What It’s Like to Write

writingToday, we’d like to share a piece written by another member of our CP Library Writers’ Group.  Sharon Holzscherer has self-published one novel, PATTERNS OF DISORDER (available now on Amazon.com), and is currently working on her next piece, hopefully to come in the near future. She shares with us what it’s like for her to write.

Being an author is amazing.  The best part is that you get to create a world.  No longer do you have to think about how you could have made that movie better or given a character a more interesting motivation.  You are now the creator.  You can bring people to life.  You can create new places or show your own particular viewpoint of an existing place.  And you can make anything happen.  Well, almost.

You see, you start from this position of supreme power.  Everything is potential.  You can do anything until you start to write.  And then a curious thing happens.  At least it does to me.  I lose control of the book.  The people whom I brought into existence take over.  They tell me, “You can’t make me say that because I would not say that.  I have to stay true to who I am.”  The creator can only stand by and watch (and type) as the creations write their own story.  And it may not go as I want.

This is particularly difficult for me since I write mystery/conspiracy books.  Inevitably, for the sake of the story, someone must die.  So now we have the other side of the coin.  I have the power to create someone but I am also responsible for that character’s death.  It is hard to imagine how traumatic this is for me.  When I am writing, the story becomes more real than my life around me.  (This may be why meals around the house are rather sporatic and random when I’m writing!)  The people in the book invade my thoughts and dreams.  And I know them better than my best friends or family, because I not only gave birth to them but I created their personalities.  Something which parents might wish to do but actually have little control over.  And then I kill one of my creations.  Even if I have known from the start that this person was created solely to die, it is very difficult.  I have procrastinated sometimes for days so that I don’t have to write the scene.  You see, if I don’t write the scene, the person is not dead.

These are the twisted thoughts of a writer.  It is amazing.  And scary.  And tragic.  But I wouldn’t change a thing.  So I hereby apologize to all those whom I must kill.  Sacrifices must be made for the sake of the story.

Go ahead and sacrifice, Sharon. We’re waiting for more!

 

Advertisements

A few words from Wayne…

Los Angeles

One of our group has offered up a glimpse into his writing world this week. Isn’t that exciting?  Here is an excerpt from Wayne’s work-in-progress called, “My First Trip”.

 

I don’t recall the plant guys telling me anything about the riots.  I was so busy doing my own thing that I never paid much attention to them all bunched up around a television set.  I just wanted to get some sleep.  At this time in the morning there normally would have been some light traffic going past the refinery, but once again mine was the only vehicle on the road.  However, after I drove a couple of blocks, I noticed a police car waiting for me to pass, immediately after I went by, it pulled out behind me and followed me for a couple of blocks.  Right after it turned off, another police car would again fall in behind me.  This happened all the way back to the hotel, perhaps the plant guys were looking out for me after all.

Things settled down in LA after that day and we got back to work.   The refinery expanded the crew so they could cover a 24/7 shift.  Graham came down to help me out.  The rotor was removed and set in a stand just before sunrise.  Graham and I were evaluating the damage and recording our findings.  There was a bright halogen light behind me and I could feel its pleasant heat through my clothes.  The sun was also rising and that was heating my back as well.  But something seemed unusual, the heat was increasing far too fast.  At first I thought the light was falling on me.  When I turned to check the light, I was facing the refinery flare.  The top was about 200 feet above me, it looked like a giant candle, white liquid was flowing down like wax and flames were desperately trying to catch up to the liquid.  The flame was at least twice the height of the flare.  The liquid fell to the ground and the flames seemed to pounce on each puddle like a cat catching a mouse.   People were yelling to get out of the area.  Others were running out to the road, many headed downhill, but there was a LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) tank down there; Graham and I ran straight out along another road, and many others followed us..

When we considered we were safe we stopped and looked back at the flare.  Except for some small flames on the guy wires and small fires burning on the ground and roofs, it was back to normal.  The flare flame was about half the height of the flare pipe.

We wandered back to the job, a roll call was taken to account for everyone.  It was some time before we could settle back into our work.  One of our techs was up on top of the HRSG, he was probably only 150 feet from the flames, and the stairs to go down brought him closer to the flames.  He was seriously considering jumping rather than burning to death, but as he went down the shape of HSRG shaded him from the flames and the heat.  There were others techs in a workshop at the front of the turbine, it was the closest building to the flare.  The gas liquid fell on the roof of the building and all over the parking area between the building and the turbine.  The workers inside the building feared for their lives, but they made the right decision to stay inside the building.  Luckily no one was hurt.  And also luckily there was very limited damage.  The flare was inspected and continued in use for several days.

Later I heard that an operator didn’t check the gauges before he pumped about 15,000 gallons of gas to the full flare holding tank.  That fire burned 15,000 gallons of gasoline in about three minutes.

Needless to say, the talk for the rest of that week was about the fire.  On Saturday we went to Red Lobster for dinner.  While I was returning to our table, I notice those little hanging signs they have at Red Lobster were all moving.  I really didn’t feel much because I was walking, but the guys sitting in the booth were all excited because they had never experienced an earthquake before.

Quite a trip!

 

Feel free to leave Wayne a comment!

 

Kingston Writer’s Fest!

logoLocal area writers, bloggers, and readers should mark their calendars and get their tickets now for the Kingston Writers Fest happening in Kingston, Ontario from Sept. 28 – Oct. 2/16. There are so many amazing authors, musicians, bloggers, poets, and more who will be there to take part in workshops, presentations, and book events. This is always such an amazing few days for people who write, or who love books, and a great opportunity for those of us from smaller communities to schmooze with the big names in the Canadian literary world.

Most events require tickets, and the workshops tend to fill up first, so if you’re interested in anything, you should purchase your tickets right away.  There will be authors like Emma Donoghue, Y.S. Lee, Helen Humphreys, and more. And as always, Kingston promises some amazing entertainment to go along with the festival, from the McGarrigle Sisters, to Sarah Harmer.

Maybe some of our CP Library Writers will be able to attend!

Looking for something good to read?

Our own Erica Roberts writes for a website called ‘The Mindful Word’, and often does book reviews. If you’re looking for something interesting to finish up the summer, how about BIKING ACROSS AMERICA : MY COAST-TO-COAST ADVENTURE AND THE PEOPLE I MET ALONG THE WAY by Paul Stutzman?

review-biking-across-america

Check out Erica’s previously posted on The Mindful Word and see if it’s something you might enjoy reading, too!

PATTERNS OF DISORDER

Group member, Sharon Holzscherer, recently published her first novel, PATTERNS OF DISORDER.  Not only is this a big thing for her, it’s also a wonderful accomplishment for a member of our library group. We’re so proud of Sharon, and can’t wait until she is ready to release her next one!

51y22LEWRDL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_With an extensive background in education, and education reform, Sharon drew on her knowledge to create a suspenseful and action packed thriller. Here is the description on Amazon:

Are children just being active children or is there something more happening? Peter Marcus looks through volumes of data to find patterns. That is his job. But recently the pattern that is emerging has an ominous hue. Scientists studying aspects of childhood learning disabilities are being manipulated all over the world. Some are turning up dead. Pulled unwillingly from his secure lab isharon1nto a secret world of powerful forces, violent methods, and unlimited resources, Marcus is swept deeper into a nightmare. Patterns of Disorder illuminates the power of one person’s obsession and the dangerous unforeseen results. More than just a novel of murder and conspiracy, this book raises fundamental issues about the direction of humanity.

 

Recently, Sharon held a book launch at the Carleton Place Public Library, where she did a reading from the book, answered questions about the process, and signed books for delighted attendees. It was wonderful to hear all about the process of writing, through to the struggle to self-publish, and I know many from our group will be looking to her for answers when they are ready to publish their own works.

sharon2

You can purchase a copy of PATTERNS OF DISORDER on Amazon.ca. Just click the link to be taken directly there. It’s a fascinating and exciting book, and as always, if you enjoy it, please leave a review!

This has been a great year for our writing group, and we hope to continue it with many more announcements like this book launch.

Welcome to July!

It’s here, it’s here! The CP Library Writers’ Group blog! Finally, after months of talking about it and planning, we have something to post about, and ideas for lots of future posts. The main thing we want our readers to know is that the Carleton Place Public Library has a vibrant and evolving writing group, and we’d love to have new members!

Carleton Place Public Library Writers Group website where we talk all about all things writing!

 

It’s fitting that we’re posting this in July because it is one of our favourite months! Why? It’s Camp NaNoWriMo time! We started our library writing group after some community members showed interest in taking part in National Novel Writing Month during November about two years ago. There are a few writing groups in Carleton Place, but at the time, not many were active, and we thought offering this program at the library might be a great way to tie in books and an interest in writing.

If you’ve never heard of National Novel Writing Month, it is an international project that was started to unite people who had always wanted to write a book. The idea is to write 50,000 words in one month, which is a short novel, and a reasonable number of words to accomplish in thirty days. NaNoWriMo, as it’s now widely known, allows people from all over the world to connect through a website, plan events locally, and receive support to help them write a novel.  It takes a lot of time and effort to write something that long, and most of us tend to think we couldn’t accomplish such a thing with all of our busy lives. But as our group knows, it’s possible!

We participate in each version of National Novel Writing Month—November, and both Camp versions, April and July.  This month, we have several people working on projects by plotting, revising, or trying out new ideas. The CP Library Writers’ Group receive daily inspirational emails, and we meet once a week to discuss issues, brag about breakthroughs, and offer support. (We’re actually taking a bit of a break from our regular meetings this particular July, but come November, we’ll be back at it).

If you live in our community or the surrounding area and are interested in writing and participating in NaNoWriMo, we’d love to have you join. Drop us an email at cplibrarywriters@yahoo.ca and we’ll let you know when we’re meeting next.

As this month goes on, you’ll get to know our group as we’ll be featuring our bios. It’s a diverse group, with people writing memoirs, plays, mysteries, fantasy and more! See? You’d fit in perfectly with us!