Nancy: Traveling for Story

Some interesting things happen when you take up writing as a profession. One of them–at least for me–has been that traveling is now rarely something I do for vacation or relaxation or merely bonding with loved ones and friends. These days, when I’m catching a plane or hopping on a train, I’m probably traveling for work.

October 2019 (my third trip in five weeks): Snoopy, unamused that I am packing to leave him AGAIN.

Since writing can be done anywhere and since I actually produce the most words when I have my butt in a comfortable chair in my own house, the three trips I took in the past five weeks might seem excessive. And just two months before that, I spent a week in NYC for RWA Nationals. But each of these trips fulfilled specific requirements of the writing life, so I bought my tickets, rearranged my word-production schedule, stepped over pouting kitties, and left my well-worn writing digs for some on-the-road adventures.

The True Retreat Trip

October 2019: Perfect conditions for a fall writing retreat: cool, wet weather outside, hot coffee and tea inside.

This one is my favorite of all the writing trips I take, because I have a bi-annual retreat date with four writing buddies whom I’ve known IRL for more than ten years (I met the first of these ladies 22 years ago!). This is more than a chance to sit and write all day in the company of others who are doing the same thing. This is also a chance to catch up with real-life friends’ lives, discuss industry news, trade titles of books and movies and must-watch TV, and eat WAY too many calories.

In other words, this is the kind of writing excursion that feeds more than page-count goals and a sweet tooth. It feeds this writers’ soul as only time with like-minded friends can. Continue reading

Nancy: Writing What You Know…Or What You Don’t

The Bellagio water show in Vegas made its way into my heart and the My Girls story.

The Bellagio water show in Vegas made its way into my heart and the My Girls story.

If writers stuck to that very limited advice to write what we (already) know, most of us would run out of stories very quickly. Luckily, most of us spend more time writing what we could learn or, even better, writing what we would like to learn. For example, Michaeline spent much of January researching fun and fabulous stuff about the end of the 19th century. My of most recent projects – the series of Victorian-era romances – have me going back even further than that.

If one didn’t know better and thought I was only writing what I already know, one would possibly have to conclude that I have a gambling problem, because 21st century or 19th century, I seem to have a fascination with heroines who are card sharks. Continue reading