15 August, 2010


In the past two weeks I have become quite familiar with the different parts of a bookstore. When I need a break, I wander the stacks. Need to ease my mind, I walk the aisles. Need to slowly transition from mom to working woman, I sit on the floor and look through the various titles. It is a lark – a real treat for me to have spent this time enjoying one of my favorite places in the world – the bookstore.

As everyone knows, the bookstore is filled with thousands of titles, which doesn’t include all the titles that are on the market. I note authors that are missing as I graze, feasting my eyes on cover after cover. Surprised by all the “dark” covers on the shelves of the teen section, I find myself drawn to books for my daughter’s age with their bright colors and fun illustrations.

I am sure I can find a book for just about anything here. I am sure I can find various titles on similar topics each mentioning a different idea or an aspect of that idea.

I read titles and return to my work considering whether or not I could find it in me to write such a book as this or maybe as that? Considering the talent that goes into these stories and the characters and the details… knowing that there are people who spend their days writing.

I used to write fiction. It was what I wrote. Somewhere along the way, I moved from Fiction to nonfiction and I am not sure how to get back to the light fiction or the serious fiction or how to write something that is not reflective of the reality of life. And I have tried… Fairy tales… didn’t work, fables, not happening…a picture book… um, not sure that would work either.

Like everything, it likely is just a matter of time and effort and desire… the key ingredients to pursuing a goal, of sorts… time, effort and desire. I have to put in the time and the effort, and I have to have the desire to do it and make it happen.

The stories within me are nonfiction these days. They are the stories that search for an outlet; find the words; and are hungering to be told. I believe that the time will come for fiction, or perhaps a happy balance between the two.

Or perhaps that is laziness speaking and I simply, or not so simply, need to sit down, grab hold of my muse, and allow the fiction to flow!!


Davina said...

I just started writing fiction after having wanted to for so long. Sometimes it's just not the right time and you have to trust that. Other times, it's the fear that stops you. If you truly want to write the fiction, you will. :-)

I'm running a short series on my blog whereby I'm inviting folk to write a 100-word piece and fit in 9 specific words. The deadline is just around the corner, but you might like to check out the exercise. It's great fun and helpful in pushing through blocks. It's a good way to encourage the practice every day too.

BigLittleWolf said...

I think we write what needs to come out at various points in our life, and given the other things we juggle - or bear - as the case may be.

Everything in its time, perhaps? For some of us, anyway. If we're lucky.

Wilma Ham said...

Dear TE, keeping your desire alive by writing your blog, your musings, it all will support the seed of writing to grow. You sure have adapted very well to all that is happening, your travel desires tuned in to what was possible when your daughter was still so small. You will do the same with your writing and I cannot wait to hear what you come up with. xox Wilma

Patty - Why Not Start Now? said...

Hmm, I can't help wondering, M, if you're just in a warm-up phase for your return to fiction? I mean, don't they say that the best fiction is reflective of the reality of life, and we should "write what we know." Whatever tag you want to put on your writing these days, all I know is it flows beautifully

The Exception said...

I do think of everything in its time - and I know that there is an epic novel in me that will likely be written with many tears and much desire. Perhaps we write what we know and I simply don't know all of what it is I will write about?
It will come... in time.. .and when it is ready... and until then I will write and ponder here and let the words flow as they will.
And I do love a great writing challenge!

giulietta said...

Hi TE,

I write what needs to come out. All of it these days is non-fiction. I've taken a few fiction classes in my life, yet always modeled them on real life experiences.

Maybe you could start a new genre? Non-fiction fiction that allows you to cross boundaries when you feel the need.

Much of non-fiction life is stranger than fiction. Sometimes I wonder if non-fiction is fiction and fiction is non-fiction if that makes any sense.

Nonfiction can be harder to write than fiction, especially essays the way they weave around a theme. Most demanding.

Do you prefer fiction or believe it's harder? I used to believe fiction was real writing and non-fiction not real until I tackled essays. It's all real!



Maggie said...

I love to sit on the floor of the bookstore or library, too! I think the titles of young adult books tend to be dark because that is a time in our lives when we are dealing with big issues and trying to decide how we feel about them or what we would do in those situations. It seems like as good a time as any to start forming ideas about the world, and cross over from the innocence of childhood to the wiser adult.

I think if you are hungering to write nonfiction, it seems better to stay there until your heart moves you towards fiction again. Forcing yourself to write a certain way can make it feel like a dreaded task instead of a labor of love. :)

The Exception said...

it is all real!! Writing is more about the way the words are put together and the story that is told... I never thought about it that way before! Thanks!

I love books for kids. I never understood why my mom (librarian) would get so excited about books for the 8-12 agre group and yet, now that my daughter is there... I totally get it!

Sara said...

The Exception,

First of all, you write beautifully. It's sort like a conversation and I enjoy reading your thoughts for the day. In this one, I can see you in the bookstore, touching the books and think aloud about writing. It's nice.

Regarding the fiction, I can't resist tempting you to give it a go. I can feel the fiction story waiting inside you. It's begging you to let it out.

Now...I have to give my two cents. Use them or don't:~)

I agree with Davina...start small, rather than trying to write a book. Use your daughter as inspiration...both of you could make up a story and then write it down. I know she's very creative, like you. I bet the two of you could create a wonderful story:~)

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.

The Exception said...

Ah Sara - I appreciate your two cents and yes, the stories are there - and we have talked a lot about writing books together, non-fiction, lessons we learned from our cat - a joint project. They will happen... and I will keep you posted. We will also be back to share our thoughts on your Monday pictures when the guests leave and the vacations end!