Tag Archives: magic realism

The 5-Week Author Blog Challenge 2015 – Day 10

Prompt 10

Describe your process for outlining your book. What do you do to stay organized? Do you use a software like Scrivener? Index cards? Sticky notes? Giant posterboards taped to the wall?

Is it OK to say that I do most of this in my head? While this is where I do most of my work, I do create documents to help navigate the complexities of the story I am trying to tell. I create a folder for everything related to the story.

Some of the documents include;

  • basic cast of characters; this gets added to as I navigate through the story
  • a narrative outline
  • separate documents with key interactions with other characters named by the other characters
  • files with background research (say, international travel in 1960 or the various forms of love, philosophy)
  • a character spread sheet
  • the story – in bits
  • the story as a whole

Wow, I guess there is more to my madness than I thought. I have thought about going the route of purchasing something but frugal is a gentle word for me and I would hate myself for buying something and not using the hell out of it!  So, that option is out for me… at least for now!

I wish that I could say that these work well for me… but I don’t write enough to think it is particularly effective. I suppose though, I should celebrate that there is something  actually that is written down.

Here is a second excerpt:

Clara’s parents suffered each other, as that is what unhappy married people did in those days, suffer the space the other occupied in their lives, though the pain was diminished by Clara’s presence in their life and was only acutely felt when she was not near them.

Katarina and Victor managed to have one other child, after Clara and because of Clara. Her presence alone was able to ignite another night of passion, though it was short-lived because she could not stay next to them.  They had boy who was conceived on a night that neither parents recalls after putting Clara to bed, and thus the baby boy was entrusted with the gift of oblivion. Clotilde, who had become a faithful servant to the family prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus when she pulled Theodore from Katarina’s body. Later, Clotilde would claim that she heard angels weep when Theo was born. Clotilde felt a devout devotion to the child as well, partly due, of course, to the presence of Clara in the room with them.

As a schoolgirl she had friends in everyone that crossed her path, and her presence alone would manage to make even the most vile of bullies and hateful people to stop what they were doing  and the most meek to smile and wave.  She was a remarkably happy girl, she had been taught to curtsy to everyone she met. Adults were filled with delight as this beautiful little girls with her pony tails in corkscrew curls would stretch one leg out behind her and dip low on the leg in front, lowering her head in a gesture of respect. The adult for whom this gesture was being performed would often roar with delight and little Clara would look up and beam at the happiness in their faces.

Clotilde watched Clara grow and realized that while Clara was a happy child, that there was something amiss. Clotilde surmised that perhaps it was that Clara felt very lonely as her ability to love was unsurpassed by any other person around. Clotilde surmised that the young girl in some way suffered through the tremendous amount of love that she exuded and that it was not that she did not feel love, it was that Clara had yet to meet someone who would fill her heart with the kind of love that created her and for that, she was still much too young. Clotilde was not entirely wrong, for it was indeed that Clara longed to be loved as much as she was capable of loving but it was not the kind of love Clotilde imagined.

Anyone have any thoughts? Am I being silly for sharing?


My hat tip today goes to Habit Daddy… aside from posting pictures of a beloved park near my home, shares with me a transition from night-owl to morning person and what it has brought us…. he advocated for vodka in a previous post of his and I kind of like the idea! A good read!

The 5-Week Author Blog Challenge 2015 – Day 6

Take us through your writing process. Do you keep a regular writing schedule? Do you write on your laptop or longhand? Do you have a favorite place to write? Are you most inspired in the morning, afternoon, evening, or middle of the night?

Ohhhhh. Emmmmmm. Geeeeee.

I wish I thought I even had a writing process… or even a writing schedule. I have a bunch of files in google docs, separated out into folders. Some have ideas, other have actual writing, some have pitiful versions of outlines. I write on my phone, my desktop and even a laptop.. ok, in the interest of full disclosure I haven’t written at all recently. That is exactly why I am here today, doing this blog challenge… though it is easy to do when you have prompts. I can write the answers to the prompts, getting myself to open one of my folders is another story. I don’t do it. I get to the point that I rarely even think about it except as I am drifting off to sleep.

OK… I will just do it!

So here, for your perusal are the first two paragraphs (which is all I can bear to share, mainly from shame, but I do have about 70 pages of this story down in all kinds of stages of development):

Clara was a very happy child, this is in spite of her parents disdain for each other as well as her brothers most innocent oblivion.

She and her family, and all the servants, lived in an old home whose walls were filled with the memories of all who had lived and loved there before.  The memories were often made better by her mere presence in the house. It was amazing how hate or indifference seemed to shrink away in her vicinity. Couples arguing as they walked in front of the family home stopped arguing and would begin to giggle like young lovers, cars would slow down, and even the stray cats and dogs that roamed around her neighborhood would stop and rest against the walls enclosing her home; the cats purring, the dogs wagging their tails, and birds singing a lovely song.

Clara was conceived at the the apex of her parents love.  He mother, Katarina, and father, Victor, must have entrusted all the love their bodies could posses to her, as they never seemed to like each other much after that one spectacular night in which Clara was conceived. As a result of their magnificent lovemaking, Clara was endowed with fawn eyes, a generous spirit, and the ability to nurture love with a glance or a delicate touch of her hand. When the midwife, Clotilde,  pulled Clara’s small little body from her mother almost ten months later, she fell hopelessly in love with the beautiful baby and made a silent vow to Saint Raphael to help her protect this divine little girl.   In later years Clotilde would say that angels sang when Clara was born.

I would appreciate any and all feedback!


Today the hat tip goes out to Ashley Howland. She writes books for children and they all look fascinating! (note to self, add to wishlist – check)