Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Writer's Prerogative: A matter of taste

Wednesday Near Boise Idaho

I'm looking at a lush, expansive vegetable garden planted by someone at this campground who has a very green thumb! There is another just as huge out across the nicely mowed grassy yard and down a steep hill. The owners of Country Gardens RV Park invite their guests to shop around in the gardens. This evening I fixed a stir fry with freshly pulled onions, sweet yellow summer squash and zucchini plucked from the vines. I also picked several ears of sweet corn. I ate two small ears raw, but Frank wanted his hot from the microwave.

The bounty from a vegetable garden always impresses me. Running out of veggies to share this summer isn't even remotely possible here. There are melons, squash, corn, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions and carrots. We heard about this place from some RV people from California who make it a point to stop here every time they're near Boise, Idaho. The flowers growing in front of the office look like bushes covered in blooms at first glance. They're hanging pots full of pink and purple petunias! I've never seen them grow so big!

Having written about the fruits of our labors the other day, it occurs to me that tonight vegetables have had their due. Describing what taste buds taste troubles me in my writing. How to describe the delicate flavor of a bright yellow summer squash after it's been chopped and tossed around in a skillet with a little salt, pepper oil, butter and onion? What are those descriptive tasty words? Zippy, tart, tangy, hot, spicy, sour? None of these fit. Moist with just the proper crunch producing a salty, peppery, buttery flavor taken from the skillet's flavorings might be close. But, nothing tastes and translates to the brain the flavors of fresh vegetables like the trusty tongue. Wrap your tongue around a word for it, and the taste just doesn't come through.

Tidbit Offering: Eat your vegetables, write your words, and remember to savor affectionately your own often indescribable tastes and talents.

P.S. Those words I need for taste, I'm certain they're right on the tip of my tongue!

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Working Title: Novel #3

I'm happily rolling along next to the wide, choppy Madison River through the grass- covered hillsand mountains of southern Montana on the way over to Idaho. This western landscape of 
cowgirls and cattle reminds me of the novel I'm currently writing. It's  peopled with the likes of 
cowgirls in the Wild West shows of a bygone era and a young burlesque show ballet dancer 
performing in theaters in towns like Tombstone, Bisbee and Pearl before burlesque turned to
These women are long in their graves, but our heroin, Star Lance of Arrowstar (1st novel in the series) fame, decides to dig up and write about their robust lives spent catering to the entertainment lust of lonesome miners, cowboys, and the like. 
Her research uncovers secrets some in the small southwestern Arizona town of Mineral City 
would rather stayed buried with these women. Star is relentless because her future in Mineral
City depends on the success of her next historical fiction novel. (her first titled A Train Robber's Tale)
Will Star make it as an author and continue to keep her antique store open even while stirring 
up the hidden passions of her neighbors? And how does the new sheriff, J. D. Rafferty figure 
into this drama? 
I'm eight chapters into the  writing, and I can hardly wait to find out what Star uncovers next! 
Just crossed over into Idaho and the mountains crowding the road are towering even higher 
than those left behind in Montana. 

Let me know if you've read Arrowstar and if you're awaiting Novel #3. Your 
comments are always welcome here. The best way to find my novels:

Look for an excerpt from Novel #3 in an upcoming posting.

Write On! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Fruit Producing the Creative Juice: Is it really me?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Often when I'm immersed in writing a novel to the exclusion of all outside interference, it's almost like being in a trance. I'm floating along on a sea of words and those words come alive as if they're speaking to me instead of being  created by my brain. 

Yes, the characters do take me to places I never intended to go. They emerge as if they were real people whispering their next moves in my ear. This muse, this luscious fruit dripping with creative juices must come from somewhere outside my being. Of course, I have to know the craft, but what of inspiration?

If the spirit of the universe keeps whispering thoughts and moving my stories along, how can I put such stress on myself to get it right, to get it perfect? It's the letting go that makes the process work, isn't it? Letting go of self praise, self pity, self abuse seems the smart thing to do when the magic actually comes  from a higher source than self. 

Okay, okay so you're an agnostic writer, or maybe not. Maybe you don't tango with the muse. Please share your thoughts about the fruit you squeeze to get the juices flowing into your writing, your art, your creative endeavors. I really want to know so I can tap that fruit as well.

Take away for today:  Creative fruit isn't always an easy squeeze.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Just Another Thursday

We-Tired and Writing
Author Blog - Cheryl Thomas

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - First Posting

No clock to punch, no meals for five to fix, no house to clean, no husband shadowing my every move, so what's keeping me from the writing life I'd planned to claim as soon as I retired?

 It's six years into retirement, and while I've uploaded two novels to (find them at, I have written only one of them during this time. The other one I wrote while holding a full-time job and raising three great kids (Michael, Kimberly, and Stacie) as a single mom. 

The children are adults now with children of their own, and my husband has a rich professional life as a semi-retired antique motorcycle restoration wizard  (Arizona British Bikes -  So, why am I not enthusiastically throwing myself into my longed-for second career as a novelist?

Over the years, I've honed my skills, studied the craft of writing, taken some classes and produced two contemporary novels. Now, I'm working on Novel #3, but not consistently enough to finish it in a reasonable length of time. In fact, it's been two years since Arrowstar hit the e-market, and I'm only a few chapters into the next in the series. I keep asking myself, "What's the big problem keeping me from employing my talent faithfully every day?"

I'm not the only one struggling with this question. I've got an artist friend, and we've talked about this phenomenon at length over coffee and long lunches. We both think fear might be a major factor keeping us from pursuing our life's passion for the creative. There's something very intimidating about a blank page or canvass to fill.  It's dangerous baring the creative soul for all to see.

Respond to my query and let me know if you've struggled in this way and what you think might be the root of the avoidance practices going on among the creative. What is it you think we're afraid of? Do you have a trick you use when you find yourself wrapped up in a similar malaise? 

I'll be sitting in front of a blank screen on the edge of my comfy chair on wheels awaiting both your wisdom and your woes. Or then again, I might be gardening, vacationing, writing blurbs for the church gift shop, helping plan the women's retreat, sewing on a button, shortening some slacks, baking, fixing a snack, reading someone else's book or a thousand other things that keep me out of that comfy chair.

Thank you sincerely for reading novels, blogs, tweets or whatever you might choose to read - I'm so not kidding - Support your favorite struggling artist.

Inspiration: "Take a chance; amaze yourself! "