Posted tagged ‘creativity’

A Thoughtful Critique

October 28, 2013

Bountiful Woman

Bountiful Woman

Last week I had the good fortune to find a few free hours in my hectic schedule. I used them to have lunch with a writer friend and colleague who lives maybe 10 miles away from me. We chose a fabulous spot, one actually pretty much surrounded by the waters of Lake Michigan and a marina, rather empty this time of year as owners are putting their boats into storage for the coming winter.

But the day was a lovely autumn day. The food was fantastic and so were the Bloody Marys.

As for the conversation? Lengthy, thoughtful, stimulating, and writing oriented. She brought up my most recent releases, the novellas comprising Soul String Saga. And she raved about the whole series and what it meant to her as she read it. After listening to her enthusiasm, I commented that I wished more readers were finding this book. I carried the essence of its theme, plot and characters in my heart for more than twenty years.

Well, she blogged about her thoughts regarding Soul String. I’m humbled by her comparison and her feelings regarding this work. Somehow her words became more powerful once she put them in print. So with her permission, I share them with you. Perhaps, you might find this series interesting too.


by Anne Parent

Posted on October 27, 2013
Free to Fly

Free to Fly

I am a feminist. I read Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystic and my life was forever changed. I’m also a romantic and a traditionalist. I know these seem at odds, but I learned that a woman is a product of her many desires. I love a happily ever after ending to a story, my love of romantic fiction. I love powerful women that I find in fiction and I especially love it when they come together.

In the early ‘80s I read Barbara Taylor Bradford’sWoman of Substance and discovered Emma Harte. I was enthralled with the entire Emma Harte saga. I can still see her struggles in building her empire. Emma Harte is symbolic of the feminist movement, but she was more about the costs for a powerful woman.

I have recently discovered another series that has reawakened my past, Casey Clifford’s Soul String Saga. B.J. Kelly spoke to me, as did Emma Harte. B.J. was of my generation, a woman of the ‘70s. Clifford reminded me of what life was like as we opened opportunities for women who came after us. She has so perfectly depicted the choices women were faced with and what they had to give up to step into a man’s world.

However, this is also the story of B.J.’s soul mate and the struggles each of them faced in finding their paths. Every woman should read this series of books to understand why she has the opportunities of today and what women before her endured.

This is the ultimate book of feminism. It is also the ultimate love story.

Feminism is a word that carries strong emotional baggage. Throughout the years it has evolved, sometimes for the good, but not always. For me, it’s about having choices, not having it all. What does it mean to you?

Serene Harbor

Serene Harbor

Ice Floes and Writing

March 3, 2013

Lake Michigan creates

Lake Michigan creates

This past week our huge Lake Michigan played at being an ice sculptor.

Like most artists, who knows where this inspiration comes from, but all artists require tools or materials to accomplish their art.

For the Lake, one day this past week, the tools were wind and water. Frigid temperatures also helped. The materials were the ice floes on the horizon of the lake, some debris, mostly from tree limbs, and sand and stones churned up from the lake’s bottom.

Like most artists I know, the lake was never satisfied so for a full 24 hours the sculptures changed. I would have spent far too many hours recounting how these shoreline pieces of art changed. The materials didn’t change.

However, the tools did. Not it what they were but their size, strength, amount, you get my drift. It’s somewhat similar to my husband who must have 27 different kinds of pliers, same name but all different sizes or functions.

Wave action helps.

Wave action helps.

Or perhaps it’s like me. I might have several pair of slacks but what I wear them for is entirely different.

Or as a writer, my tools are pretty much the same. I use a computer, but I have 3, one small laptop, one much larger and a desk top. They all produce my work. My materials words are available on all of them.

And last Tuesday because I was also enthused about finishing the work I was creating, I didn’t take the time to watch Lake Michigan create, destroy and recreate those shoreline ice sculptures.

But I was doing something similar, in that I took what I created, destroyed parts of it and recreated it in a better way.

Ahh, but here’s the difference. Today my creation still is in existence and finished. I sent Soul String: Passport, Book 4, off to my editor. She may have suggestions for more destruction and recreation.

Let's change this shoreline's look.

Let’s change this shoreline’s look.

Oh, and the ice sculptures Lake Michigan created while I created on my computer?

Well, those sculptures are pretty much gone. The winds changed and tore them apart. For a few hours, the geese and ducks used them as resting spots, but no more. I suspect those pieces of ice are now being remolded on Michigan’s shoreline. Don’t get me wrong. We still got ice on the piers, but no longer do I look out and see these huge drifts and pillars of ice.

I think I’m very glad I write instead of using Mother Nature’s tools and materials to be a creative soul.

And here’s a glimpse of my next cover because my cover artist, Elle J. Rossi, was being creative also this week.

Soul String: Passport, Book 4

Soul String: Passport, Book 4

Are you happy to be doing what you do in a creative sense?

Dragonfly Daydreams

August 8, 2010

Resting for a Second

This past week I’ve been very aware of dragonflies.  They’ve been darting around our yard from early morning until I can’t see them any longer.  I don’t know if they still fly during the night because then I’m watching fireflies.

The variety of dragonflies amazes me.  Their agility astounds me.  One mid afternoon when I was mulling over how to rework a scene, I saw a dragonfly aerial expo that kept me watching for fifteen minutes.

My mind wandered as I watched, and in those minutes I solved my revision issue and allowed my thoughts to wander to the good these insects were accomplishing with their tricks.

Here in Wisconsin we’ve had a major hatch of mosquitoes lately and biting flies.  That’s what’s drawn the dragonflies.  They’re nature’s hit men and they’re very efficient.  And deadly gorgeous.

So once I got back to work and finished my scene, I did a bit a research on these beauties—because while I could identify them immediately, I didn’t know much about them.

For example, did you know they spend most of their life span in the water?  And while swimming around, they feast on smaller insects and aquatic critters tinier than they are.  When they leave the water, they metamorphose several times until they become the flying aerialists we all know.

Oh, I learned more, like some species are much bigger than others and one species in particular is on the endangered species list in Wisconsin.

Dragonfly and Tomato

Those facts made me think about how they compare to my characters, how they develop and change and become more formed as we go through developing an idea that becomes our plot, writing the first draft and then revising and polishing to produce a product that we and our readers will love.  (And this we is my characters and me)

Sometimes my characters are incredibly lovely, agile, maybe deadly.  If they are memorable, they will grow and change—or they won’t survive or axed in a revision or if it’s a suspense, they might get killed off.

Dragonflies only live a few weeks once they reach the stage that we recognize.

In that respect they aren’t like us or my characters.  Most of us will have many productive years as an adult.  Most of us will never attain the agility of these tiny but might fliers, but we will live longer.

Or are a dragonfly’s few weeks equal to decades for a human?  How might we ever know?

You can see this dragonfly issue has been on my mind.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have enough to think about.  Or maybe it’s because when watching these flying beautiful bugs, I let my mind wander and unleash my creativity.

Or maybe I’m just thankful they’re around to help keep those pesky mosquitoes under control.

Spider webs; I don't like them

I wonder if they kill spiders?  I’d love that, too.

Now, let’s see, maybe I could develop a story where mutant ninja dragonflies take over the world.  The leader would, of course, be a kickass female with the most iridescent of wings…maybe Angelina might be interested in playing her in the movie version…

What do you think?