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  • June 27th, 2011 | 11:55 AM
Letters to Characters

Last week when my characters wrote back to me I could finally hear a couple of distinct voices calling out to me. This is proving to be a great plotting exercise for me. Here are this week's letters to my characters.

Dear Plant Kid,
First off, some sympathy that Nan and your grandmother seem to be making you feel bad all the time. Sometimes grownups can be mean without even trying. I'm sure they both love you very much.

I want to hear more about how your dad died but I understand if you don't feel like talking about it right now. Maybe you could just tell me about that thing you found that used to belong to your dad. I don't want to fall into cliche territory here and it seems highly possible, considering your situation and all.

And what about Mr. Mac? You haven't talked about him in a while.

Dear Frankie,
Thank you for sharing that special memory of your sister with me. I know it wasn't easy. I'm glad you had Mrs. Winslow there to help you. I seem to be focused a lot on dead dads today so maybe, since you aren't ready to tell me about how your sister died, maybe you could tell me what happened with your dad?

And what about that gypsy lady? Is she still around?

Dear Sisters,
I might as well get all the dead dad questions out of the way at the same time. I want to know what you felt like when you found out your father was dead.

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


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."
--Bonnie Friedman

"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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