mall always generates interesting character quirks; and cruising the bookshelves at B&N is always inspiring. You see what's new, what's popular. And you find the spot on the shelves where your book will be when you finally sell and your book is released.

When a person becomes a writer, I don't think it's something that we can turn on and off. Being a writer colors and influences everything we do. I'd bet those of us who are writers see or hear something every day that we could use in a story at some point. In fact, I'll challenge all of you to keep track for the rest of the week. At the end of each day, write down at least one thing you've seen or heard that day that could be useful in a story. Let us know what those things are. I bet we'll have some great stuff.

Even though we know we have to work hard to make it in this writing business, I think it's very important to take a day now and then just to play, an "it's all about me" day. It's rejuvenating, and we typically come back the next day even more ready to work. Though I'm not a mom, I think the writers out there who are moms especially need these types of days. Between day jobs, housework, taking care of the kids and husbands, and the million other things that life requires, moms often just sacrifice their alone/leisure time. I don't think this is healthy -- mentally or physically. I think moms should build in one day a month where they can have at least a few hours that are just theirs alone with no responsibilities. If writing is what you find rejuvenating, fine. But I think it's also fine if you just want to curl up with a book, take a long soak in the tub or go see a chick flick solo -- just you, a big soda pop, a king size popcorn and a bigger-than-life-size Captain Jack. :)


Caren Crane said...

Happy Birthday, Trish! Trish, Captain Jack is worth spending your birthday with this year.*g* My daughters and I went to see POC3 on Saturday with Deb Marlowe and her family. Deb and I had the best time whispering comments to each other throughout and giggling at Jack's lines.

The dialogue they have given Captain Jack this time around is fabulous. The historical authors among us will particularly love it, but all lovers of words will get a big kick out of it.

I agree fully that recharging helps with writing. It helps with work and play and everything else, as well. I find something I need to use in a future book almost every day. Enjoy this one!

Deb Marlowe said...

Have a great day, Trish!

It's true, the dialogue in POTC is better even than the special effects. There are not enough movies made today in which a major character can look at the heroine and gasp, "Harridan!"

Did you hear the bad news, Caren? We missed something big at the end! Make sure you stay through the credits, Trish!

Anna Campbell said...

Trish, happy birthday! The world would be a poorer place without you in it! I agree with you about play days - I find I get my ideas when I'm not torturing my mind to give me ideas, if you know what I mean. Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way calls it refilling the well which I think is a lovely term. Have a great day! And don't molest Captain Jack too much. Oh, all right, it's your birthday. Go for it, chicky babe! x

Beth said...

Happy Birthday, Trish! Enjoy your day and Captain Jack :-) I'm a firm believer in refilling the well -- although there are times when I have to stop myself from feeling guilty about it!

Trish Milburn said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone. While I think Captain Jack is hysterical, I'm a Will Turner girl all the way. Oh, the hotness of Will Turner in this movie.

And, oh no! Caren and Deb, you missed the bonus scene after the credits? I am so glad a friend told me about it so I didn't miss it. It was a great scene to see right before leaving the theater.

Cassondra said...

Happy Birthday Trish!

Good on you for taking the day for yourself. We all need to do a bit more of that. Chocolate, wine, and Mr. Depp. Or Mr. Turner, though I have to say, I prefer him as Legolas, even with the pointy ears.


Joan said...

Happy Birthday to you!!!!! Happy Birthday to you!!!! Happy Birtday dear Tri-----sh! Happy Birtday to you!!!!

Don't I sing good? :-)

I hope you and Will had a rousing good time! My crit partner and her husband had the NERVE to go see it while I had my 6 hour layover in Atlanta. Grrrrrrrr... She says she'll go again but if not I'll just skip on out to a matinee.

I know what you mean about filling the well. I realized tonight, after 11 days off from work that I was feeling as relaxed and good as I've been in forever. Just in time to go back to he** I mean the hospital tomorrow. Gahhhhh

Aunty Cindy said...

Happy 29th Trish!

Of course you're 29, since your old Aunty is 39... Hey, it worked for Jack Benny and I'm not one to argue with success.

I'll take up your challenge because it's such an easy one. I'm constantly finding things to use in my writing. Like today, I met my bff at a sandwich shop and the woman who made my sandwich will make a perfect secondary character sometime from her straight, shoulder length flaming red hair, to the silver stud in her lip. It's sooo much easier to pluck a character or situation from real life than to strain my wee lil brain completely making them up!


Caren Crane said...

Oh, no, Deb! See there? That's what happens when you try to make it through a 2-3/4 hr. movie with no potty break! Of course, I took one, but the kids didn't. Darn kids!

Well, Deb, I guess that means we just need to see it again, huh?

Trish Milburn said...

Great character idea, Cindy. And alas, I am not 29. Rather, 37.

Susan L Reid - Alkamae Blog said...

It's been about a year now since I found my own voice. The years leading up to doing so were mostly filled with academic, scholarly writing culminating in my dissertation. Now, I am in the midst of writing my first creative non-fiction book and have discovered the place this post talks about--the need, nay the calling to write.

Trish Milburn said...

Susan, congrats on finding your calling to write -- and good luck with it!

Christine Wells said...

Sorry I'm coming in late. Happy birthday, Trish! Hope you had a great day.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Happy belated birthday, Trish! Hope you had a great, fun day.

I've always thought a mom should respect her interests enough that family members would see her as a person and not just the lady who cooks the meals, cleans the laundry and runs them all over town. How can we be interesting people to hang out with if we don't cultivate our own self esteems?

My kids are all grown now and have full time jobs to pay their bills. In their free time, one is an artist, one has an on line art appreciation magazine, and one plays guitar and writes songs by ear. I like to take a small bit of credit in their pursuits of their artistic side because they watched me pursue a career as a writer.