Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pen or Keyboard?

park bench, chesapeake bay, northeast river, storm
I wonder how many writers still like to use a pen and a pad of paper over a computer? I find it refreshing to use a pen once in a while but my fingers are a little slower at cursive writing than they are at playing the keyboard. When I want to get outside and enjoy some sunshine, my computer screen is unreadable and writing on paper is my only alternative.

I wrote my last story, Uncle Ray sitting outside in my backyard wrapped in a blanket in a corner of sunlight

I like sitting outside to find inspiration for new stories from the animals, people and general life living just outside my periphery. Writers' Digest has an interesting article for breaking through the block in their article, How to Overcome Writer's Block Like a Bestselling Author. Another tool I like to use is to put down just words on a page. One word conjures up a lot of imagination in my brain and when I surround it with other words, a story evolves. For instance, maybe I would write dog, snow, car, speed and I bet you would already be thinking of a story. I like to use regular things that I see or hear and develop a story from there.

Here is a short excerpt from Uncle Ray:

A long time ago, when I was a girl of about ten years old, I remember Uncle Ray coming into my life. I didn’t know anything about him before that and never really cared to ask anyone. Maybe I was self-centered, but I think most kids are at that age. The reason I remember him at age ten is because that is when my life changed drastically with the death of my father. He died simply - nothing dramatic or earth shattering that would make the morning headlines in the newspaper; it was just a car accident to the rest of the world. He was driving home after work one day and was driving down the highway as normal when a delivery truck crossed over the median strip and hit him head on. If my Dad had been wearing a seatbelt, he might have had a chance at living, or at least that’s what the police officer told my mother afterwards, as if that could help anything. He almost never wore a seatbelt, he didn’t think he needed to since he only worked five miles away. A simple accident they said, but they had no idea the depth of horror I went through thinking of my Dad being crushed against his windshield and the heaviness of the grief that made my stomach hurt for days. Death is never simple.