7 Feb 2015

Guest Post: The Mystery of Creativity by Lu Erickson

I'm delighted to have the fabulous Lu Erickson with me today. Lu wrote a super post about creativity that I'd love to share with you...

Many times when people ask me about writing they say, "Oh I could never do that." And yet, they seem intrigued by the idea. I can hear it in their voices, see it in the glint of an eye. I tell them truthfully I believe they can.
I wasn't born a writer. How many times have I heard an author say, "Oh yes, I wrote my first play as soon as I could hold a pen."? No, that wasn't me. I didn't write a word of fiction until I was almost 40, when I penned a children's book for my daughter. On a whim I showed it to a writer friend who encouraged (read "lovingly badgered") me to continue.
I've finished four novels over the years and yet every time I start a new project I'm overcome with self-doubt. I can't write an outline to save myself. When my fingers hit the keys in those first paragraphs, the words come slow and clunky. I can't find my rhythm. I stumble forward bemoaning the loss of any talent I might have possessed. And then, as I persevere and the stack of pages grows, something magical happens. I lose myself in the world I've imagined. The characters become real people with unique personalities. Conflict builds. In my mind, the setting grows rich in color and aroma. I have found my way to that creative river that runs through us all and have dipped my ladle.
I ponder the source of creativity. It seems so fluid, so unpredictable--one day like a conduit running at capacity, the next, tightened down until only a few drips slip through. And yet it seems that the gods of authorship reward a stubborn heart. The very act of putting one's butt in the chair and fingers on a keyboard claims their attention.
So to anyone who has ever been so inclined, I say give it a try. Bring a couple of characters with you to the keyboard. Put them in a parlor of an old Victorian, or in a kayak in the middle of lake, or on top of a mountain in the middle of a snowstorm and see what they have to say, see what they do. They may have a story to tell. And you may be the author they've been looking for.

Lu's first novel, a mystery titled Where the Hell is Myra Atkins? is a story about the healing power of friendship (with a couple of murders thrown in for good measure). To read the first chapter of the book, visit Lu's website: www.luerickson.com

Where the Hell is Myra Atkins
When Myra Atkins, a life-hardened, aging vamp of a detective, goes missing, her secretary, proper English import Esther Humperstone is panic-stricken. She enlists new-hire Henry, an earnest yet slightly off-center twenty-two-year-old, to help find her beloved boss.
What Henry and Esther don't know is that while they're taking a crash course in private detecting, Myra, caught up in a mid-life melt-down, has actually escaped to Maui with smooth-talker Ray Garnetti for a little sun and romance—and a lot of vodka martinis. The stakes are raised when Gordon Winston, a prominent Sacramento businessman, and the last person Myra saw before she disappeared, turns up dead.
In the process of seeking answers to their boss's disappearance, Esther and Henry will unwittingly solve the mystery of who murdered Gordon Winston, take giants steps outside of their respective comfort zones, and discover that life's a richer journey when you're in good company.

1 comment:

Hiya! Thanks so much for stopping by the Fiction Dreams site. If you have the time, I'd love to hear from you so please do leave a comment :D xx