Saturday, June 22, 2019

Life Events in My Stories—Here’s the Real Scoop! By Connie Vines



This Month’s Topic: Has an event in your life, or that of someone you know, or one covered in the news ever worked its way into one of your stories?
I believe we are all influenced by our environment and, being social creatures, we are also empathetic to the people we encounter in life.


Each of my novels, short-stories, and blog posts touch on an event in my life, a factual experience in someone’s life.

When I was writing for children’s magazines my topics included historical events or modern-day mysteries.  My YA historical novel, Tanayia-Whisper upon the Water, has excerpts from newspapers of the 1800's for chapter intros. I experienced the wind and the sadness which still surrounds Wounded Knee, I’ve dance at Powwows, and made fry-bread for hungry children. 

Having been interview (unexpectedly) by a news crew, I know the irritation you feel when someone shoved a mic in your face (Lynx’s interview scene in Lynx, Rodeo Romance).  

I believe the true test of a writer is researching a subject and making the event seem real to the reader that he/she can ‘live the story’.  Obviously, writers have never been a 16th century pirate, or a vampire, however, these stories are written and are believable.  Non-fiction worlds are created, we mourn the death of our beloved fictional characters, we fall in love with a hero or two.  

Since I grew up in a military family, relocation was a way of life.  My characters are seldom stay-forever-in-one town people. I am able to share the force of a hurricane, a tornado forming on the plains, sea-salt and sand in your clam-bake meal, the smell of a swamp, and fragrance of café au latte on a cool May morning in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.

**  
From Tanayia—Whisper upon the Water:

My gaze narrowed. Each day I watched Anna Thunder hide her slice of bread in her skirt pocket. I did not why. Each night I watched.  She did not bring the food from her pockets, nor were there crumbs leaving a trail among her belongings. 

“Why? Why do you ask this?”

The Comanche was thin. Her arms were like the bare branches of a sapling tree. Anna Thunder did not eat the bread she hoarded.

“Will Apache bring bread?” she hissed.

My stomach growled. Sister Enid had returned last evening and supervised the breakfast meal today. The oatmeal had been thin. There was little nourishment for my growing body. The bread Sister Kathleen gave me kept the pains of hunger from my stomach. I did not want to give my food to my enemy.

**
Please visit the blog sites of these wonderful writers and read the stories she/he have in store for you!

Happy Reading!

Connie





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5 comments:

Rhobin said...

Enjoyed you comments and examples and completely agree. I've had mostly a stay-in-one-place type of life style so it was interesting to read about some of your sensory memories from your moves.

Skyewriter said...

Your use of personal experiences sounds a lot like mine, not just the big events, but small ones too. I love the idea of using excerpts from an old newspaper for chapter headers in a historical. I'll have to keep that idea in mind should I ever write another historical.

Fiona McGier said...

Wow, sounds like you've had a lot of interesting experiences, having moved around so much. There's a lot to mine for your characters, there. But then, that's what all of us do: mine our own experiences, and those of people we know, or people we read about, or people we see in movies, etc. And from those, we create.

anne stenhouse said...

I like the idea of restlessness that your very mobile upbringing has nurtured in you. I also relate to the intensity of feeling an unpleasant exerience can arouse. anne stenhouse

darkwriter said...

Interesting post. I loved what you said about sharing the force of a hurricane, a tornado forming on the plains, sea-salt and sand in your clam-bake meal, the smell of a swamp, and fragrance of café au latte on a cool May morning in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. It reminds me to use more of my own senses in a story.

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