Skiing and Writing – how they relate

taraskiing

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love to ski. My gracious husband moved me back to the slopes because of my addiction to it. (Thank you Matt!)

Here is an excerpt from my novel Broken Smiles:  “Over time she got used to being on stage; she loved it, then craved it. A rush that few understood. Like a skier staring down a huge mountain, or a sky diver looking out of the plane to the world below. A true unaltered rush. No drugs, no alcohol – just pure blood and adrenaline ran through her veins.”

Sitting upon a ski lift this winter, which carried me up the misty mountains with the anticipation of first tracks, the correlation between skiing and writing came to me. I want to share.

Skiers:

We titer on the edge between having control and losing control. We push ourselves to feel the rush. Skiing has taught me how to enjoy beauty in the bleak, cold winter. Skiers observe the nature around us, we rise above the pollutions of mundane city life to play in the mountains.

Authors:

Authors dwell in a space between having control and losing control of our writing. We push our voice to either educate, entertain, or inspire. Putting our thoughts onto paper for others to read is both scary and thrilling. Writing has taught me to observe, especially through the pollutions of every day life.

Both:

There will always be someone better or worse then you, and just when you are winning a race between your sister, you can skid along an unseen patch of ice and break your collarbone. (really happened!) Or, just when you think your writing is fairly decent, you receive a bad review or round of corrections from your editor to put you in your place. (again, really happened!) The point is, do you strap on your skies the next winter, even though your feet shake in your boots and your palms sweat in your gloves? Do you continue on your story, even though the writers block seems as impenetrable as a thick wall of ice?

Absolutely!

In both cases, surround yourself with people who are better then you. Follow them into exciting new terrain, the backcountry. Let people help you with your form. Go to writers conferences, join critique groups. It is okay to fall. That is how you get better.

As a skier, sometimes I fall and sometimes I fly. Either way, it makes me feel alive, just like the process of writing does.

Tara

My debut novel BROKEN SMILES coming mid 2014

When my publisher told me they loved my title Broken Smiles and wanted to keep it, I was thrilled. Here’s why.

As many authors will tell you, my story started as a dream. Well . . . that and a semi truck.

Many years ago driving across the dusty desert of Arizona, a large semi truck cut me off,  missing my front bumper by inches. Upon the back gates, a photo of a young girl smiled down at me. I found myself speeding up to stay in the wake of this truck. The Chinese child had a cleft palate and was an advertisement for Operation Smile or Smile Train. Memories flooded into my mind of when I lived in China and held a child just like this one.

“Help me,” the girl seemed to say down to me through the photo.

“How?” I replied. At the time I was beyond broke, driving a car that rattled and sputtered.

“Then tell my story.”

I cried. And then the dreams began. . .

My dream flourished into a song within a dream. It started with two sentences.

“Comfort like a mother’s love when it feels like it’s the end,

Broken Smiles on little faces that only he can mend.”

Okay, great, so I had a mother, a musician, a handsome humanitarian doctor, and a handful of children with Broken Smiles.

Now that my novel is finished, I can focus on answering the plea of this young child’s cry for help by making connections and figuring out the best way to do that.

There’s so much humanitarian work I want to do. My greatest dream would be to live the life that my doctor lives in this novel. I try to do little things now and a season will come when I will answer the call to do more, much more. 

Confession . . .

I have a voice. It had laid dormant, well not dormant, just unpublicized. Through the quiet moments it has grown, gaining momentum until now, I have many completed novels. The first of which will come out sometime this year. (Broken Smiles)

My love of writing started when I was very young with my first stapled book called the Red Balloon. In junior high my depth grew as I was introduced to the poem The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. To this day it is still one of my favorite poems. Here’s a treat, better then chocolate, if you haven’t heard of it. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171940

In high school when I received my drivers license, freedom was granted. I skipped many classes in school (this was before attendance effected your grade). With pen and paper in hand, I escaped the concrete jungle and headed for the mountains. Among the applauding Aspens and the patient Pines, I can honestly say I found my voice. Journals, sketchbooks, and boxes are full of my dapples and drawings.

In college I gained experiences that changed my life and my writing. I don’t have a long list of degrees in creative writing and English. No, instead I decided to travel. Those experiences have been fuel for my stories and they gave me a far greater (for me) education.

Through the depth of true love and motherhood, I now have confidence behind my words.

I am on a journey to expose my voice. It is not easy for me to do. Even though I love to interact and meet new people, I guard the inner workings of my brain. I guard my family. I guard my feelings at times.

I have heard it said that if you want to be an Author (which I do) and you are uncomfortable in social media (which I am) then you are in the wrong business. I am warming up to it and actually I have found that there is an incredible community of people just like me. I hope you join me on my journey of writing novels and the experiences I go through to finally become . . . publicized.

Link

 

Learning Guitar and learning how to Write – one in the same – This article was spot on and could very well be altered to the process of writing.

So, a few days a week I teach guitar. I love it. It’s fun to see how the kids improve. They come to the first lesson starry eyed with visions of becoming the next Katy Perry, or Taylor Swift, or Justin Bieber. *Insert eye roll to the names listed*

Slowly, the excitement fades as they begin to realize it takes one very important thing in order to get good . . . practice.

Ah, practice. Practice, practice.

I realized that is exactly the stage I am at with my own writing. That is why I started a new blog. So please bare with me as I tune my instrument and squeak through learning new songs. Your ears and eyes might hurt for a bit, but hopefully someday I will be able to perform for you.

Tara

A Huge Thanks!!!

Of course my very first post on my brand new shiny site must be one of acknowledgements.

My Women’s Romance novel, BROKEN SMILES (to be released in late 2014 by Astraea Press) was born from my dreams, desires, journal writing, and memories. It grew and took shape during a crazy season in my life. To counter my reality, I found myself creating a world in which to escape. The characters became my friends. The scenery brought back fond memories as I escaped for a time from the heat and concrete into a place where green things grew and time slowed down.

While many thanks are to be given, above all I must thank Matt! You helped breathe life into my characters. It was wonderful to escape into this world with you. It was easy to draw from our own love story. My children, I love you all and thank you for realizing “oh, mom’s just talking to herself again” whenever I don’t answer your questions. My parents: Dad, thank you for all of your support and for feeding my love of Asia. Mom, thank you for instilling in me a love for reading, music, and art. You are my inspiration and hero.

Thank you to my siblings, friends, critique groups, beta readers, editors, and the team at Astraea Press.

I think of a quote from Pablo Picasso. “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” So, with that in mind, I must thank my experiences, my trials, my failures, and my faith. Without any of these, the story BROKEN SMILES and my love of writing would have never been born.

Much Love,

Tara