Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year . . . and GCC

I was working on all sorts of goals for 2008. Get organized. Lose 15 pounds. Keep a log of books read.

Then, some buddies and I exchanged "happy new year" e-mails and the two things I listed, that seem worth mentioning again, are laugh more, stress less and enjoy what I have. One of my friends included this quote from Henry van Dyke in her response:

"Are you willing ... to own, that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life"

I let that roll around on my tongue and thought, yes, that's worth repeating several times. . . and then passing on through my blog.

Here's something else to pass on (and another good way to start the year). I'm happy to be "touring" Colleen Thompson whose novel The Salt Maiden was a Romantic Times BOOKreviews Top Pick. Here's Colleen in her own words-

1.) How did you come up with the idea for this book? Are you more driven by plot or by character?
Generally, I begin with a scenario, a pressing problem followed by the type of character who would be most challenged by it. In the case of THE SALT MAIDEN, however, I was inspired by a desolate stretch of West Texas desert, honeycombed with caverns and made barren by its high salt content. An image flashed into my mind of a woman's body, curled like a fetus and mummified by salt in one of those dry caves. I could see it in detail, and eventually, the rest of the story fell into place around that vision.

2.) Who's your favorite character in this book and why?
Dana Vanover is a very relatable heroine to me. A Houston veteranarian who is recovering from both a hysterectomy (at age 31) and a messy breakup, she's struggling to deal with her own issues when pressed to find her missing, perpetual screw-up of an older sister, Angie. Dana's deeply conflicted about this, but she's too caring an individual (in spite of her best efforts) to turn her back.

3.) What's your writing process/writing environment like?

I'm definitely the tortoise. I get up every morning and struggle through the day's pages. Occasionally, I'm really inspired and blaze away, but mostly it's hard work. I bought a laptop so I wouldn't feel so trapped in my perpetually-cluttered office, but I still do my best work at home.

4.) What's your favorite part of writing?
I love the brainstorming and proposal-writing stage, where everything is fresh and new and fluid. This part is most like play for me. The rest feels more like hard work.

5.) What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten about writing?
A writer friend named Christie Craig says her dad's a plumber and he never gets up in the morning and says, "Today I've got plumber's block." If you want the payday, to say nothing of the personal satisfaction and the happy readers, you have to put in the sweat equity to earn it.

Check out Colleen's blog, too.


Colleen Thompson said...

Thanks for letting me stop by. I wish you all the best in '08!

Carleen Brice said...

Colleen, I love this title! And the quote about plumber's block is priceless. Thanks for sharing!

Judy, your resolutions and the quote from your friend inspire me.

Colleen Thompson said...

Thank you, Carleen. I love that quote, too. :)

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Colleen, it's great to have you here!

Carleen, Thanks, and I love that "plumber's block" quote too.

Daisy said...

so many books, so little time...I have a B&N gift card that needs to be used. This might be it. Incidentally, I never wake up and say I have "teacher's block" either. :)

Colleen Thompson said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Daisy. Btw, I was a teacher for 15 years. My debut romantic suspense, Fatal Error, was about a teacher in big trouble. :)

Have fun book shopping! I love getting B&N gift cards.

Sustenance Scout said...

Plumber's block! Love it! :) K.

Sustenance Scout said...

Forgot to add: Nice to "meet" you, Colleen! And Happy New Year to you and Judy! K.

Larramie said...

I've tagged you today for a rather interesting meme that YOU will enjoy, Judy. Please see my Wednesday post.