October 19, 2012
I love Jane Smiley, Umberto Eco, Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan and M.F.K. Fischer. I would like to model my writing style on Jack Kerouac. He has a casual, honest, flowing character to his writing that I love. I also love that he's such a true American writer. Another American writer I loved was Herman Melville, who I read while I was traveling through central and South America. John Steinbach had a huge influence on me. I had a delightful experience reading Cannery Row in front of a window in an adobe on a hill overlooking the cathedrals of San Miguel de Allende. My emphasis on American writers is that I'm intending to focus my writing on the contemporary American west of which I feel so much a part. I didn't recognize my inner cowgirl until I had been several months in Columbia and started to tell everyone who asked that I was from Marlboro country. My dream had been to establish myself in another country and culture. I really loved Columbia but my cowgirl angel called me home.
I want to get the second version of my contemporary western romance novel: Golden River, into tip top shape and then enter a few contests as a step on the way to getting published. I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest last January and was thrilled to make to through the pitch phase only to get thoroughly chastised in the excerpt phase. I had to agree that my first and second chapters were weak. Now I like my first chapter but the second is still kind of a mess. The wild, chaotic rodeo scene that I portrayed was transcribed from real life situations and real dialog based on real characters. All it has meant is that I don't have the proper perspective to turn it into literature. Another thing I've been doing is to take the Saturday Six results and polishing the draft into real stories. I love the Saturday Six challenge because it forces me to think hard and fast and come up with a story. As a result, I have two nice short stories.
I finally managed to do something I've been trying to do for 30 years. I wrote two versions of a novel that I started a year ago last March. I want a new career as a fiction writer and I love this Meetup.