Thursday, March 27, 2014



 Artwork courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

     We feel sorrow, sympathy and fear when we read the newspapers or see photographs of the southern Indian ocean where victims of Flight 370 are said to lie. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends but we are writers and there is something inside of us that will write an ending if it is not found.

     More than 100-years ago, our parents learned of the Titanic--a 46,328-ton British liner that sunk after hitting an iceberg on her maiden voyage to New York. At least 1,500 people are said to have drowned. Prominent members of society, the rich and the famous were amongst the lost.
     Books were written, films made, posters, television shows and even a Broadway musical. Writers had to write about the dramatic circumstances, the beautiful people, the tragedy. 
     In 1985, the ship was found by American and French researchers on the bottom of the ocean south of Newfoundland.
     Today, no one knows why or how Flight 370 was lost and writers will pen tragedies, fantasies, mysteries and scientific novels about the passengers, the pilots, the conflict between nations and the plane's diversion by using their imagination to construct an ending.
     Are you one of the writers?



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Thursday, March 20, 2014


Courtesy of Wikepedia

     This morning as I sipped my coffee and listened to WQXR, our city’s public radio station for classical music, Jeff Spurgeon—the knowledgeable and delightful morning host of the program—was about to play one of George Gershwin’s most famous songs I Got Rhythm. Spurgeon mentioned that Gershwin was inspired by a musician he heard warming up by practicing several notes on his trumpet.
     Seeds of future writings often take root in authors, when we become fascinated by bits of dialogue overheard in a restaurant, shop or train, the look on a person’s face, a memory of something that happened to ourselves, a friend, relative or acquaintance, a walk on the hard concrete of the city’s streets or a landscape that in our mind defines a foreign country. Weeks, months, years later the bits and lines we jot down in a notebook or on a scrap of paper and throw in a drawer—our warm-up—becomes  a cast of characters—people with needs, desires, opportunities and thwarted hopes. The landscape may be the backdrop or part of the action. We begin a short story, a play or a novel with the scraps that have grown, been transformed, and conjured into something new, something different, a tale we want and need to tell. 
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Thursday, March 13, 2014



 Photo by Qtrix
     I have unfinished stories rattling around in my brain. bits of information stored in files on my computer, jotted on pieces of paper--sometimes a line, sometimes a title, once in awhile an entire paragraph or page.
     The story is waiting for the heroine or the hero. Perhaps I have to decide on the villain. Often I have met the characters but the plot is fuzzy. Then one day--often when I least expect it--the story jells and I can sit down at the computer and begin. When I reach the end, I go back to the beginning and as Oscar Hammerstein wrote, "A very good place to start."
     My characters often change my mind about things. The villain declares he is not really evil and the heroine says she is definitely not  a namby-pamby while a secondary character tries to get into the act. It's time to rewrite and then go back again and again. Read the story aloud and decide if it's good to go.

     How about you? Is your brain rattling with unfinished stories waiting to escape?


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