Last Monday, I was talking about following your creative dream and taking encouragement from the great works that can come from following your creative muse. (Which is the connection to the picture of a rose. ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’, true; but it took Shakespeare to tell us so.)
This week, I want to see evidence.
The lovely Gabrielle, of Gabbawrites has tagged me to participate in the ‘look’ challenge. I’m going to participate (you know me, I’ll go to the opening of an enevelope) and my contribution is below (along with the challenge ‘rules’).
But I’ve done this one before, so this time, as well as putting in my two cents’ worth, I’d like to mix it up a bit and offer you, gentle readers, a challenge.
I want you to show me what you’ve got.
Writing-wise, that is. This is a family show.
If you’re already out and proud with your writing – if you have a novel or a short story or whatever available for sale – I want to know about it. Not so much the blurb – you can give us a buy link and we can read that there. I want to know what makes you excited about this story. Is is your first? Is it your first in a new style? Is it something you’ve been wanting to do for a long time? Is it a subject close to your heart? This post is all about living the dream of creating, so what about THIS work expresses your dream?
Or maybe your blog is your creative dream project. When I was younger, I used to dream of having a column in a newspaper. I never did pursue that dream, partly because much of the satisfaction I imagined I would get from that I know get from this blog. Is that true for you? If your heart is in your blog, tell me about it (and don’t forget the link so we can come and see it).
But I don’t only want to hear from people already ‘out’.
I also want to hear from people who are working away, so far unrecognised. Do you have a novel, a short story, a poem, a play, a stand-up routine, that is hiding, waiting to see the light of day? What’s your dream for that creation? Is is publication? Is it just to finish? Share it with us! They say that a trouble shared is a trouble halved. I believe that a dream articulated is a dream starting to become a reality. So don’t be shy. (Bear in mind that I am the person who stood up in a writing workshop and said that my dream was to outsell JK Rowling. No dream is too crazy, too ‘out there’ for me!)
And if you don’t have writing of your own, but you want to join in, feel free to share some other creation – knitting, sewing, cooking, whittling the bones of your enemies – whatever floats your boat. Or share something from a favourite book, old or new. I’m always looking for more things to put on the TBR pile!
So, down to details:
The idea of the original challenge is to find the first use of the word ‘look’ in your manuscript and post the surrounding couple of paragraphs as a little ‘look’ into your work. the excerpt below is from my contemporary romance – my debut book! Squee! Due out 15th October – Rules are for Breaking. It’s from very early in the first chapter, when the heroine, Jo, is having the hard word put on her to help out a friend-of-a-friend.
‘Your niece or nephew is a concealed weapon, at least as far as my body is concerned. Would you look at me? I am approximately the size of the Hindenburg and I swear I can hear myself creaking when I move. And still your brother insists that I am beautiful. What did I do to deserve him?’
She smiled into the middle distance and Jo shook her head.
‘And he thinks he doesn’t deserve you. You do know that you two are positively sickening, don’t you?’ Jo sighed and tried to look severe, but her friend’s happy glow defeated her and she found herself grinning foolishly. She cleared her throat of the sudden lump that had formed in it and changed the subject.
‘So, remind me again why I am putting up this Doolan —’
‘— sorry, Declan character for a few weeks?’
Not the most fascinating excerpt, but I’m sticking to the rules! (You can bend them, but more on that later.)
Now, on to the second part. This story is special to me because it’s my first published book, of course, but also because it’s a story that didn’t find a home straight away. The publisher I originally wrote it for didn’t like it and, while I could see the validity of the editor’s criticisms, I decided not to change it as it was the story I wanted to tell. Then one day, a different editor asked to see it and she did like it. So now it has a home and a cover and, with a bit of luck, soon, readers. Some of whom probably won’t like it, but some of whom will, I hope.
And now it’s over to you. If you have a work with the word ‘look’ in it, by all means use that as a way of choosing your snippet. Or just choose any small sample of your work and share – and don’t forget to tell us why it’s an expression of your dream and put in a link so we can see more. And invite your friends to join in too. I’d love for this to become a regular celebration of all that is good about following your creative urges!