Write on Wednesday: Keep the Headlights On

At one of my Working Writers Forum group, one of our members brought in this quote. “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”  — E. L. Doctorow

dreamstime_xs_54735228

I thought about that again this week. I am now polishing and rearranging scenes so the time line works in the first draft of the third novel in my Caribbean romantic suspense series. The novel takes place in the summer of 2004 on the island of St. Lucia in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. There is a beginning date and an end date.

Things were getting a little foggy so I googled a calendar for that year. I was also able to find out when the full moons happened. I had put full moons in several of the scenes and needed to find out if they fit in the timeline. If they didn’t it required a decision about putting the scene in a different place or not having the full moon be an important plot device.

It’s been eleven years since the last book (Circle of Dreams) and it often feels like I am writing in the fog. So it was heartening to hear a writer like E.L. Doctorow remind me that the whole book can be written that way.  I am hoping the sun will illuminate the final draft.

 

 

Write on Wednesday – April 18, 2018

It was a trip to Key West that made me begin to wonder about what is considered writing. I was taking my daily early morning walk from one end of Duval to the other, skirting the guys out power washing the sidewalks from the drunken excesses of the night before.

Image

At least that’s what I thought they must be doing. My husband and I don’t do Duval after 8pm so maybe Key West shop owners just like really clean sidewalks in front of their stores.

It was the t-shirt shops that caught my attention. There are words on most of those t-shirts and somebody has to write them.  I tried to imagine when I would wear a shirt that proclaimed “Don’t Be a Pussy, Eat One.”

Image

Okay, maybe that’s a gender specific t-shirt (or maybe not), but you get the picture. And that was tame compared to some. You’d have to be pretty drunk to buy these shirts and even drunker to wear them in public. My question is “are t-shirt slogans writing?”

That made me think of greeting cards. Okay. Maybe not literary, but it is writing, right? Romance novels? You betcha! My first novel was paranormal suspense. Definitely not literary, but I’ll stick up for Romance Writers. Writing doesn’t have to be literary. Blogs. Sure, blogs are writing. But, what about texts with abbreviated words? Twitter?

I rarely read literary ficiton any more – still getting over being an English major in college, although I am recently dipping into poetry. I read almost solely for pleasure and relaxation so thinking too hard when reading doesn’t work for me any more. That said, being reduced to reading  t-shirt slogans on my Kindle would be a special kind of Hell. However, reading autocorrect fails is hilarious.

I suppose it all comes down to words and intention. One word, written with intention is writing. Even if it’s on a t-shirt.

Note: This post was originally published on April 30, 2012.