Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The art of people watching

I have always enjoyed observing people, watching them in their natural or (unnatural)habitat. Sitting on a park bench watching children play, seeing an old man walk his dog, feeling a sense of envy as a young couple strolls by hand in hand. As a writer it is an essential tool to be able to observe people and to catalogue their actions, reactions, and interactions. To be able to blend reality with our imagination is what brings our fiction characters to life. Listening to teenage girls whisper and giggle, aching at the obese woman struggling through the mall, and keeping an eye on the latest fashions and hairstyles.
To watch and remember -- and take notes -- so when a particular character comes knocking at my writer's brain, I can breathe a touch of life into it's made-up soul. :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Family of Writers

Some of my earliest memories are of my father hunched over an old typewriter -- hunting and pecking his way over the keys -- writing. "Shh... don't bother your father. He's writing," my mother would say in a quiet whisper. So, I would tip toe my way past whatever room, or table, or desk my father happened to be working at that day. My father wrote often, and he was a very good writer. An amazing inspiration to our whole family.
I have a father, mother, two older sisters, and a younger brother -- and we all write.

My father: Wendell E. Smith has written hundreds of humorous stories and articles that have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers all over the country. Back in the day, he even had some cartoons accepted and published in the New Yorker magazine. Very exciting. He's also written two unpublished novels, and still writes to this day.

My mother: Muriel P. Smith has written many short fiction stories, a mystery novel and three contemporary romances. She's had many of her shorter fiction stories published and hopes to follow with her novels. Married to my father, she had no choice but become a writer, too. :)

Sister #1: Robin Smith-Johnson writes beautiful poetry. She's had many poems published over the years including two in the prestigious Yankee magazine. She also writes novel length Young Adult stories, and has several WIP's (works in progress) at the moment.

Sister #2: Laurie S. Murphy writes Young Adult stories. She's written two YA books, and is working on getting published. Her most recent book is entitled: Melody's Song.

The Brother: Dell C. Smith is an amazing writer of short and long fiction stories. He has recently completed an adult, contemporary novel called A Little Disappeared, and is working toward publication.

They are a wonderful family, and a great inspiration to me as a writer. We attempt to help each other as much as possible -- critiquing and encouraging through the long, endless pursuit of writing.

We all have our day jobs, of course. But when we can steal a few solitary moments, alone with our computer, typewriter, or an ordinary piece of paper-- we write.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More Writing News

I love to read and write and have been doing both for most of my life. About eight years ago, I started reading romance fiction starting with the book, Hidden Riches by Nora Roberts. I've been hooked to romance ever since. :)

I joined the Romance Writers of America (RWA) a little over three years ago, and am also a member of my local chapter -- the Tampa Area Romance Authors (TARA).

The recent contest win was sponsored by TARA which made the win that much more exciting. I will be receiving a necklace and a certificate for my 1st place win. And I have also had a request for a partial manuscript from the final judge -- an editor with Pocket Books. Very exciting!