Thursday, May 16

Writing: My First Love

Sometimes I forget.

I work with a 22-year-old kid who is just beginning his writing journey. And when I ask him how his book is going, his entire face lights up—he’s so in love with the story he’s telling.

He tells me it’s, “Wild. Nothing else like it.”

I remember when I was a young writer and every story was new. Every story was filled with dreams of publication, riches, and glory. Those were the days before I discovered Critique Partners and I called my sister with a spectacular line of dialogue I’d just coined. After all, someone had to hear it. I was a literary genius.


Yep, those days are gone.

I still believe in my writing but I now realize it’s more of a marathon than a sprint. And that the prize might not be riches and glory but just some hard work.  And I’m okay with that, but sometimes I wish I could go back to the innocence of believing without boundaries. I think its youth in general. Like a teenager who thinks they can climb mountains, race cars along Main Street, and jump into the deep end of the ocean without recourse, so goes the young writer.

So—to recapture that moment, I propose a challenge. Find a piece of your writing that you are particularly proud of. Maybe it’s a spat of dialogue, a great turn of phrase, a unique character description---and post it for us to read. Like I used to do by calling my sister.

Mine is from Bix (of course). I love this bit and I’m not sure anyone has quite appreciated it like I do. It’s taken from an early scene in which Bix discovers a bike and his mother thinks that his assassin father  has found them. She’s gone a bit crazy as they investigate the bike in front of their home.

Out of the corner of my eye, I watch Darby snake around us and snatch the card before Mom can throw a body block at her.

I love it because of the image of Mom throwing a body block at Darby just cracks me up.

So—what’s your line?

PS--the mock up of my cover is from my friend, Braxton Cole, who did it as an incentive :)


  1. I like that cover a lot!

    A piece from my WIP I like:

    Carol waited till they were outside to answer. “The car’s dead. Bill gave it a Christian burial at the salvage yard a couple of days after the accident. Until I find something I like that I can afford—sometimes those terms are exclusive of each other, by the way—I’m hoofing it and riding my bicycle. I actually found a muscle in my calf the other day and fit into a blouse I didn’t buy at the tent and awning shop, so it’s good for me.”

    I like it because now you know, in a paragraph, who she is.

    Nice post, Margie!

  2. Liz--great paragraph--it does tell you exactly who she is. And I love my faux cover as well. Someday I may even have a real one to share ;)

  3. That is *exactly* how I picture Bix - great job, Braxton!!

    Here's mine, from the new WIP: my heroine's just been asked to dance by her childhood (and current) crush:

    Her body screamed at her to say yes. Take his hand and hit the floor. Feel his body move against hers and maybe, maybe push his limitations. Just a little bit. But not if it was going to end with another disappearing act on his part.

  4. Kristi--I know, Braxton nailed it.

    Love your excerpt.I'm intrigued. OF course I love reunion stories and your writing, so win-win :)

  5. This is a great cover! And it fits the story. Here's my small piece. It served to remind me never to envy anyone. You never know what goes on behind closed doors.

    "Yorke didn't seem so bad. I'd met him a few times at my mother's dinner parties and he was always nice to me. And he was handsome. One of the most sought after men in Atlanta." Her fingers toyed with the hem of her shirt. "When I walked into a room on his arm, you should have seen the looks of envy I got from every woman around. They pretty much hated me. Each of them had tried really hard to be Mrs. Yorke Burkette, and I ruined it for them." She inhaled, and closed her eyes, the exhale a trembling breath. "It didn't matter. Most of them settled for being his mistress."

  6. Perfect Shawn, love that last zinger ;)

  7. From my WIP:

    Shiloh’s good mood evaporated. Avoiding fights with her mother had kept her stagnant way too long. She grabbed one of the brooms from the storage room and began sweeping the spotless floor with brisk, hard swipes. Since childhood, the one thing that soothed her nerves was a song. She began to sing an old Dolly Parton hit in a low, soft voice, the melody for her ears only. Pretending the broom was a microphone, she tipped it and sang the lyrics into the handle.
    Caught up in the words, Shiloh didn’t realize she had an audience until someone behind her spoke. “Practicing for your competition?”
    She spun around, broom in hand, to face Dillon Travers. Heat flooded her cheeks. “I didn’t know you were there.”
    He flashed the crooked smile that probably had women all over the world throwing their panties at him. “I know.”
    Feigning indifference, she said, “I was singing for myself.”
    “Then you didn’t take a job at my ranch to get me to help you with the reality show?” He took a few steps closer and she held the broom against her like a shield.
    “Of course not.”
    “Good. Then I won’t have to fire you.”
    She stiffened. “What? You came here to fire me?”
    He nodded, his smile gone. “If you planned to—”
    “Use you?” She pointed the broomstick at him. “You arrogant ass. I’m not a groupie. I wouldn’t work for you if you had the last job in Colorado and I was starving.”
    He burst out laughing. “I’ll see you on Monday.”