support…what would I do without it…?

It’s been awhile–as usual…and I’m especially aware of how important consistent support is important for me as part of the writing process. I’ve chosen to have a writing consultant, Julie Rodriguez. She was unavailable for awhile; and while I “heroically” continued without her, it was tempting not to “bother”.After all, there were many other demands on my time, with other people interested in what I could contribute; whereas my fiction writing–no one else seems to be really all that interested…It’s the old cliche: If a tree falls in the forest and no-one hears it, does it make a noise? If I write a story and no-one reads it, does it “make a noise”? Is it worth doing it?
I can answer for myself: fiction writing feeds my soul in a way nothing else does. So it is worth it.
And it’s hard for me to hold on to that when I slog along in isolation. It makes all the difference to have someone read my material, and give me ideas about how to go from here. It helps me to get unstuck. A nudge about how something more decisive is needed to move the story along; or if a theme comes up, and seems “to take over”: go with it (as a story–and the characters–have a life of their own)…this makes all the difference to me and my ability to tell the story I want to tell.

Thanks for reading

M.C. Piper

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The writing process… or writing when I’m not writing…

As usual, I’ve had a major lapse in my blog. And I apologize–maybe more to myself than anyone else. I don’t believe there’s anyone else out there, hanging on my every word, though I do realize that some people do read my blog when it comes out, a couple even follow it…for which I’m very grateful.

This pass few weeks my gut feeling is–I haven’t done really any writing…which isn’t true. I have inched forward in my second novella, rewriting a major scene, and reworking some of the characters–putting some more flesh on them so that they somehow come off the page. The problem that I easily get into is that it isn’t “enough”. After all, I look at all the writing other people do–they write novels that large numbers of people actually read. And then I remember words of wisdom: “Compare and despair.” I quite enjoy my writing–I love the framework I’ve set up for a series of novellas. And maybe I’m doing what I supposed to be doing at this point time; just as other writers are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

The second thing–I’ve done is to read a biography about the actual Kootenai Brown. In my novellas, Kootenai Brown is the mythical founder of the Koontenai Brown personal adverting agency, an agency that teaches their clients to “be all they can be…and let the world know..” The protagonists work for KB, where they are supposedly teaching clients to be all they can be, but are actually learning that lesson themselves.
Kootenai Brown was a real person. He was the first park ranger in Waterton Lakes National Park in South western Alberta (Waterton is just over the border from Glacier National Park in Montana). At the time, I was writing my first novella “Passionate Hero” and some of it actually takes place in Waterton. The Kooteani Brown name just seem to fit for the name of the agency that the protagonist, Marcy Wilkins, works for.

However after reading a biography of the real Koontenai Brown, I wonder if I should use his name in such a light hearted manner(although apparently the real Kootenai Brown had a good sense of humour). He was frontiersman,
who hunted buffalo with the Metis up here in Canada. Then,as pony express rider in the States, he barely escaped an encounter in with Sitting Bull with his life. And later he was put on trial for murder in Montana, the result of a dispute, typical of the old west. He was acquitted, and that was enough to send him back to Canada, where he spent his later years protecting the Wateron area, and working towards it becoming a National park.
He’s not all that well known outside the area (unlike American western folk heroes)…still an impressive person…and my use of his name–well, I’m aware that I do so with respect, and some concern–that I’m not giving him his fair due…

And I’m also aware that reading his biography gave me lots of ideas, characters, scenarios…that I can play with and even adapt in future writing…It was definitely worthwhile

Thanks for reading

M.C.Piper