Where does a story come from? A question often asked when they learn I’m an author. Writers find inspiration in the news. I read that The Beatles wrote “Richard Corey”. . . ‘went home last night and put a bullet through his head’, taken directly from an article in the paper. Not poetic but a haunting early tune of theirs. The creative mind sees a story everywhere; supermarkets, crowds, beaches, mountains, and overheard conversations are fair game.
As for me, I’m a sleep-writer. Maybe it’s the well water that is our source but no. My husband’s not creative in that particular department. He consults me when he sends an email. No rest for the talented, I complain; he pays the bills.
After six books of Survive&Thrive stories, heroines who suffer a loss and learn to move on, I learned to love every moment of the intense solitary process. After years of audience approval and instant gratification of my effort as an actor, I’d begun a new career. And then one night I dreamed.
A beach, a grandmother with her small granddaughter . Enter a grandfather with two young grandsons. Possibilities. A different genre for me. Mature Adults, baby boomers, fifty five plus, Sexy Seniors. The morning after, I wrote from start to finish a long/short story. Instead of The End, automatically I wrote The Beginning. . .Not The End. A double take assured me of what I’d written. And it made sense. Even though the main characters are older, in their seventies, they are fun and the words of Yogi Berra rang in my head. “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Makes sense to me since I’m one of them.
Here’s the rub: So anxious to send it to Kimberlee Williams, my Vanilla Heart Publisher, I didn’t do a careful edit, read through all authors must do. She called, laughing. Laughing! “Charmaine, you wrote so fast and now I want you to turn to the last two pages.” I did. OMG. “How did they suddenly get on a plane and he’s. . .The reader needs a bit of continuity here. Slow down. Also check on another chapter where the mother returns and you’ve got some kind of hoodlum about to get rid of her for good. Rethink and rewrite. You’ve written a delightful interesting love story. How about the title Instant Grandpa?”
What a woman. She didn’t badger yet she led me to where I had to go. Taking a deep breath, I began from word one, found the parts Kimberlee pointed out, laughed at myself and rewrote.
Music plays a big part in all my stories. In Instant Grandpa, I used Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and more oldies that last forever with lyrics the listener could hear and remember. Soundtracks, as in the golden age of movies, were used to evoke emotions. Love, romance, fear all triggered by music accompanying the scene. It’s one of the senses essential to writing.
What have I learned from all this, you might ask, and I hope you do. Actually, not much. Because of my age, I tend to write fast. . .and not furious, folks, and with some nifty heat. Before I forget how, God forbid. Instant Grandpa is followed by Young at Heart and then Before the Final Curtain. A series begun with a dream and then came No Time for Green Bananas; another Sexy Senior story with a twist. This is, by far, the most fun I’ve had writing.
P.S. My first book published by Vanilla Heart, title To Be Continued has been optioned for a television movie by a production group in the Hudson Valley, NY.
Thanks for this opportunity to be a guest once again at your popular site. I recall when you began and had to explain pronunciation of LL and what you’re all about. Hugs from Charmaine Gordon where Romance is Golden.
I’m happy to giveaway Young at Heart, ebook format to a commenter!
Contest ends January 30, 2014 at 11: 59 p.m. EST
Summer at the Jersey Shore just got hotter… Take one widower grandfather, add two little grandkids, and a widowed grandmother with a small granddaughter. Mix well. Stir in sun drenched beach days and moonlit nights. What have you got? A kite flying high with a new tail; an author writing a book to sort out emotions; a talented boy with his mother returned to claim the prize.
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