A warm, fuzzy moment from one of my Christmas stories:
That's when it happened! The magic! Matt could feel it! There was no choir of angels, no burst of bright light. No ghost transported him to other Christmases. No strange figure presented a life where he'd never been born. There was only Christmas music from the mall speakers, interrupted to page a cleaning crew.
But the magic happened!
-Kathy Cannon Wiechman
I write because I love to do it. I love to express myself through the use of language, choosing words carefully to achieve specific effects. I wish I could do it also through music or painting, but words are the only tools I own, and seek to augment always. I write because when I do, I forget my solitude, and I enter into a "dream space" where I am happy.
My writing has expanded my horizons, has allowed me to meet and befriend many wonderful people, who like me, love writing. Whenever self-doubt appears, I can reach out to my "family" of fellow writers for support. According to the great teacher and author Mary Carroll Moore, A Community (of writers) and Rhythm (regular writing practice) are two elements necessary to anyone who is seriously committed to writing and finishing a book.
The moment when my characters and I become one, when I can't tell if I'm leading or following, when I'm living and breathing -- writing without a pen, paper or laptop in hand -- that's what makes writing worth it to me. I love it when the magic takes hold and I'm no longer in control. Writing is and always has been my escape, my nirvana, my serenity.
My favorite warm fuzzy moment or what makes me warm and fuzzy is knowing that I always have writing, no matter what. My WIP's and characters give me a warm fuzzy feeling of safety and security. I know that I can always express what I need to through writing and it can stay mine.
When I'm puzzling over how to release a key bit of information in one of my scenes and then a character takes charge and shows me the way, that's a warm and fuzzy moment for me. In this scene I was working on yesterday, I needed to set the stage for a future showdown between my MC and her potential mentor:
“And that's your problem. Witches and wizards are supposed to be bitter,” Culbreath says. “Even mortals expect it. No one expects a nice, forgiving witch. Look at you! You're an aberration!”
I feel like Culbreath's baiting me, so I don't react to what he's saying. Interestingly enough, that fires him up even more. He pounds both fists on the table. "A witch with a reputation for compassion! What is this world coming to?"
-Kim Van Sickler
A warm, fuzzy moment from my MG novel:
I ran over Benny Dibin with my first electric wheelchair. He was practicing a break dancing routine in the gym when I lost control and knocked him over. All I remember is a blur of orange hair falling on top of my lap.
“Watch where you’re going, Wheels!” he screamed.
I pushed the buttons on my talk box to answer, “Jerk. It’s a new chair.”
Then I dumped him in the janitor’s closet.
That was almost six years ago, and we’re still best friends.
In 2003, my best friend collapsed in front of a room full of kids. She was thirty-three years old and, just like me, a mother of three children. Over the next two years, those who loved her watched her deteriorate and eventually die from the aneurysm that caused her collapse. I wrote my first children’s book to give her kids a tool for grieving. My second book was also written to assist grieving children. After that, I began learning more about craft and using writing to attend to some of the issues that still lived inside my own inner child. For me, stories can heal, or at least provide a salve and give us a blueprint for the way we want to live. Richard Peck says that our main character should always be the kid we wished we could have been -- us, just a little braver. Those are the kind of characters that remind us, every loss is survivable.
I just finished a YA where the main characters have lost a friend through a tragedy they all contributed to. This excerpt is a climax for one of the characters and was inspired by the Radiohead song “Videotape.”
After climbing in, I slam the car door. The night is breezy. It smells like lemons and something else, green and grass-like. I decide to take the scenic route home. The ravines are lined with mansions and enormous trees that were here long before anyone I know was ever born. They twist and turn as I make my way down. I lean from side to side, bending as I take the curves. I can just make out the shadowed leaves as my headlights roll over each new tree. It’s so pretty I take out my phone and poke in the videotape settings. Then I hold it out the window to catch the lights and the leaves and the swerves. I steer with one hand, the wind rushing past my cheeks like a hundred soft hands.
My eyes blur with tears.
It’s so damn pretty.