Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Spending Time Writing, Spending Time Alone

by Susan Wingate
(author of award-winning novels DROWNING and BOBBY'S DINER)

In Fantasy: Writing alone = Heaven
In Reality: Writing alone = Heaven

In Fantasy: Being alone = Heaven
In Reality: Being alone = Loneliness

For years I've told people how much I love being alone. And, if you want to know the truth of it, most of the time that's the way I feel if we consider other people--those others "out there," outside my home those friends, family members not included in my immediate world--those people would never invade my life at all, if I truly desired to remain alone.

The fact is this, when I'm completely alone, without my husband, sister or mother around, without the people I love, my life is empty and sad. I tend to feel this way when it comes to close friends too. Those people, your buddies, you can call at eight in the evening and drink a glass of wine with while you chat.

Still, as we age, we learn the true meaning of loneliness. I never had children as a young woman. Never wanted children of my own. My husband, Bob, has three--a son and two daughters. From these children we now have four grandchildren, soon to be five. A sense of warmth and blessing comes from these kids. Even though they aren't mine. Which makes me wonder how deeply the parent-child feeling goes with your own biological children. Deeper than the earth's core, I think.

Most of my days I spend by myself, working out of the house. Not totally alone, of course. I have my critters about who keep me company--my dogs and cats, my birds and the wild animals that traverse our five acres of country-deep property. But something wonderful happens each day that makes me understand what humanity means. Each day, after leaving nearly ten hours before, my husband comes back home. Sometimes he returns happy, content, silly. Sometimes he returns overworked, laden, sad. Yet, however he returns, my life brightens. The blinders fall off my eyes. I can see the day. Work feels somewhere behind me.

As a writer, we must spend time alone to work, to visualize, to create. But, as human beings? We need people to interact with. And, when we feel the thrumming aversion to social interaction, we humans must put on a character (where without that character we might shrivel) and we must step outside our comfort zone.

Because, honestly, if we don't, how will we write? My best moments, I feel, are moments I've spent watching someone else or with have been with someone else. Sometimes, funny things happen when other people enter the scene. When I think back on times when funny things have happened and I was alone, these moments feel frustrating. I want to call someone, tell someone what just happened. That speaks volumes.

See, people need people. It's a simple truth. We have the same bodies. We are made of the same spirit, if you will, and are completely connected by God, for me, by some other higher being for others. But, we're linked by something much larger than ourselves.

Try and think of it this way, if a friend or family member calls you, it means a few things--one, they thought about you; two, they want to hear your voice; and, three, they love you. But, it also means, when you remove yourself from their lives, they miss you.

For more information about Susan Wingate,

Susan's website is:
Susan's workshop schedule is:
Susan's blog is:
Susan's Facebook page is:
Susan's Twitter page is:!/susanwingate

Special thanks to Susan Wingate for being my guest on my blog today!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Queen of Pins

Ode to the Queen of Pins

O hail the ever gracious Queen
Who wields the Holy Pin
That drapes with mickle pointy lance
Supple, shim'ring muslin
She wears the sacred bandoliers
Adorned with safety clasps
How weighty yet how fastenating
These seamstressary hasps!
E'en yet the jave' like arrow staves
Meld in the royal scabbard
To stay the 'stumely motif made
To form a proper tabard
She even can, when need arises
Make use of hat pin modes
And join chapeau and prissy head
In this no evil bodes
When all juice ceases, 'chines do stop
Yet still the 'lines do live
Her clothes pins conquer sunlit glades
And make spring fresh scents give
Stout push pins do their pattern hold
The paper, cloth in twain
In this the Queen with bondage does
Become a Queen of Pain
Though knotty times befall us all
There is not much to say
Save "T" shaped instruments are used
When doing macrame
Still, gentler hours, they do prevail
When her Highness feels maternal
The special pins that she doth use
When changings seem eternal
Hold, you who say the Queen's obsessed
With objects that be pointy
Have never seen her "Robert's" pins
Or hair pins, bent and jointy
Now, 'fore you think Her Nibs domain
Is perfect and all compassed
There am some pins she holds no sway
So do not raise a rumpus
It grieves her so when linch pins are
The center of attention
She has no power these crucial times

So please you, do not mention
Hath she a care for hinge pin lore?
I do not think so, ma'am
They're only fit for techies and
The Queen don't give a damn
Plus, please don't mention bowling pins
They're just no good for sewing
"They'll not through damask go," says she
With wisdom, aye, all knowing
Par'mount, beware her 'pricious moods
If you should Queen displease
She'll exercise her firing pin
And end your lifely lease...
O dance with spins
And raise loud dins
Fish wave their fins
'Midst cotton gins
With kith and kins
Absolved of sins
The yangs and yins
She ever wins
She ne'er gives in
All on Wheat Thins...
All hail, worship, and stand
For the Queen,
The Queen of Pins

Dedicated to Diane, June, and all
Costuming Persons

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I had a very good time on Dialogue: Between the Lines, and enjoyed it very much. Thanks once again to Susan Wingate and Joshua Graham. Please visit their individual websites by clicking their names.

I did read a couple of excerpts from the book.... I hope everyone likes it, because I have been extremely reticent about letting anyone read a work-in-progress like this one. Perhaps I'll do so more often.

For those who could not hear the program "live", it is available at this link.

It's actually the same link as the live show. Silly me.

Anyway, more to come within the next week, I promise!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shameless Plug

I'll be interviewed tomorrow at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Dialogue Between the Lines with Susan Wingate and Joshua Graham. We're going to talk about books, writing, and other creative-type stuff.

For those of who who cannot listen live, it will be available on the archive page, the link for which I'll post as soon as it's up.

Among other things, we'll probably answer the question about why I haven't posted here in a long while.... The short answer is that I've been "good" and have been working on my more difficult projects.

"Surely," many of my readers and friends have said, "someone who talks as much as you do should be able to spend enough time to put up at least ONE blog a week." This is a good point. So, I'll do my best to do so, and I thank everyone who's nagged me about it.

Anyway, do tune in and listen, and hopefully it will be compelling, interesting, enlightening, somewhat odd, and just plain fun. Or, I'll crash and burn. No pressure. I'm trying not to get nervous about it, but it's bound to wind up with me reading an excerpt from my three-book series, which generally scares me to death.

However, it ain't gonna stop me!