Author. Speaker. Girl About Town.


Author. Speaker. Girl About Town.

Natalie Bright

The Amarillo Club is located on the 30th and 31st floors of the tallest building in downtown Amarillo. I was invited to join a study club for lunch and to present a program on the history of energy in the Texas Panhandle. It’s a very interesting group of ladies, mostly retired educators, several local, long-time business owners, ranchers and professional women. This group is fun. They had lots of comments and questions, which makes for lively conversation and an enjoyable experience. This is my second time to present a program for them.

The view is breathtaking from this lofty vantage point. I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook of the downtown skyline and the flat Texas Panhandle.

When I got back to my car, I checked the mirror to apply lip gloss and noticed a speck of food. In my teeth. For the entire talk? Gross! I held on to the hope that perhaps the people at the back of the room couldn’t have seen it. I half cried as I checked Facebook comments on the picture I had posted. My Uncle commented: “Eating at high altitude produced gas (Boyle’s Law). You can control it by eating slowly.” So much for hanging on to any credibility for my #authortalk.

Embarrassment and horror turned to giggles as I drove back to my office. No matter how sophisticated and worldly I might be in my own mind, I’ll never escape these redneck roots. I’ll always be a small-town Texas girl, even in pearls and high heels while dining at the top of the world.

The same holds true for my writing.

No matter how hard I wish it, the stories in my brain are not mainstream. Honestly, I had big plans of being a romance novelist. I’d love to write the next zombie mega hit. Or even better, why can’t my muse ignite me with an earthshattering future world adventure that breaks all records as a New York Times Bestseller? Yes please, I want to write that.

Reality check. More than likely, it’s not going to be my book with, “Now a Major Motion Picture” printed on the cover.

The stories in my head are set in the past. My characters are thundering across the wide open prairie on a paint pony, or storming through a clump of Redcoats. In my mind’s eye, I see wagons and horses and Comanche braves. I have no idea why.

The why is a mystery.

The where and who are moving picture shows in my head.

The doing is the hardest work I’ve ever done.

Follow your characters, no matter where they may take you….

 

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Flittering Sparks


Flittering Sparks

By Natalie Bright

This one’s a biggey: I wish someone had told me about story sparks. How they come out of nowhere, at the worst possible times, when there’s not a pen and pencil to be found anywhere.

These elusive visions flit into your mind and disappear with a poof, never to return. It might be a character sporting a wide-faced grin taunting “Catch me if you can.” Sometimes it’s a fantastical place, one that’s so vibrant and alive in your mind. You just know it’s filled with fascinating characters. Other times, this new creation comes to you without a moment’s notice in vivid detail. It might be a crucial scene for your work in progress, no matter if you’re ready for that scene or not.

An Orderly World

As an office manager during the day, I like things orderly. Certain things have specific deadlines. This pile of bills must be paid by the 30th, for example. One particular process is done on the 10th of every month; always. In my mind as a newbie, that’s how I thought writing should be. You start with chapter one and you move forward through your masterpiece until you type THE END.

Stop Lying to Yourself

Don’t believe for one second that writing is a logical process. These glorious sparks of genius come at you day and night, with no rhyme or reason. Snatch them up, greedily, without hesitation. Write that ending to your book, no matter if you’re still struggling through chapter one. When that image appears in your mind, stop everything and put it to words.

Idea Notebooks

Do you carry an idea notebook? In addition to the notepads I carry in my car and purse, I’ve written story ideas on restaurant napkins, band concert programs, and bank deposit slips. In the short time someone can ask, “What’s for dinner?” the idea can be gone, and you’ll be left a weeping, pitiful writer of nothing.

JUST BE during this holiday season. Listen, taste, take a deep breathe–LIVE and fill up your idea notebooks. Merry Christmas everybody!

http://www.nataliebright.com