Some years ago I had cancer. I went from a furiously busy life with four kids to run after, a huge volunteer gig, and a busy writing life, to a life that came to an absolute standstill. Into the hospital I went, weeks of bed rest to follow, and then a much slower life after that. I felt like a miserable fly caught in a spider's webbing.
Each day while recovering, I cheered myself up by doing something I hadn't had the chance to do when I was so busy. Some things were simple like enjoying the sunrise or doodling for several hours straight. One of those things was to apply for a scholarship to the Chautauqua Writers' Workshop put on by the Highlights Foundation.
I received the scholarship! A few months later I was heading to Chautauqua to meet my mentor of the week, Patricia Lee Gauch. (She still offers workshops, but they are often hard to get in.)
Those few hours chatting and then a flurry of emails with Patti transformed me as a writer. They taught me to trust my writerly bones, to trust what they are telling me, to trust my energy and passion. A book is a terrifying leap. For me not every book I've attempted has worked out. You may simply fall, dust yourself off, and leap again.
Patti validated my writing faith -- that if I keep showing up at the page somehow a viable book will appear. Patti's mentoring sent me on a journey of paring down what my character really wants and sticking like glue to as many pages as I need to tell the story.
I've covered the some in my blog before. Here is the link back to my travels back in 2005. Here is a link to a class I took later from Patti Gauch when she visited Western Washington.
I hope that you consider liking my upcoming book on Goodreads, PLUMB CRAZY from Swoon Romance. My pretty cover is in the sidebar. I'll be back next week with the last of this Luck Serendipity series.
The doodle. Look, you found a four leaf clover! How lucky!
Finally a qutoe for your pocket.
Poets know the power in the concrete object, but I say the prose writer, knowing these elements and using them, brings a resonant power and authenticity to narratives of all kinds. Patricia Lee Gauch