Lying or Telling the Truth: A Writer’s Life

USS Enterprise standing offshore Dec. 7, 1944

USS Enterprise standing offshore Dec. 7, 1944

Odd how easy it is to write fiction. Just create a character, put her in jeopardy and off we go. Her life changes, she has adventures, meets new people, perhaps changes her own and someone else’s life. But sit down to write a short blog, and I meet up with NOTHING.

The character in my next book, Beyond the Moon, coming out in August, was so easy to create. But wait, perhaps I didn’t create her at all. Maybe she was lurking in the shadows just waiting for me to discover her, give her something to do, people to interact with, and she was off and running. Katherine Kelly, at the age of 41, lost her husband when his tractor overturned and pinned him. Devastated that the man she had loved since she was nineteen was dead, she gave her all to grieving.

An artist who taught at both the local University and privately, she withdrew and shut down. Then one day a colleague came to her with a problem he thought she might help solve. And in so doing, he hoped it would bring about her own healing.

But before we go any further, let’s look at the crux of that problem. After nine years classified as an MIA following the Vietnam conflict, Navy pilot Glen Tanner was found by mercenaries hanging in a bamboo cage in a tree in Cambodia. Soon after he is silently

Vietnam soldiers

Vietnam soldiers

shipped home from a hospital on the West Coast he breaks, is hospitalized, then shuts down. Nothing his doctors can do will bring him back. Then he asks for canvas and paints and begins to paint out the horrors dwelling in his mind.

His psychiatrist hopes to help both his patient and his colleague by asking Katherine to come in once a week and take Glen on as her art student. Reveal to him the beauty of the world through the eye of the artist. Help him deal with his demons so he can come home in the true sense of the word.

And so the story begins. Last week I posted an excerpt from the book in this blog. My publisher is now working on the cover, and I will have some input. Beyond the Moon will be out in August.

See how easy it is to write fiction? I am thinking of going back to when I first began to write for local newspapers and publishing some of the interviews I wrote. I think maybe my readers would enjoy that.

When the Berlin Wall came down I interviewed a German woman who had come to America as a soldier’s bride. On Pearl Harbor day I interviewed a retired sailor who had been on a ship standing offshore on that fateful day. He had on his table a piece of twisted remnant from a kamikaze pilot’s plane that hit his ship. One day I was on hand to help dignitaries greet a Marine who came home in a wheelchair from Iraq, a marvelous young man filled with so much courage and hope.

These were stories of the 1980s and early 90s, and some of them are relevant in today’s world. If I were still writing those type of articles there would be many people I would like to interview. At the top of my list would be the Vietnam veterans who at long last received their medals in a formal ceremony held in Fayetteville last year.

Am heroes

But pursuing such a career is no longer possible. It’s both physically and emotionally challenging, and there comes a time when one has to step back and change gears. That means turning to fiction, which is only emotionally draining. So at times this blog may contain fiction rather than nonfiction. You never know what you’ll find here, and I hope that suits my followers.

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About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
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5 Responses to Lying or Telling the Truth: A Writer’s Life

  1. Velda, I too enjoy writing both nonfiction and fiction, although I’ve only tried my hand at short fiction at this point. And I love using real life events to inspire fiction . . . fantasy doesn’t work for me. I look forward to reading more of both your nonfiction and fiction writing here! Congrats on the new book.

  2. nancyhartney says:

    Gotta agree with Dianna when she discusses blogs and the ‘truth.’ Velda has given us a perfect example of truth as a moving target. Real life is indeed more rich and stranger than fiction.

  3. Thanks to you both for commenting this week.

  4. Jerre Carter says:

    Any thing you write will suit us, Velda!

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