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Drama: June 13, 2012 Issue [#5094]


 This week: Life's a Beach
  Edited by: Nicki <3's Mara!!
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1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

Like many of you, I've considered myself a writer my whole life. But in 2007, I shifted out of hobbyist mode, started writing for an audience, and embarked on the exciting journey towards publication. As I continue on that path and delve ever deeper into the craft, I feed an insatiable appetite for creative writing theory. I seek out how-to books and workshop experiences to augment and amplify whatever talent I possess. For those of you like me, here's a little theory to appease your hunger.

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It'd been five years since we'd vacationed on Cape San Blas, a narrow peninsula that points its finger away from the Florida panhandle and out into the Gulf of Mexico. Coming back to one of our favorite beaches was exciting, but for me, it held a special significance. The fall following our return from the Cape in 2007, I discovered Writing.com. And the first fictional story I posted here that was written for an audience, (unlike all the journal-format scribblings I'd done up to that point), was inspired by my real-life events that took place on Cape San Blas.

Last week while I walked on the beach, I thought a lot about that story and reflected on my writing journey from 2007 until now. My mind wanders when I beach comb; it is one of my favorite activities, a peaceful time when I marvel at the beauty of the sea and all the treasures she holds. The sound of the surf, the salty smell of the sea air, and the sun's heat intoxicate and inspire the writer in me.

The first day of every vacation we spend at Cape San Blas, I decide on a certain and specific item I hope to find while combing the beach. One year, it was a whole, intact sand dollar. Another year, I searched for a perfect, unbroken spiral seashell. Walking the beach becomes a sort of Where's Waldo scavenger hunt, with a prize hidden out in plain sight.

This year, I decided to find a shark's tooth on the beach.

As my eyes drifted up and down the wet, hard-packed sand at the sea's edge, I thought about how similar my beach combing quests were to the way I approach story writing. Ever since that first story back in 2007, I've started each new piece of fiction with a specific challenge in mind for myself. I try something new, something I've never attempted before. I wrote my first story in third-person, which is the natural, organic comfort zone for my muse. So in subsequent stories, I've tried first person, second person, and omniscient narrations. I throw myself into new genres, experiment with unreliable narrators. Once in a while, I write with pen and paper instead of typing on a computer. The idea isn't to rigorously challenge myself, so much as to give fresh focus to each new project, to heighten each experience and invite the unexpected into the mix.

In past years, I've successfully found the beach object of my desire. And next to pristine sand dollars and perfectly curvaceous spirals, I have bowls of broken shells, each beautiful for a special, one-of-a-kind reason, collected along the way. This year, I didn't find a shark's tooth. But that's okay; some challenges push you further, make you wait while you work harder for your results. This happens in my writing, too. Some stories fall short and don't capture the magic I intend, the first time around. Sometimes, I have to carry that focus into the next project until I master that which I grasped, maybe held for brief moments, but let slip away by the end.

One thing's for sure, while I hunted for that elusive shark's tooth, the balmy breeze and sugary sands of Cape San Blas inspired the writer in me, just as it did five years ago.

What new writing technique have you challenged yourself with lately? How'd the story turn out?

Thanks for reading!

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 Beached  (ASR)
Flash fiction contest entry
#1752837 by Markus

 Beach Bait  (E)
Fiction adapted from a true experience
#1724635 by Pony Tale

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The Orchid Bride  (13+)
A simple wish for a young girl teaches her so much more.
#1291020 by iKïyå§ama

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 Lost in Biloxi  (E)
A day on the beach becomes the nightmare of her life.
#618643 by Vivian

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Question For Next Time: TBA

Last month's newsletter asked, Have you asked your grandmother or grandfather about their childhoods? What was the most surprising thing they shared with you? Here's what readers said:

flea -- You're right, there's a wealth of interesting knowledge that we can experience just by talking with elderly folks. I love spending time talking with my parents and grandparents. And as they get older, they usually talk more... Thanks for a great newsletter! *Thumbsup*

So true! Thanks for commenting!!

Mara ♣ McBain is NaNo-ing! -- My Grandmother and her brother grew up in an orphange. She doesn't like to talk about it much, but the little she has shared with me isn't pretty. It's very different from the fostercare system now, which has it's fair share of problems. It really makes me stop and think not only about the loving family I grew up with, but what would happen to our son if something happened to my husband and I.

Wow, what stories they could tell. I'm sure every one would break a heart, too. Such a good reminder that we must cherish our blessings each and every day.

BIG BAD WOLF Is Thankful -- They remember when they had teeth- not how they lost them. [Submitted item {item:1848918]

I suppose there's fodder for fiction somewhere in there...*Confused*

fyn -- Abso-posi-lutely an awesome newsletter!!!!!!!!!! Massively important in a world where my grandson sees a telephone booth and aside from 'Superman's Changing Room' has no clue what it is! I remember walking to the spring a quarter of a mile away from the house to get water every morning...I remember having to crouch under my desk during air raid drills...I remember having to listen to the number of rings on the wall phone to know if it was for us or the neighbors down the road...

My parents 'got radio and eventually TV.' We 'got computers, cell phones and IPads. Remember Dick Tracey and his 'phone-watch'? How far we've come. But we must be sure the following generations learn and realize as well!

It's mind-boggling how far technology has carried us into the future in such a short time, and how much the world changes from generation to generation. Superman's Changing Room, ha!!!!! Love that!

Bonnie -- What a wonderful newsletter, it took me back to days when I used to sit and listen to my grandpa for hours. He was and still is my hero!
Which got me thinking to; It takes a village to raise a child.

Great newsletter, certainly inspired me!

"It takes a village to raise a child." *Left* Love this, and I think it makes a great writing prompt, too!

See you all back here on July 11, 2012. Until then, have a great month!

*Bullet* *Bullet* *Bullet* Don't Be Shy! Write Into This Newsletter! *Bullet* *Bullet* *Bullet*

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