Monday, November 05, 2007

Chapter One – Find Yourself Some Ilk

Okay, I tell myself – enough slacking off! The dishes/housework/gardening/basket weaving/doctor's appointment/video game/TV show is done. Now write. Awww, do I hafta? I don't wanna!

Back when I was working the day job from dark dawn to darker dusk, I managed to cram in a minute here and a minute there, eagerly budgeting my limited time to do something I really felt compelled to do. But there's nothing like a block of free time to make you want to do something – anything – but write.

So I broke down and did something yesterday that I haven't done for nearly a year: I attended a Sisters in Crime L.A. Chapter meeting. "Hello, my name is Kate and I'm a writer."

Okay, it was more like "Whoa, look, it's Kate – I wondered whatever happened to her!" and "Hey! I remember you!" (peers at name tag) "Oh, uh, maybe not…"

The speakers were great (check out the website for the program – the slides were grisly, but Mr. Nicholson was the nicest guy in the world) and the camaraderie was even greater. Afters, Sue Ann Jaffarian and I went out to dinner and brainstormed about short stories, novels and ideas for stories. The latter ranged from the ridiculous to the truly sublime. I came away eager to write and back on track.

So maybe what we solitary time-wasters really need is the occasional personal interaction with others of our ilk. This is great if the ilk is local. But if all your ilk are too far away for you to get to, then perhaps email and internet contact can help too.

Sue Ann's witty banter was terrific – but what really helped me was to sit there and tell her my story. "Well, there's this woman who's on vacation…" By the time I got to the guy in the Toyota with the Glock, she had all kinds of questions and suggestions. And by the time she told me about a Young Adult book she was thinking of, I was excitedly interrupting with, "Yeah, and maybe she could have an interest, like Ancient Egypt or dinosaurs or statistics or something…"

So today's blog is a bit short because I am eager to get on with my story. After all, there's got to be a connection between the guy with the gun and the lost puppy…


Gary Hamilton's party last Friday night. He's the best party host I have ever met and a genuinely nice guy.

The puppies and kitties all sleeping together in the kennel this morning. The weather has turned chilly with the loss of Daylight Savings time. The season has changed from Summer to Holiday.

I picked out the kookiest mid-century modern fabric for the new cushions on my Danish modern chairs – I'll photo them when they're done. The place is a real Jetson's house!


Billy said...

Free time? What's that? I have to meet deadlines for ghostwriting and editing clients, and I'm looking for reasons to do laundry, etc. Ha! Thought I'd start a blog for relaxation. It has become addictive. I think I need to be one of those people sitting in a hammock drinking a Carona.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Kate, I felt the same way after our gab-fest last night! In fact, tomorrow at Inkspot I'm going to blog about writers needing time one-on-one with other writers.

Bernita said...

So true, Kate!
But since I live in the boonies,my blog and the availability of other blogs is my lifeline - the next best thing to a one-on-one.
I don't know how many times a comment has triggered an insight, help clarify an idea or just provided encouragement.

Kate Thornton said...

Ha, Billy, it's the other side of that chocolate coin! Let's all get ourselves into a hammock once in a while (and the beer sounds good,too!)

Sue Ann - I think that one-on-one with someone who really knows what the solitary pursuit is like is what is so important.

Bernita, your blog connects me not only to you (a wonderful thing right there!) but also to a whole expanded community of writers. Yes, it's a good thing to have that connection, and it *does* really help!

bunnygirl said...

Nothing uninspires my muse than having plenty of time to tell her story. Just one of many reasons I need my day job!

writtenwyrdd said...

Conversations like that are definitely sublime. Wish I had someone I could face-to-face with like that. I do have a couple of online buddies with whom I can do that, but it's not the same.

And your comment about nothing like a block of free time to make you try and avoid writing. So incredibly true!

Kate Thornton said...

bunnygirl - it's only one of the reasons why I am missing that day job!

writtenwyrdd - I am very fortunate to live in an area just crawling with other writers. Come visit anytime!

kimmi said...

You are indeed lucky, Kate to live in an area with other writer... not so with me. Just dropping by to say hello!


Kate Thornton said...

Hi Kimmi! Drop by anytime! And think of me - and all the writers here - as your "neighborhood"!

December/Stacia said...

I do miss that interaction--or rather, the opportunity to interact--here. I don't know anybody IRL who writes too, really.

dianaojames said...

Kate - it was so good to see you at the Sisters meeting! We miss you!
Don't forget we'll be holding our annual pot-luck holiday party on Dec 2, which features 5 talented pre-published authors.
BTW - I love the Danish Modern chair!!! Can't wait to see the finished piece.