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To AllisonHayes(14 posts)

To AllisonHayesPaul
May 10, 2002 4:07 AM
The subjects that I write on vary. From a Civil war story about a female Confederate spy based on Belle Boyd(Front Royal, VA) who spied for Stonewall Jackson. She lead such an interesting life, really ahead of her times, married three times during the Victorian era. A strong role for a woman. To a murder mystery on a modern day cotton farm on the Mississippi delta (hot and steamy)based on an article I read in the Washington Post, and a nice, white-sheet Christmas story.

I was in contact with another VA write, Jeff Arch who wrote Sleepless In Seattle. He liked my Civil war story, and spoke with a producer about it. My problem is I'm not good at marketing, and didn't push the relationship. I had an agent, but he wasn't much help. It's real hard to break into this field, like everything else, it's who you know.

My latest (a comedy), is based on hard-core, overweight middle age motorcyclists, who, after several members die of heart
attacks, turn to bicycles. I would like to find a co-writer on this, as comedies are hard to write.

You have a knack for writing, ever get published?

A female Confederate spyfirstrax
May 10, 2002 5:17 AM
I would like to read that. Is it published?
With the Library of Congress, but there arePaul
May 10, 2002 5:50 AM
three biographies written on her life. The best one was by an ex-naval officer, can't remember the title. She also published her memoirs in 1865 while living in England, and working as an actress. She claimed to be a captain in the Confederate Intelligence Service, but there is no official record of this. She performed on stage giving recitals of her Civil War accounts in this country. Stonewall Jackson's Valley campaign and his attack on Front Royal was a result of her spying activities. When captured on a blockade runner out of Wilmington, NC. The young naval officer in charge of towing her boat back to New York, falls in love with her. She uses him to obtain the Union Naval Codes, but then marries him after the war. Her life had many strange twists, and is really fascinating. She was but seventeen when her town (Martinsburg, now WV), was occupied by Union soldiers, and when they invaded her home, shot and mortally wounded a Yankee. Could tell you more, but you will have to wait for the movie (I hope).
Never been publishedAllisonHayes
May 10, 2002 7:33 AM

I run out of what to say after 30 minutes. Writing is something you have to work at daily. As Anais Nin says, "Proceed from the dream outward." Good writing is such a pleasure to read. Great writing is like a gift.

I like the following advice on being creative:

i Discovering the source of stories you are best qualified to tell often comes down to finding new connections between causes and effects in your own life. It means identifying what distinguishes your life from others. Where, after all, does the belief and drive to create something like a story come from?

i It exists because you carry markings from emotional experience. You feel the impact of particular personalities and situations during your development. For a work to be meaningful to others, it has to go further than merely reflecting actuality. It has to imply ideas about those people and phenomena.

i Usually an idea starts out with a simple sentence. For example, someone may say "What if a guy falls in love with a mermaid?" This was Brian Grazer's idea and became the 1980's comedy Splash. Another example could be a movie about creatures going to battle in outer space, in which you come up with films such as Starwars.

i In any case, the writing process usually requires extensive research. Much of the time, the story is set in a world unfamiliar to the writer which presents many challenges. This may consist of geographical challenges, such as a writer whom lives in the United States writing about life in a third world country.

i Geologic or historical challenges may occur when a writer decides to write a screenplay on something that occurred in the past. Mental and or physical challenges may take place when someone decides to write about being handicapped in some way such as being deaf or being a paraplegic. Every
project presents its own set of unique research obstacles.

I was thinking that it would be fun if someone put together an anthology of RBR posts, maybe create some themes around them such as punk, science, wit, art, stories, pathos, memories, trolls (and marlinspike seamanship: the art of knot tying--or how to turn trolls into knots), experience, racing, and on and on. Some of the material by Ahisma, Spirito, 128, LoneFrontRanger, Heloise, Doug and so many others--is absolutely wonderful and a treasure.

Or, take the characters on this board and create a story out of them. There are enough personalities on this board to even keep Sybil happy.

Keep us posted on how it's going; maybe you can share some of it with us as well.

I like that, Thanks. nmLen J
May 10, 2002 7:40 AM
Which do you like?AllisonHayes
May 10, 2002 7:50 AM
making an RBR anthology, creating a story from RBR characters, or the part on being creative?
All, but.....Len J
May 10, 2002 7:58 AM
especially the part on being creative.

I find, for me, that my best writing comes from deep within the recesses of my own experiences and struggles. Good vs great writing is, for me, the difference between someone simply being intellecually creative and someone with intelligence investing thier writing with emotional content that rings both true and deeply experienced. "How can you write about something that you haven't felt?" You can craft a story about something unfelt, but is it art?

So, you are a writerAllisonHayes
May 10, 2002 8:11 AM
What have you written? What do you write about?
Mostly my own......Len J
May 10, 2002 8:22 AM
struggles & learnings.

Writing for me is a way to slow my mind down & see connections that weren't apparent to me at first. If I let myself go, I usually end up with an insight from my writing that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Here is something that I've shared before on the act of writing itself.

On Writing

I avoid you for the longest time...
afraid of what you will reveal,
unhealed wounds you will reopen,
labor you will require,
the exposure of my capability.

But then I begin again..
you carry me to places I would not otherwise go,
along paths I would not take,
showing views unanticipated,
using methods I did not know I had.

Time suspends when you capture me...
thoughts and emotions flow in torrents,
faster than I can comprehend,
deeper than I can fathom,
cascading and relating in ways unforeseen.

Finally I fully surrender...
you animate the pen across the page,
I try to keep up without steering,
curious of the destination, excited by the creation,
worried about the result.

Suddenly we are done...
The child lies vulnerable on the page.
Do I like it? Does it touch me?
Is it real? Is it good..enough?
I put it away.

I force myself to reconnect...
Fearful, I read and feel the thoughts again,
looking for inconsistency,
improvement without dilution,
and clarity without apparency.

I am satisfied...
The result is something that touches me,
or reminds me of a lesson lost.
But, can I share it?
I am afraid.

It is time to exhibit...
I worry.will anyone understand?.
Will it touch anyone?
Is it just intellectually enticing?
Am I any good at this?

I put my fear aside...
And release control of my child.
He/I sit(s) there naked and exposed
Before someone shows him/me
In a way I haven't seen before.

You call to me again...
always before I'm ready,
a rush of ideas flood my heart,
with no clue how to communicate them.
I try.

Let's have some fun: we'll turn this into a cycling thread yetAllisonHayes
May 10, 2002 8:38 AM
And this from a CFO? go figure (just kidding--nice work)

Now, I hope you don't mind my borrowing your words...this is for elefantino, rtolle, weiwentg and others who have crashed or are injured...

After the fall

I force myself to reconnect now
Fearful, after the fall,
Inconsistent, I climb back on

I am afraid.

I worry?
Am I any good at this?
I put my fear aside?..
And release control
I am now naked, exposed

Always before I was ready,
Fear floods my heart,
I will try.
Well Done & thanks. nmLen J
May 10, 2002 8:42 AM
True human emotion LenPaul
May 10, 2002 8:39 AM
It's what we are. It reminds me of the emotional feelings I felt the first time I had part of my script read by others in a writers workshop I took. Most of it was fear of being rejected by my peers. Would my lines sound stupid? But to my surpised, the "actors" became immersed in their character roles, and my fear turned to pride upon hearing my writting come to life.

Just go on with your writing/feelings, it's all part of our being.

The interesting part for me is...........Len J
May 10, 2002 8:45 AM
what I "discover" about my writing when I let it go & "expose" it to others. More often then not, I receive an insight, revealed by the interaction of the writing with the reader, that I had neither intended nor seen, yet it is there. What a gift.

The characters will lead you.Paul
May 10, 2002 8:14 AM
If you have watched the early episodes of Seinfeld, you can see how different the characters were at first (especially Kramer), but later on they developed into their character role. When I wrote "Black Cotton", there were three suspects, and I didn't know which one would end up to be the murderer. While writing the last several pages, I was so immersed into their psyche (their motives), that this lead me to identify the killer. Develop the character, and he/she will lead your fingers on the key board.

You have an excellent imagination, and it shows.
Well, back to bikes

thanks for the link