Continuing from last Sunday with number 16 through 30. And you do realize, I don’t really live on Facebook, right?
16. Research: As a life-long nerd, I love computers, I love research. Being a writer allows me to spend countless hours looking for maps of England and France in the 1800s, or looking at English Manor Houses that were around centuries ago but maybe not now. This time would otherwise be wasted in mowing lawns or scrubbing floors. Nobody wants that.
17. Sexual Tension: I find I like to write the sex scenes. But what I really like, what I’m trying to improve, is the tension between two people in my story who want to have sex but for whatever reasons believe it will never be. Or it will be, but not forever. It’s so much fun coming up with reasons to not put Tab A into Slot B.
18. Thickening the Plot: Yeah, sometimes I know where I am going with the story, but other times something seems off. For instance, in my work in progress, my villain is coming off too aimless, too little motivated to do what I need for him to do later in the book. So I am changing his name, adjusting his background, and salting the earth with his foul doings. How cool is that!
19. Alligators to Start: A teacher I had once said the point of a story is to get your Main Characters (MC) up to their eyeballs in alligators, then throw problems at them. I think I throw the problems first and have to look for the alligators later. But so it goes, and it’s more fun every day.
20. Share what I know: Thanks to Scribophile, I can share what I have learned and what I continue to learn with new writers, published authors, curious friends, and so on. I love teaching, I would have been a teacher if my high school guidance counselor hadn’t told me the Zero Population Growth movement would remove the need for new teachers by the time I graduated from college. Pfft!
21. Blogs: Yes, like this one. Or my bird blog. Because writing is fun, no matter what the subject. I like to read blogs as well and find lots of things to share. (See reason 20)
22. Online Classes: Okay, maybe not limited to writers, but I am vastly impressed as well as thankful for all the classes out there, for really small fees, that can be completed in the comfort and privacy of my own home. No wardrobe malfunctions here!
23. Dream of Conventions and Conferences: Due to financial difficulties, I can’t even plan to attend a conference or convention, let alone try to book a flight or make other travel arrangements. I know one of the Romance Writers of American conventions in the near future will be held in Texas, which is closer to San Diego than Georgia, but until someone realizes what a genius my husband is and hires him, or realizes my potential as an author and buys a book or seven, it’s just a dream. (No Longer True: So thankful for the local conferences and the RWA National that took place in San Diego.)
24. Happy Ever After?: For me, it’s not a romance without the HEA. So in my romances, that will be the ultimate conclusion. But I have discovered the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, where Happily For Now is the best one can hope for. Do I want to write a series where my MCs meet and part and get back together? Where it takes three books for HEA? Hmm. Thankfully, I don’t have to decide just yet.
25. Books About Anything: I am one of those writers who have more ideas than I will get down on paper in one lifetime. Once science figures out how to download my personality and memories into a longer-lasting body, I may get the time I need. And I love the ideas I get that take place in the future or on another planet. I can write about ecology issues, social issues, history repeating itself, and so much more.
26. Chances to Diversify: Which means pretty much I can write Regency Romance, Sci-Fi Romance, Thrillers, blogs, articles, speeches, and the occasional sketch for work. All because I love to write, and various people like what I do.
27. Understanding: Because I do research, I come to understand how events happened, which chain led to which moment in history, and why certain groups of folks believe what they do. For instance, I have always loved music and dancing, and couldn’t understand why some religions condemned these two things. I came to understand, through reading and researching, that the focus of life for these believers is to be close to God, to be praying and doing good works. Spending any time on things that were frivolous or didn’t focus on God’s Holy Plan, wasted the time one is given to make the best use of life. An awesome knowledge to add to my collection.
28. Appreciate Romance in My Life: I spent the first 40 years of my life alone and lonely, not usually happy with what I was doing and where I was going. And then I met a man who fell in love with me before we met in person. Who found me beautiful when we did meet, and who wanted to share the rest of his life with me. We’ve been together for 18 years, happily married for 16 of those years. I love him as much today as the day I said yes to spending my life with him. Okay, really, I love him more because we’ve been through so much and it’s gotten so much better. Really, he is what I am most thankful for. But appreciating the romance he brings to me is still on this list.
29. Use of Past Experiences: Not everything in my life has been enjoyable. I think that’s true of just about every person on the planet. I have learned to not focus on those things, and to keep my attitude uplifted. However, some of my past experiences are good fodder for story ideas and evolutions. It’s all good!
30. Some Day I will Have Fans!: Does that seem an odd thing to be thankful for? Well, fans can be such a great force for good in the world. I’ve been a fan of things from history, to Star Trek, to Regency Romances, to Outlander stories. It’s fun to think about having a street team to help me put out more titles, and to be invited to talk to people. What more could a writer ask for?
Thanks for reading this reposted blog from November of 2013. I’ll be back on Sunday with new material.