A slight divergence here from my normal blogged passages which are typically about my books and poems. I’ve been invited to take part in a “My Writing Process” blog tour, which takes place on writers’ blogs every Monday. It’s a concept that allows readers to discover how an author’s writing process works, how they come up with their ideas and what techniques and strategies they use from start to finish.
I was invited by author/editor M.J, Mores, who posted her process last Monday on http://infinite-pathways.org Mel writes science fiction novels as well as magazine and guest blog articles about writing, editing and publishing and her website and blog are worth regular visits, especially if you are interested in various aspects of the writer’s trade.
Once I’ve done my bit I hand the reins over to three more bloggers who I will introduce you to below.
OK….. I’m going to attempt to answer 4 questions about my writing….. Fasten your seat belts.
What am I working on?
Right now I have book 2 of the Wanderings and Sojourns series “On Tropical Islands and Sparkling Seas” at the publishers, so I’m working on the lay-up and proofing rounds for that. It should be out May/June of this year. I also have book 4 about one third written. Working title for that is “On Lands of Conquest and Iberian Seas” as it is all about my travels through and wonderful times spent living in Iberia. It will follow the same format as books 1 and 2 with 25 stories and 25 poems. I am also finalizing the first in a new series of illustrated children’s books which is just about ready for the publishers but have decided to put that on hold at least until I am through the publishing process for Book 2 in the Wanderings and Sojourns Series.
Why do I write what I do?
Well the short answer for the Wanderings and Sojourns series is because I was told I should. I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled extensively, lived in many lands, had a lot of interesting experiences and when recounting some of the tales several people have told me I should write a book. So I did. Based on the response to that one I wrote another, and so on. The other reason, of course is because I love writing and have done so as a hobby for decades and figured it would be good to share some of what I write and, I must admit, if I can make a couple of dollars doing so to help me through my old age then so much the better.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a difficult one to answer because I don’t know what my genre is. It’s kind of travel, kind of memoir and involves a lot of contemporary classical poetry, but although it’s all of the above it is also none of them. When you mix them all together you get a level of philosophical insight that redefines any of those genres into something quite unique. I have never read another book similar to my Wanderings and Sojourns series, and never heard of any either. That in itself makes them different of course in overall perspective. In structure what I do that’s different is combine true interesting stories from my life and endeavour to contextualize them to try to seat the reader into them somewhat. Then at the end I make a few comments designed to get the reader to think about them as they might have related to their lives had it actually been them that was there. Some of the stories and contextualization’s are a little controversial but never meant to be offensive, as I touch occasionally on the topics of relationships, religion, war and such of which different folks can have very disparate views and become quite impassioned. But for the most part my stories are relatively benign though generally quite fascinating and the feedback I receive suggests that I haven’t really offended anyone yet. They make great bed room (or bathroom) books as you can pick them up and just read one or two of the stories and put them down without needing to pick them up again until next time you have a little time to read. Each story and poem is self-contained so you definitely don’t need to read from start to finish in one go. In fact some people have told me they open the books at random and read whatever story or poem happens to be at that place in the book.
How does my writing process work?
Hah!!! I have a process?
Seriously, I just sit and write whatever is in my head at the time and very often the story or the poem is processing me, not me processing it. I think I break most of the rules I have heard in different presentations and work groups. For example: I edit as I go, which apparently is a no-no. You are, so the experts say, supposed to just write freely and then go back and edit. Not me. I prefer dealing with any changes as soon as they hit me and as I am always reading back over what I’ve already written to make sure I’m staying on the path, I am always seeing things that need changing. The advantage of that is that as everything in a story is interwoven, to change as you go means that you don’t have such significant changes to make at the end because you have already adjusted your sails early on and so anything you write afterwards already has that adjustment built in.
With poetry, when I think a piece is finished I put it aside for many days and then come back to it. I find I must distance myself from poetry far more than from the stories because I can become too emotionally involved with the nuances and subtleties of a poem. While I’m writing them I am right there in the soul of the poem so it all makes sense to me, but a few days later it may not. And if it doesn’t make sense to me then it won’t make sense to anyone else, so that is when I do the re-writes.
OK. So there’s a few little insights into my world of writing. No I’m going to introduce you to three more folks who write and blog and who you may like to read about next Monday (March 31st) when they participate in this same process.
1/. Julie Achtermeier is a freelance corporate, health, and humour writer. (I love her humour… you’ll be able to relate to it) Her blog is at http://www.isweatthesmallstuffblog.wordpress.com/
2/. Douglas Owen is a writer of Science Fiction, author of the YA series “Spear”. His blog is at http://www.daowen.ca
3/. Murielle Bollen writes the spiritually inspired Tasting Life series, (traveling around the world and into the depths of the soul) and her Butterflies Newsletters invites you to taste life differently and to the fullest. You a find it at http://www.thetasteoflife.ca/blog/posts/i-share