When asked what she’d like from me in the way of a blog for today, Ginger didn’t ask for much. Only that she’d like the readers to get to know me from my perspective and that she’d like me to tell about me, my family, what inspires me, what I hate, love, and how being an author has impacted my life/outlook. Oh, and what adventures I’ve experienced because of being an author -- and last but not least how much I admire, love and envy her and how I can’t understand why some major publisher hasn’t snapped her up. What, no world peace, Ging? The only thing she didn’t ask for was my secret for the world’s best muffins, so get it here: Ideas Come From Brownies
My perspective about me is that I’m a pretty ordinary person. Not everyone would agree, but from where I sit, I don’t look too exciting most of the time. I wish I could tell you that I skydive and go on archaeological digs…well, okay I could tell you that, so I guess what I wish is that I actually did some exciting things. If I did, I’d likely get too hot and might even break a fingernail, so I’m better off doing what I do. Or not doing what I don’t do, however you want to look at it. Do you know me now?
And really, my family has never held any sense of awe where my career was concerned. I’m still just mom, the one who whips up the goodies for their birthdays, makes a mean pot of chili and sometimes puts on a rockin’ brunch. I have seriously great kids and their kids are the apples of my eye, beautiful and brilliant each of them.
Emotional movies inspire me to write great books. I have a stack of favorites I dig out when I need to be in the “zone.” What the movie has to do to inspire me is make me feel deeply. Crying is good for the muse. I love to cry over movies. It’s so…well, not my life. So I guess to really know me, you need to know what makes me laugh and cry.
The cry list:
Pay It Forward - I can do an entire workshop on this movie. It is ingeniously and perfectly plotted for conflict and motivation.
Winter People - When Kelly McGillis comes back to her Daddy’s cabin without her baby, I sob buckets.
Return to Me, Hope Floats, Bounce, Phenomenon, While You Were Sleeping, The Con to name a few.
In 28 Days when Gwen’s sister comes to talk to her by the lake, and Gwen says, “I’m sorry I make it so hard for you to love me,” well, I lose it every time. Talk about character growth and motivating factors. We are the sum of our whole, not just who you see this moment, and story people need to be three-dimensional. This movie shows that excellently. I am moved by characters, not by plot, so every movie I love is character-driven, even one as action-packed as Face Off. Can you tell I like to analyze movies?
What makes me laugh? The things kids say. Children are priceless and genuine and not jaded. Which movies make me laugh? Overboard, When Harry Met Sally, Music and Lyrics, Liar Liar, Sense and Sensibility, Mannequin, Blind Date, French Kiss and Miss Congeniality. I laugh at snappy dialogue, but a good old spoof just tickles my funny bone: Soap Dish and Galaxy Quest are favorites.
I love my husband, chocolate (I thought long and hard about the order and he won), freshly painted rooms and shelves with lots of stuff, comfy sofas, quilts, snuggling babies, dolls, shoes and purses, decorating books, jewelry, a cup of tea in a pretty cup, taking great photographs, butterflies in my garden, a road trip with friends, playing boards games in the winter, all the great stuff my hubby makes for me, antique malls, vintage linens, email and so much more that I could fill pages.
I hate conflict (except in stories). I hate confrontation. I’m a peacemaker by nature and by calling, so people butting heads makes me want to run the other way. Why can’t we all just be friends?
As I thought about how being an author has impacted my life, what stood out to me was: People. Since devoting myself to the pursuit of publishing, I have met the greatest people. Many of the friends I made when I first joined RWA are still my best friends. And new friends are added through my local chapter all the time. I love brainstorming with a group. There’s something electric about shooting ideas back and forth like sparks until enough of them ignite into a story.
Every so often I meet a new writer whose drive and ability is so impressive that I’m eager to mentor and watch them develop. The majority of authors I meet are not only the most generous, but also the smartest people in any walk of life. I was published back in the day when we had no Internet :::gasp::: and no yahoogroups. Yeah, really. Some days I was reinventing the wheel, but I didn’t know anyone who had done this before. I called authors I’d met at conferences, and they were kind and generous enough to give me advice. I’ve never forgotten that. So I make it a point to be as helpful as I can when I have useful knowledge. I believe that what goes around comes around.
I have readers who have become good friends over the years. Last Christmas someone I originally met at a signing dropped by my home to leave me a gift! On the flip side, I have friends who have become readers as well. My critique group has become like a family unit, and my fellow Heartland Writers Group members are dear friends.
I thoroughly enjoy interacting with my blogger friends, in fact one might say I’m blog crazy. I keep a personal blog at Cheryl's Blog with fresh daily content, and I blog on a rotating schedule with the other fantastic Fillies at Petticoats & Pistols I even have a recipe blog (do try the muffins), a family blog and a blog that follows the progress of a remodel.
I don’t know if you got to know me through my words today, but I gave it my best shot. And of course I can’t end this without mentioning how much I admire, love and envy Ginger. You know I can’t understand why some major publisher hasn’t snapped her up!
And hey, if you Twitter, follow me: Twitter
If you have any questions or comments for me today, I’d love to chat with you! I’ll take all the names of those who comment, put them into my cowboy hat and draw a name. I’ll send the winner an autographed copy of my October release – not in stores yet! – The Magic of Christmas.