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  • July 29th, 2009 | 5:53 PM
And the characters write back

The other day I wrote these letters to my characters.

Today they wrote back.

Dear Author Who Has Trouble Recognizing Happy Herself,

Happy is easy. It's when I fly. Anytime I take to the air I feel happy and if something is pissing me off, I forget about it as soon as I grip the yoke. Most of the time anyway. Perfect is tougher. The day I flew my first solo was pretty close. But I think the day Edna took me up in her old Stearman was about as close to perfect as I can remember. One of those lazy summer days where for once there wasn't a pile of something gone wrong waiting for me on the ground. The sky was clear and still and I gazed out at it from between the flying wires and wanted us to keep on flying forever. The pockety-pockety sound of the engine was better than anything I had on my playlist.

Yeah, I'd say that day was pretty close to perfect. Until we landed.



Dear Author,

Here's the thing about bugs. If you stand still in front of a plant and just wait, the bugs will come.  Big fuzzy Carpenter bees that make you want to reach out and touch their velvet fur. Hover flies that try to mimic bees. Katydids that blend in so well with the leaves that if you blink, they disappear. Over on the milkweed bright yellow aphids cover the plant and bring the ladybugs in for a feast. If you wait long enough you might see the ants band together to protect their aphids from the ladybug.

Once you stop using all that chemical junk in a yard it's like a whole new universe moves in. Some bugs live. Some bugs die. But things happen the way they're supposed to happen, in a way that makes sense if you apply nature's logic.

When the rest of my world is turned upside down, it makes me feel better to see the garden balancing things out.

Plant Kid


Dear Author,

The creep knows what he did. I'm not talking about it until I know he's locked up or dead. And I'm not lying about my sister. It's plain and simple. I told you what happened. I told you it was my fault. Would I admit something like that if it wasn't the truth?

Max wants to know how you are going to make sure to keep him safe.

Max's friend


Dear Author,

That's not a chip on my shoulder. That's a pile of scars from every time my dad hauled off and hit me for no reason at all.




There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 7 comments — Leave comment )
July 30th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
I want to meet these characters! Please write their stories already!

Thanks for the reminder to do this for my WIP.
July 30th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
I'm writing as fast as I can. Glad they are interesting to you.
July 30th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Oh, Cooper. Wishing I could fix it.
July 30th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
I knew Cooper would get to you. He's the verse novel I shared with my editor. Broke her heart a little bit too.
(Deleted comment)
July 30th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
Thank you, Joyce. Do you mean writing a book just in letters? Because I have thought of that. I'd love to collect these into something when the books are published. I think that could be fun.
July 30th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see you and the characters conversing!
July 30th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
I love that your characters write back. :-)
( 7 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
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"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice


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