Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How's Margaret?

There's a funny thing starting to happen. Since I've been creeping out of the writing closet, friends and family who know about my book are starting to ask on occasion, "How's Margaret?" They ask me this as if she's a real person. This secretly thrills me.

I know they are just being kind and asking about something I'm interested in, but really, isn't that all it takes to generate interest in a story?

People read because they like the author. People read because they like the previous story from that author, or they like the cover, or something about it just grabs them. I'll take whatever I can get. Not picky right now at all.

Margaret has been behaving herself rather nicely, which means in Margaret's world that she's getting into all kinds of trouble. I'm actually having the problem of too many ideas and too many story lines at the moment. Trying to write some of them out and then do weeding to let the strong ones grow.

I think writing is a bit like gardening, or vice versa. In a garden, you make the conditions right, throw out the seeds, do a little bit of tending, weeding, watering, and viola, flowers. Or stink cabbage. I like to think of my writing this way because then I feel like my effort is never wasted. I still produced something, still learned what to do, or not to do for next time. Some of it smells, some of it is rather pretty to look at, but without much substance. Some, a very small bit, becomes the prize-winning entry at the County Fair. Hopefully. We'll see how the garden grows.

Margaret's Mom

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