Blast From the Past

Hey, all. Suze here. Guess what? May is the Scribes’ birthday month! We’re going to have some special things going on all month long in honor of our upcoming first anniversary (including some pretty cool giveaways!). Make sure you visit us every day so you don’t miss anything.

Just for fun, I thought I’d repost my very first blog. Hope you enjoy it!

Hi, all.  Susannah Hardy here.  I’m a writer of humorous mysteries set in the fictional resort town of Bonaparte Bay.  I hope you’ll be able to travel there with me soon!

With summer approaching, I was thinking about my own childhood summers in northern New York State, way up by the Canadian border.  I would often spend a day or two with my grandma, Gert.  Gert lived with her second husband in a little converted one room schoolhouse, surrounded by zinnias, peonies (which she called “pineys”), and old-fashioned pink roses.   She always did her housework and gardening in the morning, because after lunch she dropped everything.  She’d make herself a cup of Red Rose tea and put an Archway cookie on a plate, then park herself in her rust-colored velour recliner in front of the television to watch her “stories.”  Now, there was no cable where she lived and she only got a couple of stations, so it was the CBS soap operas for her — The Edge of Night, and Secret Storm, and As the World Turns.

The point is, her stories were important to her, so she scheduled her other activities in such a way that she had time for them.  And that’s a lesson we can all learn as writers.

There are so many demands on our time — families, housework, jobs for those of us still in the traditional workforce — it can seem impossible to eke out even a few minutes to write.   I’m here to tell you, though, that The Dream, whatever The Dream constitutes for you, is never going to come true unless you find time for it.

Notice I didn’t say “make time.”   We’ve all got the same twenty-four hours in the day (at least here on Earth that’s true — you fantasy and sci-fi writers, modify to suit your particular planetary rotation), so there’s no way to make the day magically longer.  However, we can structure our days to include a few hours, or even just a few minutes, to work on our stories.

Maybe you can get up an hour earlier than the rest of your family (easier in the summer than the winter here in the Northeast!).  Maybe you can skip going out to lunch with your co-workers, but instead brown-bag it with your BFF the laptop in an unused office or the local coffee shop.  Maybe you could – gasp! –ask your family to make a simple dinner a couple of nights a week, or put in a load of laundry, or run the vacuum cleaner.   Maybe you could — bigger gasp, possibly resulting in hyperventilation! — limit Facebooking, Tweeting,  Internet surfing, e-mail reading, and/or television watching.  You might just be surprised at how much you can get done in an hour or less of focused effort.  And even small amounts will eventually add up to a completed manuscript.

Take a look at your typical day and see where you can rearrange or delegate some tasks, or delete some time-suckers, to find time for your Stories.  Nobody else will, or can, do it for you.

Till next time,

Susannah

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8 thoughts on “Blast From the Past”

  1. Great post–AGAIN!, LOL I love your Gramma Gert! Every night over dinner, my husband and I catch up on Days Of Our Lives which I tevo every day. It’s time for us to unwind, share a laugh (or a cry depending on what horrific drama is unfolding in Salem) and to chat about our day a bit in between bites. He cracks me up when he’s making dinner and says, “Well, let’s see what those crazy bi***** are up to in Salem today.”

    But seriously, you are so right about carving out time to write. Before I published my books and started this promotional bender, I would ignore all else and sometimes write eight to ten hours in a day just by cutting out TV and internet. These days, that feels like a distant dream. Thanks for the reminder that it is in my hands to find that time again and get back to doing what got me here to begin with:-)

    1. I loved DOOT! I used to schedule my classes around it in college – I didn’t realize it was still on! And man-oh-man do I need to start finding time to write! I was doing great in February but the last 2 months have completely gotten away from me…

  2. Wow, it was like new all over again! :) Great post, and I can’t believe we are coming up on our year birthday! Time sure does fly when you are having fun.

    1. and even when you are just having a normal, non-fun, non-not fun time! I can’t believe it’s already May!!!!

  3. Hi Suze, I love the name Gert. Great post. It just reminds me of how important our characters and story are to our audience, whether they are readers or viewers. Our audience gets involved in the story and we owe it to them to keep drawing them deep into the lives of our characters. Great post and thanks for the reminder.

  4. This post made me smile. Thanks for the memories of Gramma Gert. As I recall, she also looked forward to celebrating birthdays with a little nip of vodka with the girls in the Birthday Club.

  5. Grandma Gert had her dedication all plotted out. Good example of figuring out how to do what is important to you. But sometimes responsibilities and dedication to others takes precedent leaving little choices. The idea is to get rid of obligations to others. And how do you do that? Good post Suze.

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