Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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September 12, 2011

The Writing Life

Hi all - Charlotte Carter here!

A writer’s life can be an interesting one. Not only can I go to work in my robe and slippers if I’m so inclined, odd things can happen.

Some years ago one of my Harlequin books was translated into Portugese and sold in Brazil. To my delight, I received some fan mail. It makes my day to receive a fan letter. But in this case I had a small problem.

The letters were written in Portugese.

Fortunately, I speak and read a little Spanish. At least I could tell the reader enjoyed my book. That’s always a relief.

Since I don’t speak Portugese, naturally I wrote back in English to thank her for her note.

This sweet 18-year-old girl was so pleased that a real live author had written to her, she wrote to me again — this time in her school English! Which was harder to understand than her Portugese! 🙂

Then there was the fan letter from a prisoner in jail. Hmm, I didn’t write back to him. Lots of big-time authors get those; nobody responds. Ick!

The strangest thing that has happened to me occurred recently. I was writing a Christmas scene for New Beginnings for Guideposts Books. The holiday table was set, all the family members were there, lights twinkling on the tree and it was snowing outside.

My husband walked into my office at that moment bringing me the day’s mail. My VERY FIRST thought was ‘Why is the post office delivering mail on Christmas Day?’

Talk about having to blink to come back to reality! In case you had any doubts, authors really do get into the heads of our characters.

I imagine every career has its odd moments. What strange things have happened to you on your job?

Happy reading......

Books that leave you smiling -
by Charlotte Carter
Big Sky Family, Love Inspired, 10/19/2011
New Beginnings, Guideposts Books, 9/2011

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0 comments on “The Writing Life”

  1. Charlotte,
    I can't think of strange happenings at my work - I'm stuck on imagining some massively tattooed skinhead in prison, reading one of your books! Would he have to hide the cover? OMG, that is funny.

  2. The strangest thing that happened to me in my F/T writer's life was my LACK of productivity when I first took the leap. When I worked at a "real" job, writing time was limited. I wrote from 5 to 7 a.m., then it was "hop in the shower" and go to the day job. I had all day to mull on what I'd written that morning and usually wrote in the evenings for an hour or two.

    Now, my "commute" to work (bedroom to laptop to opening WIP) can take two hours. Without set time frames, I'm prone to fall into a "later is good," or "I'll resolve that niggling plot twist tomorrow," or "Ooh, look! A sale at White House/Black Market!" pit of non-productivity.

    On-line connections saved me. I have accountability and write-a-thons now. Accountability and set time frames with no focus but work. Whoop! There goes the timer. Going into a forty-five with writing buddy, Sherry. GREAT post!

    1. Gloria, I confess self-discipline, in writing at least, is one of my long suits. I just turtle along every day and pretty soon I have finished the book. I'm glad finding ways to make yourself accountable is working for you. Keep at it!


  3. Charlotte, being a writer my entire life is "strange." The strangest are my conversations with my characters. I talk to them, they talk back (no rubber room please) and together we solve problems or come up with needed changes. Don't worry, I don't actually "hear" them, but I still think I'm a little more than strange. Being in the moment, becoming the MC ... these are the nutty things I do all alone in my robe and slippers 🙂

    1. You know, listening to the voices of my characters doesn't sound the least bit strange to me. I've been 'hearing' them since at least third grade. Until I joined RWA and discovered a whole lot of folks were doing the same, I was afraid I'd have to admit that to a psychiatrist. Char.....

  4. The strangest and most wonderful thing that has happened to me (so far) occurred up in Arrowhead when I was on my annual retreat with other OCC members. It was when I was writing my book that prominently featured a rather inquisitive raccoon. It was my birthday and we had gathered around the picnic table on the deck so I could open my gifts. Suddenly a large raccoon thumped down from the trees right on the table in front of us and began touching one of my gift-wrapped presents. He soon got bored and ambled back up the tree. When I finally opened that gift, guess what it was? A raccoon carved out of wood! It was a most memorable birthday!

    1. Barbara, What a fun birthday! Bet raccoons don't often get to enjoy a party. I've always thought they were cute until recently when one decided to nest inside our attic. ACK!

  5. It didnt happen to me, but I heard this story about a group of authors who met at a cafe once monthly to critique, support, plot, etc. At one session they actually had people in the booth next to them starting at them in HORROR as they plotted out the death of a character in vivid detail! Apparently the people thought they were planning a REAL murder! LOL!

    Enjoyed your post!

    hugs, Kari Thomas http://www.authorkari.com

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