Thursday, November 8, 2018

st. andrews shepherd's center


EASY READING IS HARD WRITING

That was my topic on Tuesday (the 6th) when I spoke to the St. Andrews Shepherd Center’s lunch crowd. I borrowed that quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne who actually said it was “damned hard writing.” There were about 96 people present, having a Thanksgiving lunch of turkey and dressing while I talked. After my presentation, we had a drawing and I gave away a copy of Cat’s Fur.

Thank goodness for a microphone, for it was a large room at Ashland United Methodist Church. I touched on questions writers are often asked. Below I’ll give my answers, but I compared my experience with well known writers such as J.D. Salinger, John Grisham, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Steven King. 

—How long does it take to write a novel? (took me 10 or more years to write Kedzie)
—What experience prepares a person for writing? (I have picked and chopped cotton, retouched negatives, operated a switchboard, been a nurse’s aid and waitress)
—Where do ideas for books come from? (Antebellum diary; stories told by my ancestors; a wish to share my background with my future generations)
—What are the work habits of writers? (I don’t have habits. May write 10 hours one day and none the next)
—What advice for prospective writers? (Don’t listen to advice. Write something and take it to a writers workshop.)
My thanks to Carol McGinnis Kay and the Shepherd's Center for the invitation. The lunch was exciting, the audience most accommodating. 


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