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Archive for the ‘The Process of Writing’ Category

Snow Fence Road is a tale that’s fresh and inviting.  If 50 Shades isn’t your thing, then this story is for you. If you’re looking for a story to “elevate the human condition” without preaching to the choir, then this story is for you.  I was lucky enough to read the book (which I loved) and score an interview with Phyllis Edgerly Ring. Enjoy…

Ring Phyllis

Where did you draw your inspiration for writing “Snow Fence Road”?

The book began with a dream about the accident that shatters its hero’s life. This provoked a strong emotional response that made me follow where the story led. I’ve since discovered that its themes of guilt and grief, sorrow and secrets had deep roots in my own life. Spinning out the story certainly contributed to healing these.

Is there a particular place, style of music or people who inspire you to write?

Whatever evokes a sense of soul, of the timeless way spirit permeates our lives and invites us toward something greater. The natural world often provides this, as do the echoes of history in many European settings where I spent part of childhood and where my current novel-in-progress is set. Music seems most evocative when it’s instrumental, and human relationships fascinate me when I catch glimpses of the deeper purpose or intent they enfold – how qualities of soul show in them.

“Snow Fence Road” is as crisp and delicious as a fresh-picked Maine blueberry. You draw the reader into the scene and allow them to experience Maine, the characters’ unique voices, and evoke feelings in the reader – almost as if you’ve been there. Did you base your main characters on anyone you know or are they purely fictional characters? 

Thanks for these kind words. I’ve loved Maine since my earliest summer visits there. That love deepened as I lived and worked in its small communities and visited family and friends in farther reaches like Aroostook County. This brought close contact with many qualities that these characters embody. I also value the relationships that small-town life makes possible. Yes, there can be gossip and frailties. But you also find people who’ve discovered their truest purpose, which translates into how they act toward each other; what they learn to honor and value in others and themselves.

You’ve called your book “the exact opposite of 50 Shades”. Did you set out to write a book that was the opposite of “Shades” or do you base most of your stories on emotional romance rather than graphic sexual encounters?

No matter what sort of writing I do, my goal’s always to highlight the beauty and meaning that can exalt the human condition. A lot of current writing focuses on aspects of “dis-ease” we can all recognize in the human struggle, then bogs down in the mess of its symptoms.  It does the same thing conventional medicine does – focuses on pain and imbalance, giving center stage to the horror and fear these generate. This serves mostly to entrap and preoccupy the instinctual side of us, I think.

But what about the wider options in the liberating power of the healing process itself? That greater part of us it’s calling forth? I love the potential power and purpose story can convey about our highest possibilities. That story must come full-circle and be authentic enough to satisfy those who make time to read it, of course. I’m also always wondering: How are we raising our vision toward something greater, rather than simply settling for the imbalance we see around us, or devolving into the negativity it creates? How effectively are we exercising our power of choice? What do we invest in – i.e. “pay” attention and give time to? And why? How is that making us feel, and how could honesty about our feelings (something nearly absent in Western culture as I’ve known it) lead to the true intimacy that is also absent in so much human experience?

What type of reader would you say this book is for?

 I heard someone who reads mostly nonfiction and historical novels (meaning she never expected to read Snow Fence Road) describe how, after seeing the “interior designs” of “mind, heart and spirit” in my nonfiction writing, she was surprised to encounter in the novel descriptions of the physical world and daily life that point to “that same spirit of beauty, complexity of truth, and meaning”. Feedback like this is exactly what my heart is aiming for. I guess this story seeks readers attracted to welcoming a higher emotional tone in life, and the possibilities that spirit brings with it. Those who are irresistibly attracted to what can elevate the human condition.

* * *

Phyllis Edgerly Ring’s novel, Snow Fence Road, was released by Black Lyon Publishing this summer. Her current novel-in-progress follows the lives of three women during WWII in Germany. She is also author of Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details, and co-author of With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past, When We Can Investigate Reality?, coming soon from George Ronald Publisher. Married 35 years, mother of two, she has worked as editor, nurse, tour guide and conference program director, taught English to kindergartners in China, and served as instructor for the Long Ridge Writer’s Group. Her articles and essays have appeared in Christian Science Monitor, Ms., Writer’s Digest and Yankee magazines.
Visit her blog, Leaf of the Tree, at http://phyllisedgerlyring or connect with Phyllis socially here:

Social media links:

Twitter.com/phyllisring

www.facebook.com/people/Phyllis-Edgerly-Ring/782432640

Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18045722-snow-fence-road

https://plus.google.com/s/Phyllis%20Edgerly%20Ring?cfem=1&partnerid=gplp0

Please ask your local indie book-store to order you a copy if at all possible. We must support our independent book sellers. But, if you’re in the sticks, with no access to an indie book store  – here’s where you can get a copy:


Buy link for print:

http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Fence-Road-Phyllis-Edgerly/dp/1934912549/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373136697&sr=8-1&keywords=Snow+Fence+Road+Phyllis+Ring

Buy link Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Fence-Road-ebook/dp/B00DDVB106/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1373136697&sr=8-2&keywords=Snow+Fence+Road+Phyllis+Ring

More about this enchanting book: 

Snow Fence Road

Snow Fence Road

A village on the coast of Maine holds painful secrets—
the kind only the miracle of new love can heal.

Tormented by her fiancé’s death, Tess Johansen escapes to the only place that can still comfort her—the Spinnaker Inn in coastal Maine. Here in this place by the sea she feels close enough to the man she lost to numb the pain, if not the guilt.

For local craftsman, Evan Marston, the ramshackle inn serves only as a grim reminder of the accident that shattered his life and killed the woman he once loved. But while the Spinnaker’s walls may hold guilt and grief and suspicion, they might also house a bright new spark.

Drawn together by a love they never expected, Tess and Evan begin to unravel the mysteries of their pasts and question the miracle at work in their wounded hearts—until one fateful evening along a snow fence road …

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The process of writing is a bit like going on a journey. You know where you want to go, you need a map and a few signs to get there,  and you want to enjoy yourself along the way.

How do you do this?

Start by getting your groove on. Set a routine that will help you sit down and do the work. You must fight resistance  in all its forms (distractions, laziness, procrastination, and any acts of self-sabotage) just to get on the road.

Some key habits I use are:

  • Get up at the same time every day. Have a routine that works for you and not the other way around.
  • Set a timer for use of the internet, social media and email to limit the distractions.
  •  Use a post-it note for your to-do list. If the list won’t fit on a post-it, it won’t fit into your day.
  • Face the blank page everyday. I once wrote, “Facing this blank page is like visiting the hospital and smiling at the sick people.”  Some days will be harder than others, but face the blank page anyway and write something.

Once you have a routine, writing regularly is easier. It’s time to start your journey. It’s time to do the work.

Become a ‘Overnight Sensation’.  On average, it takes 5-10 years to become a ‘overnight sensation’. Comedians work for at least five years to become as good on stage as they are in their own living rooms.  It takes about 10 years to become a good comedian. Not great, just good. The same applies to writers when honing their craft.  The more you write, the better you will become.

Cultivate a ‘split personality’. One side of a writer’s personality is the creator. The other side is the editor.  The creator must be free of the editor in order to create.  Know the rules before you break them. Get a good style guide (Strunk & White: The Elements of Style) and familiarize yourself with it. Once you know the rules, feel free to break them (‘On Writing’ by Stephen King). When you’re finished creating, use your editorial skills to tighten up your work and make it readable.

Practice the art of seduction. A good story is all about the senses. It’s a seduction of sorts. You must draw your reader in using all their senses and make them want to keep reading. This is how you ‘show don’t tell’. Work on your art of seduction.  Put yourself in the scene before you write it. What does it look, smell,  feel, taste, sound like?

Live to create  Feed your inspiration. Hang with creative people. Stretch your boundaries. Experience new things even if you’re uncomfortable. You will draw new inspiration from these experiences, and you can later use them to describe feelings in your characters.

Remember, art is messy. Most of what you write will be crap, but that’s OK. Mine your work for gems, and polish them. Take those gems and string them together to make your story shine.

Monkey see, monkey do. Read good stories twice. Read it once to enjoy it. Read it again to see how they did it. Join a writers group. You’ll learn from other writers, and you’ll have someone to join you in your struggles. Find a mentor. Someone who is better than you, and likes you enough to help you along.

Get ready to be a billionaire.  I hate to break it to you, but writing does not equal big bucks. It’s the exception, not the rule. You should love writing, and love what you write about.  “I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself.” – J.K.Rowling. Write for yourself.

Don’t give up! Now that you are well on your way, stay on your journey, enjoy it, and don’t give up. Rejection is part of being a writer. Some of the greatest writers were rejected before they were ever published. Rejection comes with the territory. Don’t give up.

Angie Kinsey is a writer, blogger, and public speaker.  She currently has a daily inspirational blog, Anji-Kinzy-Whimzy, and a weekly blog devoted to the process of art: Angie Kinsey.

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I’m an avid reader of Michael Hyatt’s blog. His advice is succinct and usually very practical.

This post contains some very useful information for bloggers and writers in general:

http://michaelhyatt.com/how-to-write-a-blog-post-in-70-minutes-or-less.html

You can find out more about Michael Hyatt here.

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Here’s a great video by To-Fu  “29 Ways to Stay Creative”. My favorite is number 14. What’s yours?

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The World of My Imagination

Super-Blogger, Nicole Pyles, was kind enough to ask me to guest-post for her today. Check out my article, “The Journey of Writing Well”, at Nicole’s awesome blog The World Of My Imagination.

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