Sunday, August 25, 2013

Missing: Children's Author

Readers and writers tend to be a married group of sorts. We, at least, share a passionate love affair. To be an effective writer, one must read (and read and read). Prolific readers often evolve into writers, sometimes by chance at first, before grabbing their author’s hat and anchoring it down firmly. This lovely cycle makes the literary world go round much like the wheels on the bus. (You’re humming it now, aren’t you?)

I still count myself more of a reader than a writer, not having proclaimed my writer-ness far and wide. And I am okay with that because I LOVE reading. I get lost in the tales, find companionship in characters, and on occasion, gather kindling to create story of my own. As I grow older and find my time more limited, what and how I read has evolved. Perhaps you are the same? I find myself exploring unknown blogs, reading up on social issues in the third world, or reviewing a study on a new medical procedure or therapy. Fewer novels, meaning only five or six at a time, clutter my nightstand than before but there’s still plenty of reading. 

In changing how I read, I noticed a change in my writing. I have fallen in love with the short story. Whereas I previously stayed only in the children’s realm, I find myself pulled more and more into the grown-up world of story-telling. I resisted at first, chiding and reminding myself (and everyone else), “I am a children’s author.” Most of us write, at least more successfully, what we feel compelled to write. Lately, the children’s author in me has been MIA with no response to the missing posters I hung. And I realized I am okay with that too. For those of you who write, how do you know when it is time to let go of the old and try something new? Isn’t it an itch that just can’t be satisfied until you put pen to paper and create something fresh? 

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  1. Great post, Karen, and the quote is perfect.

    I, too, love reading short stories.

  2. True. I thought I was a poet and essayist. Then my love of biographies and memoirs set me on that forest-for-the-trees journey. Since my critique group limits reading to 5 pages, I shortened some work to non-fiction short stories. One of my co-critiquers advised to "never let the truth get in the way of a good story" so I expanded into fiction. Contests offered prizes for genre writing so I tackled romance, mystery, etc. An editor dared me to do a western, which I won a few awards for and am lengthening into a novel. Never expected that! The drawback is that I can't easily answer the question, "What do you write?" (I've never had any interest in Sci-Fi but who knows?)

  3. Hi Donna - I know you love short stories and are so talented in writing them! By the way, I left some flyers for your Write Stuff classes at the Library's Admin. offices. Maybe someone there would be interested! - Karen

  4. Marcia - You are turning your western shorts into a novel? That's awesome! I loved the ones I heard at C&C - can't wait to read more. You have a gift with voice and dialogue so I bet it's great stuff! Good luck - Karen