Nostalgia 101 ~ Little Women

family, sisters, writing, blogs, women,                    Were you there when the movie “Little Women” came out? Not the new (1994) version…the old version (1949, it’s available by streaming)  with June Allyson who played Jo,  Peter Lawford as Laurie, Margaret O’Brien as Beth, Elizabeth Taylor as  Amy, and Janet Leigh (yes! from Psycho fame)  as Meg.   Do you go all nostalgic when you think about those simpler times with  Jo, Beth, Amy, and Meg?  I do.  Have you read the book by Louisa May Alcott?  She was writing about her family.

Part of me wishes I had a bunch of sisters, (be careful what you wish for, right?) part of me wishes that I had lived in a simpler time. I am a part of a family like the Marches.  My mother had  five sisters and six brothers.  I grew up with twelve aunties and uncles.  And so many cousins I still don’t know the number.

So I write about them. A mother who owned her own business (1920’s) in San Francisco, working all day, clubbing and dancing all night. She was what was known as a flapper. (Wild Violets)  An auntie who ran away from home, at seventeen, and worked her way to Alaska where she homesteaded and wrote her music. (Song of the Yukon) A grandmother who raised 13 children while her husband worked in the forests of Washington state. (The Guyer Girls). 

I am much like Jo; writer, tomboy (in my younger days) outspoken and trying to be the very best at what I do…….writing. Alaska, sisters, adventurers, gold rush, 

My suggestion to other writers is to write about your grandmother, great-aunt, second cousin, twice removed.  Write about what you know. Write about the past.  I am so very lucky to have the ‘Guyer girls’ to draw from …..I couldn’t make up the stories that they have given me from their real lives.  

My weekly BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!    October: George Scott, November: Ella Quinn, December: Lauren Willig, January: Madeline Hunter, February: Mike Lupica 
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What does it Look like? From No book to Finished book…55 days

        writing, blog, authors, create         This past Sunday I finished the first draft of my second novel.  74,000+ words and 365 pages.  This was possibly the purest writing I have ever done and almost an out-of-body experience.  WHY?  You ask?

       I let go! 

As most of my friends will tell you, I am a double ‘A’ personality with control issues.  Okay!  Call it what it is;  I’m a control freak!
But this time, I started with only a loose outline in order to keep my historical facts straight and to track where I thought I was going with the story.   I had written the prologue months ago.  On February 19th I marked my calendar that this was the day that I would begin writing it in earnest.

By the second chapter the characters took the story away from me and told me to hang on and start typing.
They told me who they were, where they were going, who they loved, why they had failed and all about their flaws. women's fiction, roaring twenties, flappers, prohibition

Now!  Other than the fact that I am in excellent company, I would agree with you when you mutter, “She’s just plain nuts!”   But according to the authors that I am now interviewing on a monthly basis, this is not bat-poop crazy but rather a condition that most writers dream about and when it does happen they don’t question it….they just let it happen and they give thanks!

During long, long days of writing (sometimes until my fingers refused to work any longer) I spent my non-writing, quiet time surrounded with great authors.  Either posting their interviews, reading their poetry, or curled up with a good book.  I believe that reading makes us better at our writing.

I am so inspired by other good writers.

So let go!  Open your hearts and minds and let it flow.  Don’t force the direction of your story…it will never be exactly like you planned and that’s a GOOD thing!
Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!      A SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNealMark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  Mark Childress was our April author.  Robert McCammon is scheduled for May. Caroline Leavitt is June‘s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander.  Slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter.

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