A MAN AND A WRITER GO INTO A BAR

    A man walked into a bar. “Writing a novel is easy, right?”  he asked. “I have this story I want to write. Tell me where to start?” Okay, maybe it wasn’t a bar, but a table at a book fair. I gave him the advice I heard from someone once.  “The beginning is easy. What comes next is hard,” I said. “Huh,” he said. “First, you need to get a license. Do you have one?” “I had no idea,” he said. “Where do I get one.” “The Department of Creative Writing,” I told him. “Each state capital has one, or province if you live in Canada. You have to pass a test. The written part is the hardest,” I added. “I had no idea,” he said again, starting to sound repetitious. I’m sure he didn’t get my joke about the written part. OK, the conversation didn’t go exactly like that. Still, we’ve all had one close to that. We’ve been asked where we get our ideas. Is it hard? How long does it take to write a novel? I did have a woman tell me she would like to write but didn’t have an imagination. I would be…

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Sharing imaginary friends since 1985

My name is Chuck Waldron, and I’m a writer. I love to write. Previously, a professional mountain climber, if you view work as climbing mountains, I now spend most of my time trying to make sense of what to do when the plot bunny bites. Having so many imaginary, yours truly is not afraid to use them. They allow me to use their voice, on occasion even demand it. Who can ignore the shouting? That leads me to write thrillers mixed with mystery and action, character-driven stories spiced with plot twists. Besides shameless self-promotion, the intent of this blog is to share the baffling task of writing. And, to find readers. I’m in awe of readers. They have the power to give a story “thumbs up” and what writer doesn’t want that? But what about thumbs down, oh no! Well, smart writers learn a lot from that too. The reader is the ultimate judge. Credentials? Does one need a license to get creative? When I found out I didn’t need a permit to write a story, it was simple. I simply started. Reading a story in the local newspaper, I signed up for a class in writing short stories. It…

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TOP THREE MOST ASKED QUESTIONS…if you’re a writer

I stumbled on an article about questions most asked of a writer. Surprised? Sort of. I know that if I had a chance to sit down with John LeCarre, James Lee Burke, Margaret Atwood — insert the name of any famous writer of your choice — I wonder what three questions I would ask. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be the first two questions. THREE (3) QUESTIONS MOST ASKED HOW – LONGHAND/TYPE/COMPUTER WHEN – MORNING/NOON/NIGHT? WHERE DO THE IDEAS COME FROM?   THE FIRST TWO DEAL WITH PROCESS IS CURSIVE A DEAD LANGUAGE? A young writer came up to me after a workshop and asked me if I could read cursive. I said, “I’m quite fluent.” He told me his goal was to keep cursive alive. TYPEWRITER? You may find one in a museum. I have one for display. After all I did write a novel about a typewriter, a Remington. I purchased a 1937 Remington typewriter online. My winning bid was $17. The shipping cost $54. But it does make a dandy display. TIME OF DAY? Anytime an idea needs to be put on paper, morning, noon or night. Each writer has an individual writing rhythm, but who hasn’t thrown…

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Attack of the Plot Bunnies

Bitten by the plot bunny? When did I first admit to being a writer? For me, it was 1989 as best as I can recall. That was the year the Berlin Wall came down, the Exxon Valdez ran aground, and the 49ers beat the Bengals in the Super Bowl. People were listening to Madonna singing Like a Prayer and going to see Good Morning Vietnam at the movies. The Cosby Show ruled the airways. Alas, Robin Williams is now gone, and Cosby…well, that was 1989. On the literary scene, Anne Tyler won the Pulitzer Prize for Breathing Lesson and Camilo Jose Cela won the Nobel Prize for Literature. My favorite writer, John Le Carre, published The Russia House. And I signed up for my first writing class. I tip my hat to the memory of Henrietta Blake and her class on short stories. How was I to realize her teaching would open the lid, letting the writing genie out of the bottle?  Over the years, I have both loved the genie when the words were flowing and detested that genie, staring at a blank page. Story ideas started to creep into my mind like a cat, belly low, sneaking up on me. I wrote a story, then another, then…

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