An Author in Lockdown

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This is a selfie from 2016-17.

 

 

No, an author in lockdown is nothing like an American in Paris even if I’m riffing off that movie title. And sadly, I used the lockdown as an excuse not to write with the exception of the blog posts for this and my other three active blogs.

You would think that all the ballet dancers, musicians, and craftspeople using the YouTube platform for sharing their work during lockdown would inspire me. Certainly, the internet has blossomed as a renaissance of creative pursuits with an invisible audience that makes its presence known with clicks and likes. Authors who were unable to give book signings or tour also found new platforms online. Even writers’ conferences adapted to video-phone technology such as Zoom and Google Chat.

Although as a gift to myself, I bought the Scrivener software. And during the past two months, I uploaded three manuscripts on the program along with photos and research. However, they are my completed manuscripts with the exception of my memoir, Bitch which is in the rewriting stage.

I’ve thought about writing flash fiction and I experienced those lightbulb moments when story ideas popped into my mind and didn’t follow through. Perhaps, the lockdown experience has blocked my muse from coming through and it certainly has hindered my motivation. But this is not to say that I haven’t felt motivated to take online Reiki classes or to practice yoga, or spend time cooking healthy meals.

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pixabay.com

Yet, with all this “free” time on my hands, it still feels like time is racing and the weeks have sped past me. Within the span of three months, I have evolved and morphed into a new person with Corona hair. However, I have changed little with my outer self because most of the growth happened with the inner self. Like so many other people, especially those who have experienced loss, I stand at the proverbial crossroads or the point of four cardinal directions.

I used this time to set stronger boundaries with others and reflect upon my values which have changed drastically or if not, took me back to the core of my authentic self. Oddly, finding old journals I wrote during the 1990s triggered my old muses and dreams of publishing my work. You would think that would inspire me to sit down at my computer and at least write flash fiction.

As far as submitting my already completed work, I’ve done little with that, mostly out of lethargy. With the numerous rejections I received from literary journals and agents, I hardly see the point of disappointing myself during a time of even greater loss. Having said that, I have revisited novels and submitted to two or three agents–not that they’re getting back with anyone during their lockdowns.

Still, I’m hoping that something I wrote that wasn’t previously trending or of popular demand might become so with the New Normal. Perhaps, I’m thinking, that book lovers won’t want to indulge in a thriller or conspiracy theory novel and instead seek escape literature in the form of a good romance or a spunky YA novel or perhaps, they would care to revisit the Greek story of Orpheus and his wife Eurydice set in modern-day Seattle.

Oddly, I have read little in the way of novels or even non-fiction books during the lockdown when this would have been the perfect time to indulge in the writing of others. I have joined a group of writers in San Francisco via Zoom for discussions with published authors. And I will be joining a writing workshop with the online version of the Chuckanut Writers Conference this month (since I applied for the conference’s scholarship).

For me, this is a time to regroup and reevaluate my mission as an author. I won’t begin my next novel until 2021 (which involves a young horse jockey). And I will create a Patreon campaign for that novel. I’m going to do things differently as I embrace new technology and ways to build a community around my work.

In the meantime, if you are an author in lockdown, please leave your experiences in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.

Write It–Rewrite, Refresh, Edit, and Submit

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So, you’re sitting in your house wondering how to jumpstart your writing practice. It’s time to dust off those old submissions and revise them and then submit to new editors and journals. Now, you have the time and the editors most likely are in lockdown too begging for stories to read.

Perhaps, this is the last thing you want to do when stuffing your mouth with chips and watching Netflix seems more appealing. However, don’t waste your time on other people’s stories. Write your own, even about your pandemic experiences. Surely, you learned something from this hero’s journey.

Or better yet, get out your stories and reinvent them. Tear them apart. Create new characters with old scenarios or new scenarios for the old character. or play mash-up with your stories especially if you write in several genres. Reread Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myths (what you haven’t already read it?) and reread books on the basic three-act structure. Or read classics to study the structure and character development, not to mention, character dilemmas. When I’m trapped in a writer’s block (doesn’t happen often), I reread Jane Austen’s novels.

If you have the cash, purchase Scrivener, or other writing software. I bought Scrivener recently and while I’m not up to speed with it yet, loading my novels on there will speed up the revising and editing process. The software (if you don’t already have it), has a cork board to hang up photos of your characters and you can even upload songs and videos. I wish I had this software five novels ago!

Another fun thing writers can do, besides joining Facebook groups for writers, is to do a Zoom session with several writers or an online writers’ group. Maybe you can even teach what you know about the craft via Zoom or sign up to teach on Udemy and earn money, especially if you’re waiting to hear back from editors, agents, and publishers about your pitches. Maybe you can even host a poetry night via Zoom. Use your imagination. If you are an author you have an active imagination.

So, hopefully, I have inspired you to write, edit, and submit. Let me know if you read this and if you follow my advice. Let me know if your work is published in the future. Get writing.

Prologue to my Memoir “Bitch”

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Bitch

Fostering a Dog; Fostering an Attitude (By Patricia Herlevi)

 

Prologue

The day I dreaded arrived. Three weeks had passed since my brother and I signed the legal papers with the Seattle Purebred Rescue organization so that the senior German shorthair pointer could go to a new home. Although I had only known Sobaka for a year-and-a-half, I had fallen deeply and madly in love with him in the way that dog-people bond with their canine friends. But like other types of love affairs, I also knew that each day had a number on it. My elderly parents were unable to take care of an active dog and I was in no position to take Sobaka. I had no permanent home.

I had looked forward to Sobaka’s birthday which falls on May 4. I had plans to take him to a special place and I had even bought two giant dog cookies and salmon sticks to mark the occasion. Then, the prospective pawrents (parents for dogs) asked the organization to set up a meet and greet with Sobaka on the last week of April. At first, I thought they just wanted to meet the dog and then return later to pick him up. However, the retired couple didn’t want to make two trips to Whidbey Island so they had plans to take Sobaka with them, thus interrupting my birthday plans and my goodbye gifts for the dog.

I wept for most of the week prior to Sobaka meeting his adoptive parents. I had wished that he would’ve been adopted by a family closer to me and not across Washington State. I wondered about handing the leash to the retired couple who responded to the Pet Finder ad when I clung to it as if the leash were my lifeline.

I knew I was doing the right thing for the sake of Sobaka’s wellbeing, but I experienced a hole growing inside me—a hole where my heart should have been. Wasn’t it me who placed the ad portraying Sobaka as a Bach Connoisseur and portraying a dog that enjoyed the finer things in life? He looked regal in the photos I took of him in his favorite armchair lying on his ratty blanket he had since his puppyhood. What the people viewing the photo would never know is that Sobaka also had a favorite couch and another chair he enjoyed stealing from my father and then anchoring his large body into the cushions while digging his claws into the armrests. This drove my father nuts every time the dog snuck into the chair and refused to budge. Sobaka was going places even if he refused to budge.

The people who viewed the ad also didn’t know about Sobaka hoarding crackers, potato chips, and candy between the cushions of the couch now covered in tiny white hairs and drool stains.

As the dreaded day approached, I feared that my bones would shatter. I felt pissed off at my brother for abandoning his dog and leaving me with a heart wrenching decision. In contrast, I also thanked my brother silently for blessing me with the best friendship I had experienced in 54 years—not with a human, but with a canine.

The weather forecast for that April day predicted rain and wind. I thought that would have deterred the couple from driving from Olympia to Whidbey Island and that I would have been able to hang on to Sobaka for another week. But then the sun appeared.

I spent the morning cleaning Sobaka’s bedding, sewing his toys and his pillow which he had ripped apart. I gathered all his belongings and placed them in bags and boxes while trying not to cause Sobaka anxiety. He knew something was up because I wept more than usual. He also noticed the tension in the household when my father protested the adoption. After all, even though he complained about the vet bills and fed Sobaka junk food (leading to an obesity problem) he said that Sobaka was his friend. But before sympathizing with my dad, you must understand that he thinks everything is about him and he didn’t acknowledge the anguish I experienced. Blame it on his Depression Era childhood or his stint in the Navy. I might have well been a captain of a ship witnessing mutiny.

So, I packed the car and I had several conversations with Sobaka using words and telepathy. And when I spoke to him, he trembled and his eyes pleaded with me to let him stay with us. The problem remained that he did not get enough exercise and his weight problem placed him in danger. I had gone over all the options and I pleaded with my parents to hire a dog walker, to pay for the flea prevention, etc. Although my mother was sympathetic and she was the one who paid one-thousand dollars to have Sobaka’s rotten teeth removed, she also thought Sobaka needed to go to a wealthier home with healthier people.

And prior to his final day with us, I spent quality time with Sobaka that week in April. I created Easter treat hunts in the backyard to put his nose to good use. I took him for longer walks to his favorite places in the neighborhood. I sat with him and played classical music for him (which he loved). And my mom and I took him to a beach when the tide was out where he ran free. In fact, when he ran on the beach whimpering and barking with delight, I realized that Sobaka needed to experience that freedom every day just like he needed to play with other dogs.

So, I packed him in the car while wiping tears off my face. I chose Bowman’s Bay in Deception Pass State Park to meet with Sobaka’s prospective parents and the dog rescue volunteer. I also like the fact that Sobaka got to ride in the backseat of the car listening to classical music. He remained calm for most of that journey until we turned on the road to Bowman’s Bay and he picked up the scent of the giant cedar and pine trees. He sat up in the backseat which he had never done before when the car was moving. Then when we turned into the park and we heard the wind and the waves beating against the shore, Sobaka barreled out of the car and he pulled me onto the beach. I had hoped that the couple would have showed up late, but as Sobaka and I walked away from the car and onto the beach, they approached us. I worried that I would have lost the strength to hand over Sobaka’s leash. Was it too late to change my mind?

When I took Sobaka to meet his new parents he sniffed at them and allowed them to admire him. He had no idea he would be leaving with them. And the message I received from Sobaka was, “Thank you for introducing me to your friends. Let’s go play on the beach and let me run on the trails.”

I kept the leash for a bit longer as the couple walked with me through the wooded area. Sobaka pulled me up a trail causing my arm to ache. He yanked on my arms and I couldn’t get him to stay still. He was anxious and in one of exploring moods after all, he loved the wild waves crashing on the shore and the pine and cedar trees perfuming the air. Since his sensitivities are acute he picked up on my emotions. “Why are you doing this to us, human?”

So we headed to the minivan where the representative asked me to give a final signature on the adoption papers. I legally released any ownership of Sobaka (not that I ever owned him). And while I did this, Sobaka saw the open door of my mother’s car inviting him to return to his old life. He yanked on the leash wanting desperately to run to my mother’s car and hop again in the backseat, another place he loved to relax and shed his fur. Plus he wanted to say goodbye to my mother who advocated for him when my brother stopped buying food for the dog or taking him to the vet when he suffered from ear infections and other health issues.

I realized that Sobaka didn’t die that day, but part of me did. Sobaka left in a minivan to a new adventure and a new life. Meanwhile, I wondered if I would ever heal from a broken heart much worse than any breakup with a boyfriend, the loss of a job, or even the loss of a home. I hugged Sobaka for as long as I could before he was hoisted into the minivan. I petted his velvet ears one last time and I experienced pangs of jealousy for the retired couple who had the right home and the right resources to take Sobaka as their own. I sacrificed my happiness and some people thanked me for my selfless act. But those hollow words hardly soothed my heart.

Nothing or no one will ever replace Sobaka.

All Rights Reserved Copying Not Permitted C 2019 Patricia Herlevi

Write it—The Process of Writing a Novel

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Perhaps, the excuse why many aspiring writers never write the novel in their head revolves around the messy process we call novel-writing. But if we break the process into steps and navigate through those steps by treating the steps as guideposts, it becomes easier to complete the novel.

After all, navigating your way through 300+ pages and 80K words starts to feel more like a chore or housework with words than it does about following a dream. Yet, authors chug out one novel after the other and keep pushing through the barriers until completion. You can also complete your novel even if it feels like you’re walking on a long road to nowhere.

Five Stages of Writing a Novel:

1. The brilliant idea comes with characters, a general plot, and inspiration.

2. We sit on the idea while it germinates like a seed underground. We procrastinate or we research to build our characters and storyline.

3. We write the first and second drafts and it feels like plowing through a swamp of words, syntax, and worries about writing beautiful sentences. In other words, this is the time when most writers toss in the towel.

4. Then if we make it through the swamp, we begin the revision process which is like cutting a diamond into shape. We toss out perfect sentences, delete characters (who don’t contribute to the story), or we combine characters. We sharpen the storyline. We also perfect the beginning and end of the story.

5. After (if we choose to) having other experienced eyes read and critique our novel, we may or may not do one more revision. But this is also the part where we see the finish line, and we race towards it with the same excitement we experienced at the birth of the story.

This process works for memoirs too.

 

Sign up for a creativity coaching session with me. Or check out my Patricia Herlevi channel on YouTube and follow Belle Author on Facebook.

Write It–Embracing Detours

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You’re on track with your character development and you carefully drew out your storyline on a whiteboard or on butcher paper. Then, all of a sudden, your character(s) take a detour. What do you do?

First, don’t panic. Detours often bring a richer story with them and you go deeper with your characters. If the detour is at the beginning of your book then rewrite the opening chapters with the new character insights.

If you reached the halfway point of your novel or are close to the end of it, then keep going with your new story and character development. Then when you start your rewrites, start from scratch. Otherwise, you’ll deal with a chaotic manuscript fraught with errors.

Often times when we rush in and start the novel before the story becomes solid in our minds, we run the risk of characters taking detours. Even if we do wait until we’ve mapped out our storylines and developed our characters, they keep evolving as we write and we still encounter detours. However, I think detours are actually a sign that we are on the right path.

If you work with storyboards then note the detours on the boards and then go back later to rectify the story that occurs before the detour. Sometimes the detours add a nice plot twists and you change little in the early parts of the manuscript. It depends on the story and the type of character involved.

I still think it’s a good idea to get fully acquainted with the characters. Interview them to learn about their thoughts and feelings; likes and pet peeves. Write down their physical attributes (petite, blonde, with fuller lips, and small feet). The color of a character’s hair matters since hair color is often linked to cultural references or perceived personality types such as the bubbly blonde or the fiery redhead.  A character’s ethnicity matters too and we often work harder at researching their identity to avoid generalizations.

Hair color and body type also define a character’s experience and perception of the world as well as, how other characters perceive them. Even the readers of the book have biases towards hair, skin, and eye color or body weight. One annoying detour happens when we created a character with cropped blonde hair and later learn that she has long red hair. We thought the character came from German heritage but she came from an Irish family of immigrants. See how that changes the story?

Other detours occur when we learn that the character works at a different profession then we first imagined. Or the character who we thought was heterosexual joins the LGBT community and rushes out of the closet. This happened with at least two of my characters during my novel writing endeavors.

Detours happen and often time the change of direction brings deeper meaning and more depth to a story. Some spiritual teachers suggest that characters represent hidden parts of our psyche or our unclaimed shadows. Whether that is the case or if the characters live outside of us (but still in our imagination), embrace the detours. Just like in life, those detours rescue us from another fate or in the least, lead us to the real treasure.

Need inspiration, sign up for a creativity coaching session with me. I combine channeling, cards, and astrology as tools to help you become the best writer possible. I charge $100 an hour for a Skype session. Payment.

 

Write It: 10 Ways to Trick the Procrastination Monster

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You’re on a roll. You have written five pages a day on your novel. Or you have stayed on schedule with your submissions and pitches. But then an illness strikes and you experience bedrest for two weeks. And then, the procrastination returns.

Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up. Find ways to get back in the groove such as editing a flash fiction story or rewriting a poem. Start small. And then return to your calendar and make adjustments for page and word count for longer work. Or return to your submission calendar.

If you missed deadlines then scratch those journals or contests off your lists. And find new ones to enter (a Google search pulls up blogs with lists of literary journals and agents).

Here is a no-no list:

  • Hang out on social media or watch the YouTube video stream for an hour+
  • Watch television
  • Gossip
  • Shopping for things you don’t actually need
  • Gorging on sugary foods (which leads to exhaustion and a non-productive day)
  • Texting or talking on the phone (instead of writing)
  • Over-cleaning the house
  • Helping others to avoid writing

 

Here is a to-do list:

  • Edit or proofread a short piece
  • Write a poem or flash fiction
  • Research a topic or person for your story
  • Read magazines on the writing craft
  • Read books on the writing craft
  • Take a writing workshop
  • Join a writing group (that does timed writing exercises)
  • Join an editing group
  • Visit a blog for writers
  • Make a list of agents
  • Make a list of editors or publishers
  • Research writers conferences
  • Attend a writers conference
  • Go for a walk and take your camera
  • Spend time with a writing buddy
  • Clean up your submission database

Feel free to add other enriching experiences to this list.

Once you get back on a schedule (and remember to take breaks to eat lunch and walk the dog), the procrastination monster return as often. Pat yourself on the back knowing that you have taken responsibility for your destiny as an author.

I am an author and a creativity coach who uses metaphysical tools. Contact me for a session at wholemusicexp at gmail.com My fees start at $100 an hour.

 

Transforming Seattle into a Fantasy Setting

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My first two novels took place in cities I have never visited or resided. And I read articles about becoming familiar with the places where stories are set, even if that meant looking up places in guidebooks.

Then slowly, I set my short fiction in the Pacific Northwest and then my fourth and fifth novels take place mainly in Washington State. And recently, I took a class on world-building for mainly speculative fiction even though authors build worlds for all genres.

This morning I woke up with the idea of presenting my version of Seattle in 2020 where I had set my fifth novel, Enter 5-D featuring Greek gods and other metaphysical characters. Using Seattle as a setting was perfect since I had lived there for 21 years from 1986 through 2007. This gave me inspiration to transform iconic locations into the landscape of my slightly dystopian fantasy based on the Greek story of Orpheus and his bride, Eurydice. And then I added the comical element.

Here are three of my transformational makeovers for Seattle:

The Public Market (aka Pike’s Place Market)

I used this location as an actual farmers market but also this is where I locate my grotto with the oracle stellar jay who is both the animal version of the Oracle of Delphi and the storyteller narrator (Greek chorus).

The story launches with Eurydice visiting the grotto and learning about her fate.

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The Gate to the River of the Dead (and to the Underworld where the musicians hang out), is located in Pioneer Square. And this is the location where Orpheus nearly connects with Eurydice to take her to the 5th Dimension but then his body is drawn back into the higher realm leaving Eurydice gaping. This is the conclusion of a dramatic set of scenes.

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And at any point in the novel, you will find angels and ascended masters driving their electric cars or zooming by on their silver-indigo bicycles on the downtown streets. It’s similar to the movie Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders where the angels were also hovering above or traveling through a major city (Berlin, Germany).

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And I will leave you with photos of Fremont even though Eurydice stayed with her friend Persephone in nearby Wallingford. And some dramatic scenes take place in the University District (I don’t have any photos).

 

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So How is this for world building from an existing city?

 

Photos and text by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved

Write it–From Writer’s Block to Inspiration

writer-1421099_1920I was once a prolific writer. I wrote posts for several blogs, music reviews, book reviews, articles, interviews, essays, a non-fiction book, a memoir, several novels, short fiction, and screenplays and then life happened…

First, I struggled with finding permanent housing which wore me out. Then I began suffering from arthritis to both of my hands along with tendonitis. Meanwhile,  the urge to write never left me even as time seemed to grow shorter and the demands on my time expanded. And I developed sympathy for other blocked writers or authors with good intentions who found themselves bogged down by their life concerns.

Good news. We aren’t stuck. And by taking a few steps forward we reignite our relationship with our muse and turn into writing machines once again.

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Dealing with life demands:

 

  • Set appropriate boundaries with others (say no)
  • Carve out 30 to 60 minutes each day to write (and stick to it)
  • If the household is too chaotic write at a public library
  • Meditate and ground your mind
  • Organize your time efficiently with a day planner
  • Exercise before writing (it opens up the flow and you prioritize yourself)
  • Carve out space in your home to write

 

Get inspired:

  • Start with a short piece to get into the swing
  • Edit an older piece
  • Read one of two blog posts (yours or another’s)
  • Read a book on the writing craft (and do an assignment)
  • Free write longhand
  • Daydream and see if any characters show up
  • Interview existing characters
  • Revisit your short fiction and chapters in novels
  • Research topics related to your characters
  • Get curious
  • Describe your character’s bedroom in detail
  • Describe your character’s morning routine in detail
  • Hold a conversation with your characters
  • Referee an argument with your characters
  • Take a writing class
  • Attend a writer’s workshop
  • Attend an open mic for writers
Or do like I’m doing and write a blog post to inspire other writers. And if you would like to work with a creative coach steeped in metaphysics, contact me for a session through Whole Astrology.

Poetry–In-Transit

DSCN0789I wrote “The Dim Sun” while I was waiting for a bus. And then I wrote “Zen Voyager” while I on the ferry to Port Townsend, Washington. I’m glad that I carried my notebook with me in my backpack.

The Dim Sun

Freshly cut grass tickled my nose, a sneeze exploded and broke the silence

And then bees buzzed life into sleeping trees; hummingbirds dazzled wearing sparkling rainbow light.

And across the way, robins scrambled in trees belting out their seasonal songs

While bloated worms came p for air and crows gathered like school kids trampling on the mud and moss.

The dim sun lingered on the horizon signaling a new dawn and the Earth

broke into

A smile.

 

The Zen Voyager

Snakelike, the island wrapped around itself, smug with its own existence

The marine air pungent from the entrails of fish–scales, spines, and fins

And the brine of the sea.

Gulls wheel in the sky and dive into the reflective water like blown-glass

Endless calm stretches out for miles we sail along with peace songs

Embracing our hearts and wise words swirl in our minds.

The Zen traveler on board, lightened burdens and spritely feet.

She doesn’t enter this passage by carrying the past nor will the

Future provide her treasure maps.

No, only this moments and these words exist for me.

Time and place, a forgotten space as I let go

And I nose-dive with the dolphins and ride on the backs of whales…

If only in my dreams.

I know one thing.

We are safe here.

We are at peace now.

And together, we weathered the passing storm.

 

 

All Rights Reserved copyright Patricia Herlevi 2018

 

Write It…Once Upon a Time & Other Beginnings

typewriter-584696_1920Unless we’re writing fairytales, we require original launches into our stories. Short story authors especially, wrote essays on succinct and enticing starts to short fiction. And this is doubly important with flash fiction. 

I once read a foreward to a short story collection where author Isabel Allende (one of the editors of the collection) mentioned that if you can’t nail your story within the first paragraph or two, the story won’t succeed. However, this sort of thinking often leads to writer’s block and other forms of procrastination.

For people such as me who free writes short fiction as oppose to plotting out my stories, I often balk at writing the introductions to short fiction. And yet, at other times, the stories come to me fully written complete with a seductive opening line.

Here are examples of introductions to both my short fiction and my novels. And my trick is to get everything on paper or on to a Word file. Then, I go back and rewrite the opening paragraphs. My writing grows stronger as I delve in more deeply with my characters and watch their movies in my thoughts.

 

“Marcos first encountered her face glimpsing through a crowd of shoppers. Next, he saw her slight frame draped in a black skirt that clung to her thighs and swirled around her knees, her white blouse hugged her torso and a pendant swung around her breasts like a pendulum.  Her body appeared and disappeared down the aisles of the natural grocer as she rushed about tossing tomatoes, mushrooms, mangos, and bags of flours into her cart, then ticking items off of a list—a true picture of elegance and efficiency.”—Apple of Seduction (short fiction)

“He never gave her the china cabinet or piano.  He gave her jewelry, clothing, china, and trinkets from countries he traveled to, but he failed to grant his wife the two things she wanted most in her life.”–The China Cabinet (short fiction)

“Miranda saw Pierre’s face reflected on a window of a coffee shop.  She battled against her doubts and stood frozen by the shop’s door, realizing that she could’ve pretended to browse the various exotic bags of coffee beans that strewn the shelves of the old world style shop. She could have drunk in all the smells of pastries baking in the back or reveled in the French swing jazz that wafted through the shop, but instead she dashed to the bus station to catch her connection.”–Love Quadrangle (novel)

“She fascinated me–the way Maggie flipped her hair back with a whisk of her hand while she played her instrument. All in one motion she swiped the hair away from her face and strummed her guitar without missing a beat.  In my foolish girl heart, I imitated Maggie–carefree and indifferent to consequences.”–Maggie Magdalene (short fiction)

I think this suffices as examples. I still go back to my old stories and rewrite or polish the introductions. As we evolve as writers, we owe it to ourselves to revitilize our archival stories by applying new tools and techniques. And often times, this proves more fruitful then starting from scratch.

Often times, our original stories already have solid bones. As we improve as writers, we don’t need to reinvent the stories but we do need to reinvest in them. Some stories haunt us for years until we flesh them out, polish the beginnings and strengthen the conclusions.

I have written screenplays, novels, and short fiction since my thirties. I concentrated on mainly poetry and song lyrics in my twenties. And I’ve learned that we must show up with courage in our hearts to embrace the creative spirit or muse. Some stories require finessing over the years until we get it right or get into the zone.

We surrender what doesn’t work and then we wait it out until inspiration fires us up. That could be one day, two weeks, or three years before that happens. In the meantime, we go back to the drawing board with a different story or work on another creative project. Then when the time is right and inspiration strikes, we write that seamless story that leaves our readers breathless.

All Rights Reserved, copyright Patricia Herlevi

Except image which is from Pix a Bay.