Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ordinary Inspiration

I had lunch with my cousin Jane a few weeks ago. We had a lot to talk about. Jane recently blazed through a major down sizing. She had an estate sale. Her home and a lifetime of goods were up for grabs. A hard pill for anyone to swallow. I know. I had to auction off my family farm and at least two lifetime's worth of possessions several years ago. But Jane isn't down and out. Don't worry. She took the best of her worldly wares to a pretty new apartment.

Jane was a traveler. And at almost 90, she's been around the block a time or two. I inherited her large box of signed, sealed and delivered postcards. Where did she go? Budapest? Perhaps. The Bahamas? Maybe. I love to travel too. So I can't wait to dig into all those cards. Who knows where they might lead? And speaking of leading, I finally felt ready to navigate our conversation to some literary news I had in my back pocket. I decided to tell her about my novel.

There was an awkward silence and then the subject was changed. My news fizzled like some discarded plastic wrap thrown into a roaring fire.  But, sometimes, I'm sneaky and tenacious. So I offered up that literary gem again a little later.  This time she bit. Or maybe her defenses were weakened by the cognac we were sipping.

After I told her about my story, it reminded her of a wonderful book she had just finished. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. And indeed there are definite similarities. One of my main characters is a Methodist Minister. Just like in Ordinary Grace. My book takes place in a small Wisconsin town. O. G. takes place in a small Minnesota town. My book deals with some devastating deaths. So does O.G. In a masterful way. So of course I borrowed the book and read it immediately. I've been devouring good books in my quest for every and all inspiration. And it was a great book.  

I knew early on who did the what in the book. I have a devious mind. So there is little I don't figure out when I'm reading a book or watching a movie. I hate that! But it didn't matter. I was just swept along with the well crafted characters and small town visuals. I eagerly followed the train of sorrow till the very end. But I probably don't have to tell you that. It's already a best seller! 

 There is a big difference in the two books. Well, of course the obvious. Mine is unfinished, unpublished and being written by a blogger of dubious accomplishments. But the path of my characters leads to a completely different and disturbing place. The central conflict in my story revolve around the Hallucinations of Oren Walton. A prosperous farmer who has already suffered in so many ways. The rest of the important characters orbit around this central struggle. A struggle I'll hint at through out my path to publication.

 If you are a writer and would like to contribute a post about your own unique path, be sure to contact me. Or if you have ideas, resources or writing tips to contribute. Let me know!

 Here's a tip from Teymour Shahabi about YouTube  Do you think an empty, barren, word challenged page is scary? Then imagine putting your mug on YouTube. Yikes! I don't know if I could do it. But it's my tip of the week for marketing a book.

Lastly, head over to Springtime in Magnolia for my book review on Ordinary Grace.


DJan said...

I think this is my first comment on your writing blog, Sharon. I sure did enjoy reading this post, and hopefully you'll get published and I'll be reading your books, too! :-)

Marie C said...

I hadn't seen this, Sharon! Wonderful post! Love your link to Springtime too! :-) I'm so interested in the book you reviewed, and of course, will enjoy yours as well, I am certain. It sounds GOOD! :-) Can't wait.

Yes, if you want to send me an invite to do a post on my writing resolve, please send it to and add me to your Contributor list. I will try to express my difficulties in getting things going with my book. Thanks for asking me to.