I'm going to turn the blog over to my guest today.
TOP 10 REASONS I WRITE
According to the web, the definition of writing is: “The activity or skill of marking coherent words on paper and composing text.” Hmm…coherent words…clear and logical words. Not so sure that always applies to my writing. I don’t really ever do anything logical. That’s why I married a logical man. He completes me (had to figure out how to use that line from Jerry Mcguire). Okay, not the only reason I married my husband, but that’s another story. I do have my coherent moments but my writing style is definitely ruled by my right side of the brain, my artistic side. In fact, if someone were to take a picture of my brain, it would probably be so enlarged on the right side that it’s a wonder I can walk upright.
So what are the reasons I write? If I had to be orderly, clear and logical–going out on a limb here, delving into that puny, shrunken left side of my brain–I would probably list them in this order. Starting with number 10 and leading up to my top reason. It’s important to build up that anticipation…
10. MONEY–Anyone who says money doesn’t matter, lies. It does. Maybe more to some than others but it definitely plays a role in my writing. Have I made any significant money yet? Nope. But still hoping. I am by nature, very optimistic.
9. SUCCESS–I love a good success story, especially when it’s about me. The princess gets her prince. The underdog wins the competition. The unknown writer becomes wildly famous, against all odds (Gee, publishing houses–guess you called that one wrong…)
8. EXPRESSION–To me, writing is an art, a talent. My trade is actually music. I’ve played the violin since I was six. I’ve played in symphonies and taught privately for twenty some years (no, I’m not giving exact numbers here, because then you could figure out my age. What women wants you to know her age?). Writing is another form of expressing myself. As is cooking for that matter. I cook for the same reason. Expression.
7. THERAPY–On any given day, you can tell what kind of a day I’ve had by what I write. In Pickin’ Tomatoes, the more touching, poignant moments are indicative of the day I was having when I wrote that section. Probably also influenced by the time of month. Okay, TMI… Regardless, writing (along with music and cooking) is therapy for me. I always feel better when I express myself.
6. ESCAPE–I live for moments when I am in the zone. I don’t know why I call it the zone, just always have. It’s that moment when I escape. Everything around me fades, and I am somewhere else. Do I always go in the zone when I write? No. But to be honest, if it happened all the time, it wouldn’t be special any more. Sometimes, when I least expect it, I can see my characters, I can hear them, and I am there. In the zone.
5. STORY TELLING–I love stories. Always have. A variety of genres. I have the utmost respect for writers because they are story tellers. I have a lot to learn as a newbie writer, but I am proud to be a story teller.
4. EMOTION–Writing makes me happy. No doubt about it. But I especially like to make people laugh. It’s something I learned long ago, when I was thirteen. My brother, twenty-one at the time, died and it affected my family so much. I learned then, that I could make people laugh and diffuse the anger, the hurt. Laughter is a good thing.
3. RECORD–Someday when I die, there will be a record, some evidence of me left behind. Like words etched into a tree trunk. J.W. Bull was here. I don’t know why that’s important to me, but it is.
2. DRIVE–This has to be my number two reason why I write. I am very driven. Almost to the point of being dysfunctional. I have been known to practice a symphony excerpt over and over and over, ad nauseam. My husband has actually come into my music room and said, “It’s time to come out now.” I am really driven when someone tells me I can’t succeed. Especially editors. Especially editors from…okay, got a bit of baggage here, need to work on that.
1. BECAUSE I CAN–Some of you may wonder why I list this as my top reason I write. Imagine, not being able to read or write for whatever reason. It’s inconceivable to me, but it’s out there. And God has blessed me with the means to write.
If you were to combine all these reasons, like ingredients in a recipe (to steal a theme from Pickin’ Tomatoes), the results would be a writer. Maybe slightly flawed–overly driven, lacking logic from time to time, and carrying around some baggage–but a writer none the less. Writing because she can.
J. W. Bull lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two sons. Although she has worked as a sous chef for Lavande Restaurant, she currently is a private violin teacher and a member of The Georgia Symphony. She is also finishing another novel, Musical Chairs, a mystery involving Maggie’s cousin—Molly Malone, plucky part-time symphony player and fulltime Irish fiddler. It’s a hilarious spoof on symphonies, Irish fiddling, and mysteries that continues the Malone saga.
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Pickin' Tomatoes Blurb:
Maggie Malone wants a new life. Who aspires to be a single, forty-year-old, jobless new mother? Driven by the need for an income, Maggie decides to enter a writing contest. Cooking and Women Magazine is seeking a columnist who can compare finding “Mister Right” to cooking. To qualify, an entrant must be single and an experienced chef. Maggie is neither – she can’t even cook. But desperation turns white lies into tasty morsels that whet her creative appetite and she whips up an article comparing finding “Mister Right” to picking the right tomato for her homemade salsa. She wins the contest, is dubbed The Chef of Hearts, and her new life, although a bit shaky, is launched.
Women across America write to her about loneliness, infidelity, insomnia – even to complain about a boyfriend’s snoring. Maggie dissects their problems with a single stroke of her pen, all the while struggling with her own issues. She dishes out therapy in recipes and funny stories and becomes an instant celebrity. As she balances learning how to cook, being a mother and writing a column, her dual lives begin to spin out of control. On the back burner, subterfuge sizzles in the skillet, threatening Maggie’s new recipe for success and she finds herself in the same stew as many of her readers – lost and alone. It’s only when Maggie comes clean with all her lies that she realizes pickin’ the right tomato might not be simply about finding “Mister Right” – sometimes it’s about making the right choices.
Pickin Tomatoes serves up a three-course meal of mayhem, motherhood and middle age flavored with dashes of irony, wit, and wisdom. Throw in a liberal sprinkling of recipes geared towards those who don’t cook, and Pickin’ Tomatoes becomes a must read for anyone who has searched for “Mister Right” but, most of all, wants to find herself.
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