Today’s prompt is this beautiful image. Let the image speak to you.
It drew me in and I wrote what it inspired in a stream of consciousness.
Curtains of rain fall. Thundering upon the pavement. Running in every direction. Splashes soak coat hems and legs alike. Rivulets steadily flow together. Along gutters and crevices. Cars drive past creating waves. Flooding shoes and boots. All heads are hooded and facing downward. Speech impossible. Eagerness to be home the driving force.
A glance sees a girl. Standing as if a statue. Tattered umbrella sheltering her head. Fanning raindrops in a circle around her. Thigh length boots below a flimsy dress. An opened coat. Not affected by the cold dampness. Gazing at trickles becoming a stream. Her skin deathly white. Radiates a glow. No sway of body. Or blink of eye. Ramrod posture.
Unable to bear the torrent. Turn away. Homeward bound. Unanswered question.
Writing both energizes and exhaust me, depending at what stage I am in the writing process. Coming up with cool plot lines and ideas, as well as character development is fun and energizing but about half way through the book, I bog down and get tired. A bit of writing ADHD?
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Chocolate. Laundry. Anything I can use to procrastinate!
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Absolutely! Still haven’t ruled it out in fact.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I didn’t have any writer friends until I decided to go on a writers retreat. It was there I learned I could call myself a writer even if I didn’t have a bestseller.
Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
Both. Some will be connected, some absolutely not.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Time away; retreats, get-aways, whatever I need to do to focus.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I remember coming home from grade one, waving my reader. I was so excited, and so amazed at the world that was opened up to me through the words. I have never forgotten that feeling of awe and amazement.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I’m not sure it is under-appreciated but I loved The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I was hooked beginning with the first paragraph; such lyrical words and such a beautiful picture she painted.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Gosh, I really don’t know. Maybe the A&W Root Bear?
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
What does literary success look like to you?
People like what they read and my writings make a difference in this world.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I don’t do much research, as the type of books I have written don’t really require it. I may research the odd thing as I go along, just to make sure I have a name right or something. Most of my writing is based in some way on real life.
How many hours a day/week do you write?
Very sporadic and not disciplined. It can be from 20 hours to zero, sometimes one week after the other.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I try them on with their character to see if there is a fit or not. Pure gut instinct.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
My first book just happened. I call it my accidental book. It is a collection of FB posts from the time I announced my son had taken his life until about a year later. The second was a children’s book. Coming up I have a novel that walks the line between romance and smut (lol!). I also have a collection of stories that all involved the same women going through different things in their lives.
There is no real balancing as I go with what I am in the mood for and tend to work on that one until I am finished.
How long have you been writing?
Since I learned to read. I don’t really remember not writing.
What inspires you?
If I can find a place of solitude and peace with little distractions, lots of sleep and nature, I find that is when my creativity flourishes.
How do you find or make time to write?
Honestly, I don’t find enough time. I fit it in for the most part.
What projects are you working on at the present?
Finishing a novel is my primary focus right now.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I have a few non-fiction ideas that I would like to work on when I have the time to do the necessary research and interviews. There just are not enough hours in the day!
Carla Howatt lives in Alberta, Canada where she helped raise four children, two husbands and a pug. She is a recovering politician and business owner. A communicator at heart, Carla is also a proud introvert, port inhaler, and dark chocolate hunter.
Musical fiction is a genre of fiction in which music is the main subject matter of the narrative. It can also be through the rhythm and flow of the prose itself. As a literary sub-genre it engages musical pretexts, as well a relationship to a musical model.
June Skinner stated in her book, The Best of Rock Fiction – “Rock fiction has not received the proper respect it deserves, which is unfortunate given the caliber of writers who have captured its fleeting essence on the written page.”
Novels written with a musical component can be base on the era, a personality or a vehicle to set the ‘mood’ of the narrative.
One of my favorites is High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, the movie of the same name starring John Cusack was full of musical references.
1. Does writing energize or exhaust you? It depends on the project and on my readiness to tackle the subject. To be open and vulnerable in my poetry and life writing requires risk and that frightens me sometimes. On the other hand, my best work helps me let go of my fears. 2. What is your writing Kryptonite? Family crises, mood swings and poor self-discipline.
3. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? No, but now that you mention it, it might be freeing. 4. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? Writers Foundation of Strathcona County are encouraging, accepting and creative. 5. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? All of my writing is focused on writing as a tool for personal growth. 6. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? Too many! Poetry (Pipers Dream); Family history and memoir (Home and Away); Novel (Mile Zero); Nonfiction (Writing with Inner Child; Diving the Sea of Emotion; Process of Perspective). 7. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? Research is one of my favourite activities because it reflects my love of learning. Non-fiction and fiction – reading on the subject. Google on specific aspects. Symbolism.
8. How many hours a day/week do you write? Not enough. I’m aiming for 2 hours every morning. I am very inconsistent and that is something I am trying to correct. 9. How do you select the names of your characters? Usually some symbolic aspect of their personality. For example, in my novel the main character Claire is becoming more enlightened. 10. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? Personal writing is self-expressive and spiritual. Poetry is symbolic. All my writing is aimed at finding life’s depth, meaning and purpose.
11. How long have you been writing? Poetry since 1974 and life writing for at least 30 years. 12. What inspires you? Nature. People. Mindfulness. Life events. New ideas. New insight. 13. What projects are you working on at the present? Blogs. I’ve neglected my website for the past few months so I want to update and add new ideas. Final edits to my book of fairy tales, which is coming soon! It is called “Life is Not a Fairy Tale” and will be released by Dream Write Publishing before Christmas. 14. Share a link to your author website. http://kathiesutherland.com/
Kathie Sutherland is the author of Things We Keep, a memoir in essay form, and a self-published author of several poetry books: balancing Act; Shadow Girls in the Spotlight;Wind in the Trees; and Seeking Asylum. She is presently completing final edits on a collection of Fairy Tales, and has several large writing projects in the works including a “self-help” book and two life writing workbooks.
Kathie is a well-traveled and observant student of life with 30 years of writing experience. In the past, she has facilitated journal writing workshops. Currently, she acts as a Story Listener for elderly Lodge residents as they share life stories and she facilitates a reminiscence group there.
Today’s prompt is two-fold. Firstly, a theme: A Fall Walk and secondly, words to include: bird, wheel, envelope.
Here is my response:
Gerald replaced the letter into the envelope, folded it in half and pushed into his jacket pocket. With a scarf wrapped tightly around his neck to keep the fall chill from creeping in, he pulled on gloves and his heavy hiking boots.
“I’m just popping out for some fresh air, Martha.”
“All right, dear, the soup will take about two hours, so don’t go too far.”
Gerald tutted under his breath. Martha always had a schedule and woe betide you if you didn’t keep to it. He called back as he exited the warmth of the house and entered the golden hued avenue.
“I’ll be on time, Martha.”
With determined steps, he walked along the treed avenue focused on his destination. Turning a corner a bird flew upward from its foraging in the leaf litter startling him.
“Silly bird!” he turned to follow the bird’s flight path and tripped. Stumbling with hands outstretched to save himself. One hand became entangled in the wheel of a bicycle and Gerald and the rider crumpled into a heap on the verge.
“Oh my God! I’m so sorry. I tried to stop when I saw you falling but wasn’t quick enough. Are you okay?” The young man’s voice was tense with worry.
“Just a bit shocked. Although, I think I may have hurt my hand.”
“Let me see. Can you take off the glove?”
Gerald pulled at the woollen material and winched.
“Oh, that doesn’t look good. I’m going to call an ambulance.”
“It’s just bruised, an ice pack will suffice, I’m sure.”
“Well you will have to do that quickly. I should come with you to make sure it is not more serious. I’m a doctor.”
Gerald looked at the young man- how can you be a doctor? You look as though you’re in high school. Not wanting to be rude, Gerald kept his thoughts to himself.
“I live just up here. It’s not necessary to come – really.”
Gerald let the doctor accompany him home. Martha, of course, made a huge fuss. The envelope’s content would have to wait another day.