The Girls in the Attic

I mentioned in my last post that since I opened a page for us over on Facebook The Cherries are once again going as strong as ever. We have added to our ranks in the past week and  there are now well over 100 folks on the page, both former Cherries and some newbies.  It has been a lot of fun re-connecting with old friends and meeting new ones. Being a Cherry is just the Bomb!

Because it has been awhile since The Cherries have been together, one of the things we have been doing is bringing up some  of our little quirks that made us so great. “BTCKE” was the rallying cry for anyone wanting information about just about anything “Because The Cherries Know Everything”! If you needed to know what poisons would kill without being traced, ask a Cherry. If you had a question about a historical reference, ask a Cherry. We come from all walks of life and professions and if you needed an answer quickly, you just had to go to the forum and ask and you would have several responses within minutes. Jenny once asked us “How would you go about disposing of a body” as research for a book. The amount of replies was staggering and she came back with  “You people scare me. Really.”! Lani Diane Rich use to shout and make us shout with her “I AM A GREAT WRITER!!” and BELIEVE it!! We had an entire thread where we could go and shout and get affirmation–it was great!

One of my favorite discussions, however, was about our muses.  I believe Ms Crusie coined the term “The Girls in the Attic” but I can’t swear to that. We talked about how they primped and pouted and sometimes partied with The Boys in the Basement (!!) but how they always, ALWAYS made their Voice heard, whether we wanted to hear them or not. Sometimes they would disappear for a while, causing despair to any writer’s heart, but they always came back stronger than ever and never completely abandoned us. Sometimes they came back with a story so strong that one had to quit writing the current WIP and follow The Girls instead. And everyone’s Girls varied  in what they had to say and how they said it. It was fascinating seeing how different writers voices came into being. What the process was. How they got their butt in the chair and WROTE?!

I have been writing stories since I was in junior high. My English teacher loved my writing style on essays and other writing assignments and encouraged me to try my hand at story telling. Up till then I had only been a voracious reader–it had never occurred to me to write my own! I started to scribble and wrote a couple of short children’s stories and I was hooked. (I have an epic fantasy that I have been writing/editing/outlining  since I was 19 years old–some day I may finally get to finish writing it!)  I gave a few chapters of a more current WIP to a Cherry who is a published author several years ago and she LOVED it. And I froze because, well, because she LOVED it and it was GOOD! Gulp!! The Girls in the Attic partied and whooped and hollered for days over that but I had to tell them to shut up and take a seat–I wasn’t ready to hear that maybe I could actually write. But the Girls wouldn’t shut up. Instead they pushed me and gave me another story that is sitting in my head, all written out, just waiting for me to get my courage up and put it on paper. And yet I hesitate.

Then I discovered my family. As we have chatted over the past week, the story gets better and better and the plot thickens. There are more twists and turns in the family tree than the Labyrinth of the Minotaur in ancient Greece! And I have to write about it. It’s just too good of a story not to! Truth is definitely stranger than fiction! The Girls in the Attic are all excited–I’m pretty sure I saw margarita glasses and empty tequila bottles lying around this morning, but I couldn’t swear to it…

So my question today is this: how do YOU find your inspiration? What makes you tingle and think “now THIS is the next story I have to tell!”? When you write, do you have a routine? Or maybe you don’t write just yet, but you are thinking about it. What’s stopping you? Fear of revealing myself is my biggest hold-back I think. Writing is so personal on so many levels and if people don’t like my story they must not like me, right?! Of course not, but that is how it feels. So how do you get past that? Do you have Girls or maybe you have Boys–those Boys can get down and dirty, let me tell you!! How do they help you? And do you listen?!  🙂  I AM A GREAT WRITER!!! That’s my new battle cry! Go me!