Of Momentum and Hope

It would be so easy to say that the life of a writer is made up of many ups and downs. Such as finishing a challenging piece of writing, seeing it rejected, possibly many times, before—if we’re lucky—having it accepted or winning a prize. But the truth is there are so many other little things in between.

Suppose, in the case of a good writing friend, you meet a huge deadline you set for yourself. Or maybe a famous writer that you just followed on Twitter follows you back! And then there’s the moment you finally settle on the perfect word for what you’re trying to say. “For your born writer,” says Catherine Drinker Bowen, “nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”

Small victories are important but so are the small roadblocks. Suppose you can’t find a book that you just know is in your library, but you stumble on another one you know you need to read. Then there’s having an essay you worked on for months get rejected. It’s crushing at first, but if it compels you to work a little harder on a troublesome paragraph, that decline can turn into a boon.

All of these little steps –good, bad, or serendipitous—are part of the same thing: momentum. And this is the life force of a writer. Momentum is also the energy of being alive. It starts with the decision to get out of bed in the morning. To keep that date with your writing desk. To go on a walk with your husband to see the blooms on the quince tree. And then finding a bird’s nest lodged in the branches.

Momentum is much more than forward movement. It is hope. And this is something we can all use a little more of right now.


Share Your Writing with the World!

cup-3488805_1280Submission is an exciting step in a writer’s life, and for some of us, it can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! If one of your writing resolutions for 2020 is to delve into the exciting waters of submission, why not get an early start? Join us on Saturday, January 4, 2020 from 9:30 – Noon at the Charlotte Center for Literary Arts, Inc., 1817 Central Avenue, #302, in Charlotte to learn how simple (and fun) writing for publication can be!

Bring a polished piece of original work (poetry, short fiction, or nonfiction) and leave with all the tools you need to submit your writing and become a published author. You may even win a prize along the way. We’ll tackle market research for journals, newspapers, magazines and contests, submission systems, cover letters and short biographies.

Register here: https://www.charlottelit.org/event/submissions-and-contests/

I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year! I look forward to seeing you soon.


Calling all Type A’s!

Are you a Type A person? Trying to do too much? If you’re like Margaret Freeman, the office manager of McMullen Quality Pre-Owned Automobiles and one of the main characters in Naked and Hungry, you may be on STRESS OVERLOAD!

To be fair, poor Margaret suffers from stress on all sides. For an example, read this exchange between Margaret and H.T.

“You’re late again,” said Margaret. “And why can’t you just once dress up for work?”

“What’s wrong with my T-shirt?” asked H.T. “Is it the saying you object to?”

“ ‘I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.’ C’mon H.T., some people might take that as an insult.”

“Not our customers. They want one just like it., ” says H.T. “Hey, where’s Julio?”

“Out back, where else? You know he’s been like a man possessed, working on that Chevy. We’ve got other vehicles we need to fix up, H.T. In fact, we’ve had at least two people stop to ask about that Bobcat, but you know as well as I do that its engine needs to be rebuilt.”

For fun, and in celebration of our upcoming reading at Spa at Bell House on August 19, take a moment to participate in our trivia contest and identify the  major stress factor in Margaret’s life.

Tune in next time for the answer, the recommended Spa Bell House treatment for Margaret, and more details. In the meantime, RSVP for the event and make plans to join us on Friday, August 19. We’ll be reading a section from the book, giving away a special prize, but most importantly, enjoying some great food and conversation in the company of friends. Now that’s the ultimate stress-buster!