Here you will find everything to do with writing, whether it is my writing or what I'm learning from reading books on writing. Reading, vocabulary, and grammar are the tools of the trade. The very best people to learn from are the ones who are seasoned writers who teach writing. You would be wise to enlist them as your mentors, as I have.
I will never forget the day my first book arrived in the mail. I was excited to open the box and see the book that I had spent so long, about a year, in writing even though the idea had come to me at least another year previous to actually writing it. It represented so much more than just a solid book with a little over 300 pages. It was who I was, who I have always wanted to be, who I believed for so many years was not good enough or smart enough. The person who wrote this book could write and had creative thoughts and ideas and could complete if not a tome at least a book worthy of bragging about as in "it is 300 pages." That takes quite a bit of time and effort and concentration and planning. And it isn't something everyone can do.
As my husband, Jim, said, "You know, my grandfather started his own business and he was successful but the building is gone where his store was and no one remembers it, except the few people who were around in that neighborhood at that time. But a book....that's around forever!" Yes, he was quite proud of my first book, as was I. And although he was a tremendous help in getting this book self-published, there would be no book if I hadn't written it.
As an author, I use a variety of instruments to pen words on paper, in notebooks, or journals. At night I write a grateful list and a few words about my day. I prefer pens to pencils, particularly the gel pens, because they use bright ink and never skip. My penmanship has changed over the years and when I look back at the style of my writing, I wonder if it reflects a change in my personality, who I was, and who I am now. There are people who actually study the loops in letters and can tell you what this tells you about the person who wrote it.
Carolyn Chute was 38 when "The Beans of Egypt, Maine" was published in 1985, providing the author, who lived at poverty level, with commercial success with five hard cover printings in the first three months and almost 200,000 books sold in the first eight months.
Author of such Sci-Fi classics as "The Martian Chronicles", "Fahrenheit 451", and "Something Wicked This Way Comes", Bradbury, like all the other writers I've introduced here previously, believed that as long as you keep writing, you are not a failure. "The average young person....seems to have the motto, 'If at first you don't succeed, stop right there.' They want to start at the top of their profession and not to learn their art on the way up." Bradbury wrote everyday of his life except weekends which were for his family. He believed material things were not important. Getting the work done 'beautifully and proudly' is important. The money will come as a reward for creating beautiful work. Things don't belong to you. All you'll ever have is yourself.
In this interview when Truman Capote was 42, right before "In Cold Blood" was published, Capote is excited about this new kind of book, the "non-fiction novel."
Born in 1924 to his 16 year old mother, a restless and intelligent spirit, at 18 his mother went to college. By the time she graduated his parents were divorced and he was sent to live with his elderly uncle and three elderly ladies. It was a lonely life in a remote part of Alabama but it was here that he became interested in writing. When he left school at 17, he went right to work in the art department at the New Yorker (painting was also a deep interest).