Monday, April 14, 2008

Girls' Day Out

I always enjoy my time at our local Romance Writers of America chapter meetings. Once a month I get to join the Playfriends, Mavens, and various other wonderful friends I've met there to talk about writing (a dear subject to us all), life in general, and more writing (because we can never get enough).

Talking about this fascinating occupation allows us to share the joys, sorrows, and challenges associated with writing as a career. But one of my most favorite things to do is brainstorm our stories.

Whether we are talking about my book or someone else's, the process is just as exciting. Discussing plot points (whether abundant or lack thereof), characters, motivations, conflicts, or how to twist the knife just right to see our hero or heroine squirm. Everyone jumps in feet first, respectfully tossing out suggestions and running after tangents.

The best part is the Aha moments, where the light just dings on and you know you've come up with the perfect solution. I've never found a feeling similar to it. And that enthusiasm continues when you find yourself all alone BICHOK (writers' speak for butt in chair, hands on keyboard).

When we first started doing this, I was totally intimidated. Wasn't I supposed to be able to come up with everything on my own? Nope. Even New York Times Bestsellers have critique partners and brainstorming buddies. I don't have to feel guilty about tossing ideas back and forth with other people. It is still my basic storyline and I can take or leave anything that doesn't work for me.

What kind of trouble, I mean fun, did you get into this weekend? :)



Barbara Vey said...

My son's car was in the shop, so he used my car this weekend. The good news is that I got a lot of reading done (which is my favorite thing to do).

Betina Krahn said...

Hi, Angel! RWA Chapter meeting for me, too. And coffee at B&N's Starbucks afterward. . . for hours. Three hours to be exact. Wow. A lot of fun. Talking the biz and writing and families-- we covered it all.

And I came home to find my nearest and dearest had fired up some steaks and was waiting on me. gulp. A beautiful dinner almost destroyed. . . but fortunately saved. It was delicious and I was forgiven. The old "time just got away from me" excuse worked-- this time! The man knows writers.

Angel said...

Betina, he was lucky. The Playfriend hubbies have learned not to expect us at all on HOD day without prior arrangements. We met for breakfast at 9am, meeting at 12 noon, then had dinner together afterwards. I didn't make it home until 7:30pm. :)


Playground Monitor said...

I was right there with Angel.

We have you beat, Betina. After the meeting, some of us lingered at a deli until 8:00 PM. And then most of us had an hour drive home. But gosh it was fun! I think that's our record for lingering.

The DH was out of town, but he already knows on RWA day I'll be home when I get home, just as on volleyball night he'll be home when he gets home.

Instigator said...

Yep, the only thing my husband wants to know when I go to meet the Playfriends (and especially on meeting day) is whether or not he needs to feed the kids dinner. The answer's usually yes :-)


Smarty Pants said...

And I missed it all.

Instead, I walked so much I wore holes into my socks. 4 Disney parks in 2 days isn't the best idea, I must say. Especially at 90 degrees with full sun.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Yikes, SP! Much better to be out at a deli until 8PM. Even if PC and I decided to take a detour home because the traffic looked monstrous. I think I rolled in around 9:40 -- but I did stop at the grocery store for a bottle of wine. :)

Angel, it was fun brainstorming! I don't get to do that enough. I always thought it would be fun to have a plotting party. One of my friends (in another state, alas) does that from time to time. The gals get together over dinner and drinks, at her house, and plot.

Playground Monitor said...

I always thought it would be fun to have a plotting party. One of my friends (in another state, alas) does that from time to time. The gals get together over dinner and drinks, at her house, and plot.

When do we show up? I'll bring a salad. I finally have something to plot now (keep your fingers crossed this one doesn't go the way of the two prior to it).

Anonymous said...

I really look forward to the chapter meetings every month. I'm new at this writing thing and need all the information I can soak up! It's the one day that is just for me. Except for last Saturday. It was my daughter's first prom and it literally took all day to get her ready. A few tears and a lot of stress but it was worth it. She looked beautiful and had a great time.

I know some of you have little girls - better start looking for that prom dress now. It will take that long - trust me!
Sherry W.

Kathy said...

Holy socks, SP! May your toes be blessed. We missed you!

I had so much fun at the Deli. I didn't take a shortcut home but did run into that traffic Angel warned us about. We moved at 15 mph for about 4 miles though I didn't care. I still had to pick up dog food and my mind was in a happy place.

Listening to everyone's story ideas, hearing the feedback, the plot suggestions, and sharing ideas is inspirational. I don't get to talk writing with anyone else so when I meet with the playfriends, I feel like I'm finally coming to life. :-)

I'm ready to plot any time!

Kathy said...

Sherry W my daughter just went to her first Prom on Friday night. She had a great time, even though there was teen drama leading up to it. (One of her friends has been giving her a hard time about who she was going with.) Add in her Momma, trying to stand up for whatever her daughter has been filling her head with, and you've got calamity. Luckily, many adults/kids were looking out for her Friday, including her older brother, and she had a great time!

I'm glad your girl had a great time! Did your eyes tear up like mine?

Kathy said...

Oh, and there's more drama on the home front. #2 has broken up with her fiancee. (It probably won't last long.)

Anonymous said...

Oh my yes, Kathy. We had the tears and the drama but not the kind you had. Ours was mostly due to the fact the curl was falling out of her hair. An hour at the salon and by 4:00 it was almost straight again. What ever happened to good ole Dippity Do? That stuff was like cement.

I'm glad your daughter had fun at her prom. Friends can be so cruel at that age. And I hope #2 gets things worked out soon for the sanity of all.
Sherry W.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oh wow, teen drama! So glad those years are behind me. :)

PM, I'm ready! We should discuss a day for doing this on Friday, perhaps. :) The more, the merrier!

Jen said...

I was trouble-free this weekend. :)

terrio said...

Good to hear all proms went off well. I spent much of my weekend at the ballfield then managed to get a haircut and actually stop in at a friend's party. That almost never happens.

Sunday was dedicated to homework. Why did I go back to school again?

Rhonda Nelson said...

Jen, I find that *very* hard to believe. Trouble usually finds you. :-)

SP, missed you Saturday! Great company, great speaker. I had a wonderful time.

Verification Word--xhwnhohh


Problem Child said...

I've been gone all day, so I'm finally checking in.

No trouble for me. No, ma'am. None at all. Very normal weekend. No drama. Nothing. Just fun with the Playfriends...

HTG. :-)

Angel said...

Hmmm.... what is that I read between the lines, PC? :)= We love you, ya know!