What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
The first books I remember reading were the Little House on the Prairie series and Miss Pepperpot series.
I began writing just for pleasure in my jounnal when I was ten.
The first person to read my writing was probably my father checking over my homework assignments.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
I can't say I have a favorite genre. I like historical fiction, romance, mysteries with good endings. I currently do not have a web site. I have written a short historical fiction, romance novel. I will copy and paste the first chapter.
When the Wind Blows: Blow Too
When I was young, I was a mother, but before I was a mother, the nun called me a whore. Those secret desires the nun warned me against still linger deep within…
At eight years old, I stood at the edge of Sunnylane farm, arms stretched, side to side further then they could reach. I knew, at eight that the world was waiting for me. I lifted my head toward the sun, closed my eyes and felt the warm breeze dance through my hair. I inhaled deeply in hope I could savior the summer days forever... One hundred and eighteen acres of corn swayed before me in the breeze against the clear blue sky. At eight, I had no idea that my innocence would be stripped, like the long summer days, in a day, a night... a moment. At eight my only passion was to skip through the flowers, corn, grass and trees and allow my swinging arms, skipping legs and the eastern sun to wake my blood, bones, skin and mind.
Mom’s diary, I read 36 years ago, a mere 10-year-old child. I remember her words as the familiar houses pass by in my rear view mirror and 46 turns to 36, 36 turns into 26, 26 turns to 16 and 16 rolls back to10. All of a sudden, I am 10-years old again, not a care in the world, sitting on top of mom’s bed, reading her journal sunbeams resting upon me. At 10, Mom’s words were foreign to me. It is funny because as the years flow, Mom’s words creep into my bones and today it is as if her words could also be my own.
As I drive I wonder how Mom keeps her positive outlook towards life after all of the sadness she has endured. Oh how I long to embrace her, laugh with her and have her natural comfort wrapped around me.
After driving eighteen hours, I know I am finally approaching when I look out the car window and drive by the Korl Illinois sign, population 400. Shortly after the sign passes, the last lonely house at the edge of town fades nostalgically from my review window. I diligently drive for one more mile. The tires of my recently purchased Mercedes stir halos of dirt and my habitually spotless car is quickly hidden with dust clouds as it cruises down the road I skipped along as a child. I park the car in the driveway, step out, stroll to the porch and let childhood memories seep into my soul with the warm summer breeze and morning sun.
The morning sun spreads its light over the bright freshly painted white porch with the swing for two swaying back in forth in the breeze with pots of lilies, daisies, hibiscus, petunias, tropical flowers, spring flowers, herbs too many plants and flowers to mention them all, flowing around the wide porch surrounding the house. The fresh air, porch swing and flowers are saying to me to come, sit and have some iced mint tea that Mom is so famous for.
Memories of waking with the moon and stars shining brightly in the sky, slowly fading, giving up their spot for the rising sun ball seem like only yesterday. The roosters cock- a-doodle dooing, the sheep’s bahhing and the singing birds making love to one another in the gentle crisp breeze were my spring and summer alarm clock. I stretched and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes with the rest of Korl Illinois, slowly waking with dawn’s first light. Those pre -dawn early summer mornings were always the perfect time of year, but oh how those summer eastern skies turned into brutal southern heat too quickly. Princess, our cat, never seemed to mind the sun, no matter how much heat it radiated. She roamed around the house following the lazy afternoon beams until the sun hid its beams behind the Earth.
As my childhood penetrates through my skin while, standing on the porch, I look around and watch the cardinals, blue jays and doves play amongst the giant bright yellow dandelions that sway with the lush green long Indian grass against the royal blue sky. I feel like time has passed over Korl Illinois.
Robert, my brother, a serious thin man gazes out the dining room window onto the endless field and he sees me approaching.
“Mother,” I hear him say, “Hadassah is here.”
We are all well aware that I have not been back to Sunny Lane farm for years and not without good reason, although, my mother thinks otherwise.
“Hadassah,” my mother, Chaiah yells as she skips to the front porch, her apron swinging side to side. Mom is sixty-six years old, yet still full of childhood energy.
I embrace mom. “It is so good to see you. I’ve missed your wonderful hugs. On stormy winter days, I find myself craving your hugs while gazing from our living room window down to the seashore paralyzed by the waves breaking against the boulders sending mists of salt water into the air. I find myself yearning to have a cup of tea or good coffee and sharing a conversation with light music in the background. I change my tone, “Mom, I moved eight years ago and you still haven’t come for a visit.”
It has only been eight years, but it seems like another lifetime ago.
Mom wraps her arms around me and her warm soft body presses against mine and I realize how much I have missed her, my home, my childhood. My chin rests on her shoulder as I watch Robert dust the dining room table.
“I’m so glad you decided to visit me for the summer instead of staying in your wonderful home that you continuously brag about,” Mom, says lovingly in my ear as she pulls me closer into her warm and welcoming embrace.
“How are things out east and when are you going to have your long awaited for wedding reception party you were supposed to have, what, six years ago?”
I slowly stepped back from mother's gentle touch and reply, “I love the East Coast and guess what? I have a month vacation this summer so we plan to have our wedding reception party the last week of July. We have been married eight years and this is the first year we have a month vacation together, so plan on packing your bags and staying with us for part of the summer. However, Mom, hate to inform you that I have to shorten my stay here because of our busy summer schedule.”
“I can’t wait to come to your place and celebrate the long awaited celebration, but why do you have to shorten your visit here the party isn’t until the end of the summer, can you stay at least two weeks? And is the only reason you are shortening your stay is because of heavy planning?”
“Mom, you always think I have another reason.”
“Well do you? Come on this is your first visit back since…”
Before mom can finish, I interrupt so she doesn’t have to continue her train of thought, “Actually, mom, I haven’t been here for a while the memories… it may just be too hard, so I thought that a week would be enough time for the first visit back.”
“I understand, but you have moved on so why let the memories prevent you from staying longer?”
“I know mom, it isn’t just the memories, I have moved on and I have to get back to my new life. Eli and I have been talking about our reception for years, but we also want to enjoy a long over due vacation and since he has a month off he wants to use a week or two for intimacy and relaxation in, maybe Greece, Hawaii, or, perhaps just in our luxurious bedroom with our balcony overlooking the seashore. Our house, this time of year, who needs to spend money on a vacation? And After our secluded week together, we will be rested enough to prepare for our overdue reception. So, instead of me staying here an extra week, the better plan would be, you come and spend a couple weeks with us.”
“Honey, I am delighted you are here now and if you have that reception, you bet I will come. Look at how beautiful you are and you have finally stepped out from darker years in your life. Yes, sometimes time is a gift and people are able to transform hurtful memories into inner strength and sometimes time is a curse and the bitterness intensifies. I am glad, that in your case, time is kind and softly, healing your wounds and giving you inner strength. Let’s go and rejuvenate your bedroom, shall we?”
Chaiah took her daughter’s hand and they walked upstairs into Hadassah's bedroom. Hadassah opened all of the blinds and light poured into her childhood room. Chaiah’s heart felt almost whole again with her daughter and son home. If only her husband could be here as well she thought to herself, then I truly would be complete.
“Mom, do you mind if I go into your bed and lie down, read and rest for a while, I have been driving a long time and all of a sudden tiredness has hit me like a brick.”
“Of course not sweetheart, please go ahead.”
I went into mom’s room. Her room was always so warm. I went to her bookcase to choose a book and noticed that her journal was lying beside her bed on her night stand, I closed the door, picked up her journal, a habit I’ve developed since childhood. It seems that whenever I see mom’s journal, since I was ten, I automatically pick it up and read a few entries, like it is a good story. I lie down underneath the cool sheet and light blanket and begin to read, beginning with last night’s entry.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Sometimes I will dream about a story and jot the idea down.
Procratination, many times, I will eat, sleep, exercise, then once I sit down, I can sit, write and edit for hours at a time. I wish I had more time and made more money writing, then I would spend much more time letting my creativity flow into words on paper.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Authors that weave together language in such a way to form vivid images in my mind.
Authors that have a similar style that I could see myself having.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Characters, diologue, imagery. I like stories that have life lessons about living together and positive endings, another words, feel good after reading stories, but also with dilemmas, dramma etc, that allow people to grow and learn.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I think it is easier for me to write in first person, but I vary and write in both.
What well known writers do you admire most?
I have read Danielle Steele, since my teenage years.
I like Nora Roberts, Doris Mortman, Christine Stetonfield (sp) (The one who wrote American Wife, sometimes Nicolas Sparks, although, I find him too depressing, I like Jodi Picoult's controvesial topics. I really enjoyed My Sister's Keeper.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Details such as age, life experiences, emotions, happy, sad, angry, outgoing.
I observe characteristics and circumstances of people from my life, past and present and build upon their qualities and emotional state.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
When my children were small, they grew up on oral bunny stories before bedtime. I would say I was pretty good at making up spontaneous bunny stories. All with a resolveable conflict. Many times, I would take a conflict my children were having and make a story about it, not the exact conflict of course, but a similar one, so they could relate and come up with a peaceful solution to the problem.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
People who are fighting or in war with each other when really there should be a better solution. The future generations.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Writing used to be a huge form of personal therapy, not so much now, because I am afraid if I write every true feeling down when I am angry, someone may find it and use it against me.
Internal conflicts can be a creative force. When I wrote my short novel, many of the ideas came from conflicts.
Does reader feed-back help you?
I would love to have an editor to help me. Currently, I don't have reader feedback. When I was in college, reader feedback did help.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
I would, but, I don't have anyone to share with.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I hope my voice is still developing and maturing. One's voice is constant in someways, but constantly changing in others. Life's experiences and circumstance will shape define and redefine one's voice.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
It depends on the work. When I have trained for past marathons, I have been very discplined about keeping schedules and goals.
Work, I am discplined and I am a good mother. Since, I currently earn no income writing, lately, I have not been discplined about writing every day. When I have more time, I find myself more disciplined when it comes to writing. However, I sometimes get discouraged without any writing support.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
A big window where I can enjoy the outdoor view. I also need quietness and a peaceful setting.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I jot ideas down and freely write in my journal.
Once I start the story, it is all on computer.
If I had a better printer, I would print more frequently, but since I am not working on anything serious I haven't been frequently printing in order to save ink and paper.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I don't. If a trustworthy person referred a site to me, I would explore and try to research the site.
What has been your experience with publishers?
I would love to have a good experience with a publisher.
I am not sure how to find a good editor and publisher who will be willing to publish my book.
What are you working on now?
When the Wind Blows: Blow Too
I am trying to find someone who will help edit and publish the story. The story is finished, but there is only so much re-reading I can do, I would like help polishing it off and would love to find a publisher.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Perhaps, pull them out, review, expand and edit or insert some of the themes, ideas, etc into a new story.