For writers now, the game changes. We don’t just have our own worlds founded firmly in reality which occasionally interlope and must be balanced, we have endless possibilities of other worlds to create, populate and develop, and if we’re lucky, to share. We have our own stages on which we can place and remove settings. Those settings can be whole countries, big cities, small towns, or even just one household. They can be undiscovered planets or parallel worlds. They can exist in the future, the present, or the past. Heck, we can do all three in one book if we want to. We can populate those settings with fictional characters of our own choosing. We can make them good or bad, loveable or hateful, beautiful, rugged, ugly, brilliant or stupid. If we don’t like the finished product, we can even delete them. Without worry of homicide charges, even.
And if we’re very, very lucky, sometimes someone in the world of publishing will think that one of our created worlds is special enough to go public. Thus, a writer (and we really have no control over that, we’re either writers or we’re not, and if we are, we write whether anybody reads anything we write or not) moves from being a writer to being a published writer. I’m not quite yet, but MuseItUp Publishing is making that dream come true in April, 2011.
Part of the culture shock involved in that for me has been the sudden transition from “closed writing unit” to “member of writing family.” My friends and family love me (mostly) and they admire my ability to actually produce pages and pages of words that finally converge into a coherent story. They provide the drive to keep writing, to keep telling stories, because I know that in the end my creations have an appreciative audience. Had no publisher ever deemed my stories suitable for publishing, those stories still would have some immortality beyond myself because stories shared are remembered by those who share them.
But my new writing family? Oh, my. They hear voices, too! They see dead people on occasion! They also wake at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. and write in their heads instead of getting up or going back to sleep! They’ve been to other galaxies, some of them, and lived in other times! And here’s the really great thing. If you listen and watch, you learn how to go about the business of writing. I mean, who’s going to want to read one of your stories if they don’t know who you are? And how are they going to get to know you if you don’t talk to them? Thus we come to the crux of the matter. A writer needs a blog like they need their computers.
Blogs are one great way for a writer to interact with the world – other writers, the reading public, the world of publishing. Every blog needs a focal point. I decided that Flowers on the Fence would be mine. They’re real flowers, guess y’all figured that out from the welcome under the title. One of the most unique, intriguing, and downright delightful (mind you, she wasn’t always loveable, but I sure loved her anyway) true Southern Ladies (yes, that’s capitalized on purpose) I have ever or will ever meet, painted her yard fence with those flowers. Those flowers were just purely waving at anybody who cared to take the time to notice. I took that lesson to heart. There are flowers everywhere, at the most unexpected times – if we just slow down long enough to see them.
In the coming posts, I hope to share with y’all some of my personal “Flowers on The Fence”. Moments of meaning. Mine, of course, but also those of my family, my children, my friends, because such moments are the cornerstones of what in life we choose to write about, what makes life worth writing about. Certainly, you’ll hear about my new writing family, their new books and new projects. Maybe I can convince them to drop in now and again and share their moments with us.
And so for now, having introduced myself and my blog, I take my leave. Y’all come back now, here?