Steven Clark's Happily Indulgent Writer's Blog
I have only put my little toe into the incredible pool of people, resources and information available to writers. One of the corners of the pool is the blog groups that inhabit Linked-In. I've joined three: Fiction Writers Guild, Author U, and the Crime Fiction group.
My only previous experience with 'groups' was when I played around a little in AOL's chat rooms and with some of the writer's groups on My Space. Needless to say, based on both experiences, my expectations were not high.
But I was pleasantly surprised to find these Linked-In groups thoughtful, insightful and informative. These groups include a fairly large population of writers whom I consider a lot more sophisticated than I, so as a neophyte, I did not start out posting comments right away. I've only posted three or four times and have been pleased with the respectful responses I've received. When I compared this experience with some of the mean, spiteful, belittling responses I sometimes received from My Space groups, there was no comparison. If you're on Linked-In and are curious or aspire to write, I encourage you to take a look at these groups.
I have posted the first chapter of my untitled second book in the Sam & Cass series on the website (click the 'Other Writings' tab on the main page). Take a look and see what you think. I would appreciate any feedback you care to leave on this blog. I'm working on another WordPress blog which I will link to here. You'll see it when I get everything designed and linked up.
Hope you all have a great day. Keep reading and keep writing
Last weekend (Memorial Day) I had the chance to take my dad (90 yrs old) back to one one of his childhood haunts, the now virtually abandoned mining town of Gold Hill, situated nearly atop the Utah/Nevada border about 60 miles south of Wendover.
We took an interestingly circuitous route through Delta where we visited the WWII Japanese Inturnment Camp and did a little exploring on Topaz Mountain. Then we traveled north through wonderfully interesting mountains filled with old turn-of-the-century mines and remarkable geography. We linked up with the old Pony Express Trail at the extreme southern end of the Bonneville Salt Flats and went west the tiny village of Calleo and it's thirteen familys who call the far-flung area home. Then it was on to Gold Hill where dad worked on his Uncle Garn's gold mine claim in his early teens. On the way home we traveled through Skull Valley to the town of Terra, UT, then it was up and over Johnson's pass and down to Rush Valley. We conluded our explorations with a visit to the restored mining town of Opher, UT, where dad's parents once lived.
While all the explorations were interesting, the real treasure was being able to take a long road trip with just me and my Dad. At his age there probably won't be many more of them, so each trip is precious. As I passed through each of these places so rich in history, I wanted to write about all of them.This trip made me remember the many books I read as a kid about an earlier time, like Riders Of The Purple Sage, The Little Shepherd Of Kingdom Come and The Bears Of Blue Mountain. The trip really put me in touch with my internal Zane Grey. Thanks dad. It was a great 500+ miles.
Yesterday I put the first sentences of the next book in the Cass & Sam series on paper. I'm a major 'discovery' style writer so I don't know where it's all going yet, but it starts with Sam being involved with a car crash. As envisioned at this point it will have a Washington D.C. connection and involve a terrorism plot. I'll keep you posted.
Ever since I let it be known that I intend to pursue a career as a writer after I retire I've had some very interesting reactions from people. The first thing they want to know is what I've written. When I tell them 'two novels', they seem surprised. That's because they know me as a telephone company man or a choir director or someone actively engaged in politics, not as someone who could actually write, and especially not as someone who would write something a long as a book.
I'm somewhat surprized ath the number of pepole who say something like, oh, I've always wanted to write a book, or I've got this great idea but I've never been able to get it on paper. Then they ask the inevitable follow-up question; "How did you do it?"
The answer is simple. I sat down one day and started to write. I had an idea in my head and I let it pour out onto a page. If you want to write, there's only one way. You have to start writing. You'll never know if you're an author or not until what's in you head hits a printed page. I promise what you write today will not be as good as what you will write next year, but you have to start somewhere.
Take a creative writing class. Read, read, read, and then sit down and write something to see if you can make it sound as good as what you've read. Then do it again and again and again until you're satisfied that you're ready. You just might discover your hidden Hemmingway or Grisham or Cornwell. What are you waiting for? Just do it!
What an interesting process this editorial process is. It amazes me how much we become enamored with the words a good editor finds awkward or just plain irrelivant. I am finding that the editorial process is at least as much an educational experience as it is a correctional experience. After incorporating my editor's suggested changes to the first 127 pages of my MS, I'm amazed how much tighter, smoother and easier to read it is compared to the original version. I can't wait to get the rest of book back.