If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Slipping from Reality

There was a time when my first thoughts in the morning weren’t:

      ·         Where am I on my script?

·         Did I complete my research?

·         Where is my story going now?

·         What else must I consider in revising my script?

·         Did I complete my critique for X?

·         What’s running on the blog?

·         Have I commented on the blog?

·         Do I have next week’s blog written and submitted?

·         Are there any interesting blogs on other sites from which I might learn?

·         Have I replied to that email?

·         Would that be a good venue for my short?

I’m not sure how and when all of this happened. My children were grown by then and not my immediate priority, which used to be the case. It’s not that I’m out of touch with reality, hardly, I find it bothersome at times, but I spend more of my time than ever in other worlds outside of the physical. To a certain extent, that has happened to everyone since we are using the Internet to socialize and to conduct business. But for writers, it is especially so. I find myself split among the virtual, fictional and real worlds.

The Virtual: Writing involves using the Internet. Writers join writing groups, blog and communicate to other writers, publishers, bloggers, agents, promoters via email. Yahoo groups help writers to obtain and give critiques. We learn how platforms are set up and how to format e-books, etc. Life on the keyboard becomes a foreign language. I remember my sister saying that the first time she felt conversant in French, she dreamed in French. I’ve dreamed sentences seeing them typed from my keyboard.

The Fictional: The physical place doesn’t really matter. We live in our heads. I can plot anywhere as long as I’m alone. Even when I’m not alone, an idea will present itself that I jot down and develop at a different time. Creating the story necessitates immersing ourselves in fiction. We ask ourselves the “What if” question, and reality falls away.

The Real: Just like ironing or washing cars, writing is real work. After creating the story, we must call upon our judgment and skills to present the story as its best. That’s when the real work happens.

But—this week, I’m going on vacation to Hatteras Island, the setting for my novel (of course) as I do periodically all year. I won’t be on the Internet or communicate with other writers as much. Often, this results in my being more productive, but on this “girls’ week” trip, I doubt that will happen. I’m going to spend most of this week being in reality, which comprises about one third of my time. (Aside from sleeping—a necessity I find vexing.) Yes, I’ll read and maybe even write. But I’ll also talk with friends, drink happy hour, commune with nature, go swimming and shelling and appreciate the real world. How else can I write with authenticity? But is the real world actually my reality? Sometimes I think not. My writing is my reality.

What’s the real world for you?


Jenn said...

About 3 years ago I moved back to Harrisburg, PA for financial and family reasons but prior to then I lived in San Diego, Ca for 12 years. So physically I'm in PA but in my heart I still want to be in San Diego. I guess you could say I live in a state of perpetual longing.

E. B. Davis said...

I'm originally from York, Jenn, even though I haven't lived there for 35 years! Amazing. I think writers live in their heads. Everyone does, but I think that writers are especially out of reality. Me--I live at the beach in body as much as I can, but in mind--I'm always there. I'd miss San Diego too!

Michele Drier said...

My awakening to-do list is a lot like yours, Elaine, And lately I've been spending so much mental time in Hungary that I'm not always sure what day it is back here! Probably I write because I don't like the "realies".

E. B. Davis said...

Yes--I've often thought that my reading was escapism. Now, I wonder if my writing is too. If the reality is something we can't change, then maybe it's a diversion rather than escapism. Yet, we can write about terrible problems in our society making others aware of those problems (as long as it's sandwiched into the story). So maybe we do our part rather than hide from reality.

Gloria Alden said...

You write that writing is a real job just like ironing and washing the car. I so agree with you, but I don't think most people who are not writers see it that way. I fear they're more inclined to see it as some little hobby of ours. Probably well-published writers have more cred in the job category.

Yes, I live in my head a lot. Even my quiet walks in the woods or gardening my head is thinking about writing. Still, I think we all need to get a way at times to be with family and friends and let go of that other world of ours that exists in our heads.

Linda Rodriguez said...

E.B., When I'm in the middle of the first draft of a book or the first intense revision, I'm living in the the book. This can make mundane life complicated, to say the least.

I'm lucky because I live in a physically beautiful city with lots of green and wild spaces in the city itself. Still, I so long for untamed nature, for real countryside, and I only get that occasionally, so I have to erect a little Earth altar (with woods and river and mountains) inside my head. So in many ways, I'm living a lot of the time in virtual space.

E. B. Davis said...

The creative aspect, Gloria, is creating the story and then we are in our mental world. But the actual writing, checking our grammer, our logic, tying clues together and writing concisely--that's work in the here and now.

I always had a running argument with Ramona Long. Ramona thinks that writers should write everyday. I try, but I find that I must have "think" time. That's what goes before the writing and I think is every bit as important as the writing.

E. B. Davis said...

Sometimes, my research can get me into "real" trouble. I print something out and forget it is in the printer. My husband finds it and doesn't know what to think about the graph on domestic abuse. Part of the problem is that nonwriters think we write reality. We have to write realistically, but everything is a take-off of reality, and saying, okay--What if....

Hope your complications don't cause too much trouble, Linda.

Warren Bull said...

What, where and when. I was working deeply on one of my Lincoln books when I passes a place that advertised tanning. My wind when to boots and saddles before it occurred to me that what got tanned there was human beings.

E. B. Davis said...

Yes, that sort of interfers with reality, Warren. Tanning and tanning are two very different concepts. I guess I've been attracted to time travel novels because of that very reason. The result could be hysterical. Hope you didn't take any skins there--especially your own since I think those places having nothing on the real thing, beach bum that I am.