Thursday, January 31, 2008
Today, we have the ability to discover more about the West at our fingertips. The Internet and libraries are saturated with information about the history of the land and the people of days gone by.
There are towns still in existence that carry the feel of the Old West. Cowboys still lasso their horses to the post outside the local watering holes. Buildings are full of tin ceilings and aged newspapers plastered to the walls, flaking from age.
Towns like Miles City, Montana and Mancos, Colorado echo stories of the past while creating new ones every day.
Here are a few sites and places to visit for research and story development:
- www.womenwritingthewest.org (Everyone in the group has so much to offer) Be sure to check out the members page We have a variety of author's sites connecting with the Old West all the way through the present.
- 2008 Women Writing the West Conference in October (a place to connect with a variety of people who love and write about the West).
Sunday, January 27, 2008
I will be posting in what I will call 'real' time. What you will be reading over the next few weeks or so will be written on the blog post. The first draft of the story and the comments I make on what I have written will be just as they come from my fingers except for the spell check. I have to do that for you see the keyboard does not make sounds like the keyboard of the piano and if my fingers move who know what you will see.
For those of you who missed the picture of the mountains led to the following phrase "just a few more miles and then it will be time to have fun", which in turn lead to the idea of Elsie and Ruth going to the mountians from an opposite place. In thinking of names for the characters I came up with Elsie and Ruth for I wanted older sounding names. The names in fact are the first two names of my paternial grandmother. I myself originally came from the mid-west and can speak fairly well for how that felt. I have spent the last couple of days putting the two ladies in various scenarios, but other than the opening few lines I am not quite sure what is going to happen as I get to the end. I usually know the ending for my stories, the fun part is letting my characters decide how they want to get there. Now for those first few lines.
"Just a few more miles and then it will be time to have fun," Elsie laughed. "Just look at the mountains! It is so much better than Chicago"
That is Elsie, I think she would find a leaf fun if she thought it would get her anywhere. Still she is my best friend. It is because of her I am on what she likes to call an adventure.
"Come on Ruth, smile. We have survived so many things. Get rid of your somber mood and think of what is to come."
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Please send your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org before Wednesday Jan 26, 2008.
1. Having been forced to remain at a lower altitude due to heart problems Sue comes to the decision that no matter what she will return to the mountains she loves.
2. Elsie and Ruth are on their way to the mining town of Silver Cliff to experience the excitement of the boom town. hey decided anything would be better that working the factories in Chicago.
3. Kathleen, a very controlling mother, is left with the empty nest. She has just lost her husband, and now has to face what her children are going to to with the homestead that she can no longer maintain.
4. Having lead and exciting and adventurous life, Clara, is looking for somewhere to spend the remaining years of her life doing something to return to the world the 'gold' she has had over her wonderful life.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
4.1 Jenny was caught with stolen goods and was sent to prison for 2 years. She has reason to be angry at the boyfriend to left her holding the 'goods' so to speak. How does she resolve her anger and dilema?
4.2 Having been forced to remain at a lower altitude due to heart problems Sue comes to the decision that no matter what she will return to the mountains she loves.
4.3 For years Samantha has taken her singing talent for granted. Now faced with throat surgery that could take away that talent Sam has a decision to make. Surgery or ?
4.4 Maria became wheelchair bound after and accident and is fighting her way back to riding on her ranch and on the horse she loves.
I look forward as I do everyday to your choices.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The idea today is : "Just a few more mile and then it will be time to have fun."
3.1 So says Janice to her husband and 3 children, who would rather be home and hanging with their friends. To Janice this is the chance to get the family back together.
3.2 Joanie is on her way to go skiing when she is caught in a severe storm and finds herself stranded with a flat tire.
3.3 Sally has run away from home in Wisconsin and thinks that going to the mountains is the answer to all the problems she has with her life.
3.4 Elsie and Ruth are on their way to the mining town of Silver Cliff to experience the excitement of the boom town. They decided anything would be better than working the factories in Chicago.
SEE YOU TOMORROW!
Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Okay everyone here is the second days choices for the short story on the blog. You can make your choices for all four days up until Friday Jan 18, 2008. Just send your choices to email@example.com with the choice in the subject line.
The idea today is "Some people look and see beauty, I look and see years of my life gone, gone for nothing."
2.1 Arlene spent her life taking care of her father and mother, who really did not care or love her, instead preferring her prodigal brother.
2.2 Mary, married to a cold, hard man feels that she has made a mistake and that her life will be for nothing, except for hard work, endless loneliness and despair.
2.3 Juliette has spent years working as a madam, trying to make a living and hating the thought of using others just to survive. She is now trying to make her peace with herself and those she used.
2.4 Kathleen, a very controlling mother, is left with the empty nest. She has just lost her husband, and now has to face what her children are going to do with the homestead that she can no longer maintain.
A podcast of an interview with Velda Brotherton conducted by Revvell Revate for the Book Crawler was almost missed when the holidays took precedence.
This interview is in several segments and covers the writing of Fly With The Mourning Dove. It was originally podcast on November 29, 2007 on www.thebookcrawler.com and is a vibrant discussion about writing creative nonfiction and working with the protagonist of the story throughout the process.
Here are some photos taken in New Mexico of one of the ranches still owned by Edna Hiller, the hero of Fly With The Mourning Dove. Hope you enjoy them.
Also, don't forget to check out the documentary on Velda Brotherton at http://vimeo.com/354804.
Monday, January 14, 2008
You may send you choices to firstname.lastname@example.org and reference the number IE. 1.2 or 2.4 in the subject line. Now for the choices today.
The idea I will be working with today is "is this the area where I will finally find my 'gold'? etc.
1.1 The woman is actually a prospector, there were a few of them in the 'old' days. She is trying to get the funding together to by the supplies she needs, but is being turned down by those she request help from.
1.2 Gold to Mary is a home and property of her own. She is escaping a bad relationship and feels that she can lose herself in the mountains and hence find the 'gold' that is peace of mind and safety.
1.3 As a young woman, Jennifer had always wanted to get married and have children. Because of a physical disfigurement she has not had the luck she had hoped for. She is heading toward the mountains and the men who work there to try and find her 'gold', someone who will care for her as she can and has cared for others.
1.4 Having led and exciting and adventurous life, Clara is looking for somewhere to spend the remaining years of her life doing something to return to the world the 'gold' she has had over her wonderful life.
Take you pick and I will see you tomorrow.
Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines.
Author and Women Writing the West member, Velda Brotherton makes a splash on the "Writer’s in the Sky" blog, a site dedicated to featuring different avenues of learning the craft of writing. This past Friday, they podcasted Velda discussing her latest book, Fly With the Mourning Dove.
In this creative non-fiction release, Velda shares the story of six-year-old Edna as she starts a new life in the parched, desert land of New Mexico in the early 1920s. Follow Edna as she faces daily existence with an ill family member, while she and her parents homestead 640-acres in the arid New Mexico desert. Share in her new life as she learns to fall in love with the beauty and mystery of New Mexico.
Velda is a resident in the beautiful Ozark National Forest. She is a member of Women Writing the West as well as the Ozark Writers League, Missouri Writer’s Guild and Northwest Arkansas Writers Workshop.
Be sure to check out the podcast at http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com/
Velda can be found on the Internet at www.veldabrotherton.com
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Here are some of the thoughts and feelings that I took from the picture.
"There is no jail worse than the one that puts you behind bars and then shows you the freedom you have lost."
"Just a few more miles and then it will be time to have fun."
"Some people look and see beauty, I look and see years of my life gone, gone for nothing."
"Is this the area where I will finally find my 'gold'? I have prospected for years, dealing with me who think I cannot do as well as they. So what if it the area is covered with snow, I am stronger than they think."
Join me next time. I have a feeling one of the above may end up the story!
If you wish to comment please feel free, the more the merrier.
Doris McCraw writing as Angela Raines
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
For more information about Women Writing the West, and complete contest guidelines, see www.womenwritingthewest.org.
For more information about She's Out West magazine, see www.shesoutwest.com.
This is a terrific opportunity for WWW members. Start thinking about your stories!