“Keep away from people who
belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that,
but the really great make you feel
that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain
Author Ann McAllister Clark - muses about books, authors and St. Augustine, Florida
I write fiction because I am fascinated by the human spirit and how it ebbs and flows, twists and turns over a lifetime. I see so many social circumstances I want to explore and have always found it freeing to explore these conditions in fiction. I see writing fiction as a delightful part of my future.
Today I published my first Facebook page:
It took me several starts and stops but I think it is up. It will take me time to get it where I would like it but its there! I hope you will visit it. I have many, many photos on my computer but I am having a time of getting the appropriate photos on the page. I tried it once and two relatives popped up on the banner! I don’t think they would like that. I did get them off and a picture of the St. Augustine Lighthouse up there instead. I hope working on the Facebook page doesn’t keep me from the fiction writing.
On Wednesdays I am going to publish on the Facebook page WEDNESDAY WRITERS WISDOM and quote cleaver writers quotes.
Both Morgan’s Redemption: the first of the Morgan’s Bridge series and A Bone In Her Teeth: the first of the St. Augustine Mystery series are now available on amazon.com I don’t yet know how to place the URL for the buy link but I’m learning! Let me try...http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=A+Bone+In+Her+Teeth Oh I think I did it! And here is the link to the Morgan’s Redemption book. http://www.amazon.com/Morgans-Redemption-Ann-McAllister-Clark-ebook/dp/B0176N78D0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1446392328&sr=8-3&keywords=Morgan%27s+Redemption
Take time today to dream of something kind and quiet.
photo by Ann M. Clark
August 2015– a friend in Michigan asked how we cope with the summer heat in St. Augustine. Actually, Georgia and Alabama are usually hotter by a few degrees than Florida.
Florida is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico both of which help to cool the state. But I can’t deny that on that first summer after arriving from Michigan fifteen years ago I really thought there was a chance I might see some spontaneous combustion of little fires on the cement driveway! It was so hot I thought there must be an emergency and when I checked the local weather they just mentioned a hot afternoon. HA! Didn’t they know the driveways were about to be in flames?
We usually stay inside with the windows and doors shut and the air-conditioning running until the temps go down a bit. WE do that but not everyone does. People play and work outside like anywhere else. They get used to the heat. When the humidity is high it is harder to cope. 90* to 100* degrees is typical of St. Augustine’s July and August temperatures I think. And after about three years I didn’t look around anymore for little fires on the driveway.
It is October here in St. Augustine. I watch the auto tags on cars and see all the Snow Bunnys arriving in town. Some will stay for the winter while others are stopping for awhile on their journeys. Its still early so yesterday’s visit to the beach was pleasantly uncrowded. The temperature was just right – low 80’s, the waves entertaining and just a light sea breeze.
So far – everybody knock on wood – the South has not had a hurricane to frighten us into scurring up into Atlanta to visit relatives. The relatives are probably giving out audible sighs of relief.
The thing about a hurricane is the flooding – first from the tides washing in and then from the constant rain. Then the wind is terrifying. It comes in waves like being flung in from the sea. It batters up against the house walls and is very scary. We only had 50 mph or so a few years ago when we came close to a hurricane and that was fearsome.
Where Writers Get Their Ideas?
It’s magical really. Well, at first it may seem that way. Creative thoughts, words and phrases running through a writer’s mind as she is writing. Sometimes it feels the words are like ribbons spilling out of our fingers, pens, pencils or keypads as if someone or something else is actually gathering them up and pushing them out on the page. When that happens I always send up a sincere ‘Thank You’ to the goddess of verbiage and thoughts. Yes, it is magic and when it happens I take a big breath and stay with it as long as I can.
And then I remember all the studying I have done – many college classes and dozens of writing books over the years. I read classics – Russian, English, and mostly American.
Writers get this question all the time – “Where do your ideas come from?” Ideas come right from a compilation of life and the writer’s experiences – encounters and events or things she has witnessed or researched. Writers have a way of filling up their internal and invisible sponge with all that moves before their eyes and ears and all the minutia of life. A writer is voraciously curious and thirsty for interest. A bit of this person, a little of that person, saved notes of conversation and pieces of experience all go into the vault of ideas. So ideas come from just about anywhere and go into the big soup pot of a rich mix. And then at the end of this wash of creativity comes the real work. Revision, revision and then more revision. The work never seems completely right and some writers may revise a dozen times or more.
I watched much of the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Florida. I suspect many writers watch court cases on TV or better yet in their own county courtrooms with thoughts of incorporating what they see into their stories. We have files of interesting newspaper clips and magazine articles to be used at a later date for inspiration or research. I took notes on the attributes of the detectives, lawyers and court proceedings during the trial in Sanford. I used those notes to describe the detectives in A Bone In Her Teeth: A St. Augustine Mystery.
Traveling through the streets of Gettysburg, Washington, DC, and Antitam and walking many battlefields helped me immensly with description in my historical novel, The Chrysalis: An American Family Endures The Civil War.
I just finished reading Justice Sonia Sotomayr’s memoir, My Beloved World. When she was a young girl of about eight years old, she faithfully watched the weekly television program, Perry Mason and decided she wanted to be a lawyer! And then she diligently pursued that direction in every single aspect of her educational life all the way to her seat on the United States Supreme Court. I used her early years for inspiration in Morgan’s Redemption
Where do we get our ideas for writing? Everywhere and anywhere.