Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Turning over a New Genre

For the past three years almost all of my writing has been in the young adult fantasy genre. It has been stretching for me, and I've felt my writing grow and improve as I have been writing outside of my comfort zone. Prior to Seeking Solace I had written mostly poetry and a few personal reflection pieces. The step into fantasy was a bit of a doozy, but I have found myself growing more comfortable with the imagination required of genre. I am not walking away from fantasy, and I am still working diligently on installment 2 of the Older Series, but I have a new project flitting around in my mind.

I am beginning to outline a historical work that would focus on my favorite family vacation spot from my growing up years. I do not want to give too much detail just yet as this is in the early phase of brainstorming, but I am so excited about it that I wanted to share that something new was brewing. I am undecided as to whether the book would be purely historical, more memory/memoir oriented, theological reflections on the importance of place, or maybe some strange admixture of all of these things. What I do know is that for the first time I will need to do some intensive research for the sake of historical accuracy. I will be digging through boxes of old pictures, property deeds, receipts, and interviewing people who will share (I hope!) the memories that will make this place come to life.

We'll see what develops. :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Writing a Story from a Magazine Picture

This month's writing challenge was to choose a picture from a magazine and write a story to go with it. I had just taken all my magazines to recycling - all except two Woman's Day magazines (which we actually subscribe to because my husband enjoys the articles on organization, and he likes to point out new recipes for me to make). In those two magazines, I only found two interesting pictures for story-writing. Here's the story that emerged from this Febreze ad:

Slowly, deliberately, I raise my arm in front of me. Clutched in my hands is the only weapon that assures victory. Its bright purple nozzle brings hope that someday soon the particles of germ infestation will no longer have the upper hand. As I'm walking around the cluttered room, I hear a noise that alerts me to the beginning of the battle.

Ah - Ah - Ah - Choo! A small sneeze that contaminates a blue pillow nearby.

Instinctively, my finger pulls the trigger on my weapon. Without delay, a fragrant rush of antimicrobial solution meets the rush of bacteria on the surface of the pillow. I watch a white flag raise over the pillow and I know that victory is mine - at least in this small corner of the room.

Moment by moment I am assaulted by coughs, sneezes, and discarded facial tissues. With each attack I counter, and white flags are hoisted high all over the room. I cannot say for sure how long the battle lasts, but just as I feel too weary to continue, silence envelopes the room. I have emerged victorious!

My husband looks at me blankly. I think perhaps he is surprised by what he hears. Then I smile at him and say coyly, "THAT is what I do all day!"