The Friday Poem: In the Dark



Writing Update: Somebody Knows

I do not know how to fill out form

Thank goodness for writer friends!

I’ve been struggling with this story and one of the elements that really had me confounded was whether the main character was part of the Marines or Navy during World War II.
He couldn’t be both, right?
For certain aspects of the story, it made far more sense that he was part of the Navy, but for other parts it made more sense that he was a Marine.
I put this conundrum before some friends and . . . it turns out he CAN be both, just not at the same time.
A friend brought up a story about someone he knew of who had been in the Navy on D-Day then honorably discharged and not much later joined the Marines.
Problem solved.
It is good to have writer friends with whom you can complain . . . I mean “discuss” the problems you are having with your story.
It’s good to have friends to discuss your problems with, period.

The Friday Poem: No More Flip-flops


Writing Status Update: Clothes Pegs


I haven’t written much historical fiction and certainly not something for which there is such a good historical record. Writing something of this nature has advantages and disadvantages. It requires a good bit more research than my regular fiction.

To that end, I’ve been reading Iwo Jima Recon: The U.S. Navy at War, February 17, 1945 by Dick Camp. It has a huge amount of information on the Navy Underwater Demolition Teams – how they volunteered for the job and the training, as well as the Japanese fortifications, bombardment of the island prior to the landing, timing of events, and everything else relevant. It has been fascinating.

I also watched the 2002 movie Windtalkers with Nicholas Cage and Adam Beach. That was much harder. It is a very realistic movie in some ways, depicting the confusion and horror of battle. It was downright nauseating for me at times, but useful.

When writing a story, I try to make use of whatever filters through my brain, and applies. While writing this story, I had a dream that I was in a small house that was picked up, largely intact, and carried into a huge tornado. The next day I wrote that in as part of the back story for one of my two main characters.

At our last writer’s group meeting, a work-in-progress from another writer sparked a discussion on the difference between a clothespin and a clothes peg. That night I dreamt of carving names into clothes pegs so that got written into my story as something a main character’s girlfriend does to remember people who have volunteered for military service, as she hangs the laundry to dry or takes it in.

Now I’m working some more on that big story picture – plot points that I know have to be there and the reality of timing during the reconnaissance with the fictional movements of my characters.

I’ve learned far more than will ever go into this story, but hopefully it will enrich the narrative the way a good broth base does for a soup.

The Friday Poem: Past Summer Scents


Writing Update: Research Haiku


The Friday Poem: Marks on the Wall


Update: Poem Shares and Write-ins


Wow! There were 172 shares of my last poem when I grabbed this screen capture on Monday. I’m always amazed, and grateful, when I post a poem and people let me know that they are enjoying it. A lot of the time I’m just trying to get feelings out about a situation or event, or trying to capture a moment in time. It’s wonderful to know that some of what I’m saying is resonating with others. Thank you!

I hosted a write-in at my library over the weekend. Getting a room full of people together to work on their own projects may seem a little odd to someone who has never experienced it but it generates a kind of creative energy in the room that propels you forward.

I provide a spread of food and prizes for various little contests. We do writing sprints, where people write as many words as they can for ten minutes and then the person who writes the most gets a prize. (Sometimes I give a prize to the person who writes the least too.) This time we also did prizes for the first person in the room, someone writing a memoir, and someone who did research before the write-in.

If you’d like to experience a write-in, National Novel Writing Month is coming in November and there will be write-ins all over the country. You can find more info at NaNoWriMo dot org.

Personally, I did more research than writing this time but I guess that’s the way it goes when you’re trying to write a story that captures the feel of a historic event like the reconnaissance of Iwo Jima in 1945. I keep finding new facts that spark new questions. Eventually, the story will find solid footing and then it will really take off.

The Friday Poem: Imprints


Update: Inspirational Books – Not What You Think

Like a crazy writer, I’m just adding pages every day to my works in progress, using whatever inspiration comes my way.
Working in a public library, one thing that catches my eye are the books on the shelves. Here are a couple that I found inspirational this past week.
Excruciatingly correct behavior, anyone? I’ll take a pass. But, it could be a fun thing to play with in a story.

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