Showing Up

Walking across one of the many bridges that spans the Boise river, we spotted something bright red in the distance. Drawing closer, we saw that it was a nylon camp chair—empty. We looked in every direction for someone who might be the owner, but there wasn’t a soul in sight.

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During one of the classes I’m teaching at UW-Madison’s Writers’ Institute in April, 2016, I’ll share that life is about showing up. So is writing. Failure to show up—be present—yields puny results. For a writer, that equals a blank page.

There are many different ways of showing up. We can arrive with a chip on our shoulder and a cup-half-empty attitude, or…

Remember Aunt Clara on the television series Bewitched? She may have fumbled and bumbled and usually arrived—covered in soot, hat askew—after tumbling down the Stephens’ chimney, but she showed up with a positive, go-get-’em attitude and a ready smile.

How do you show up for life?

© Laurie Buchanan

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WIP Tag!

“You’re it!” Marian Beaman said as she tagged me in the 2014 Work in Progress (WIP) Blog Tour, offering authors the chance to share a small, but tasty morsel of their Works in Progress. “It’s really simple,” she continued, “there’s just three rules:”

1. Link back to the post of the person who tagged you (in my case, Marian Beaman).

2. Write a blurb about — and type the first sentence of — your next book’s first three chapters.

3. Tag four other writers to do the same.

Blurb
Typically, my writing is in the non-fiction arena, but one of the books I’m currently working on is Creative Quill, a work of fiction in the mystery/thriller genre. Intended as a series, the setting is a writer’s retreat where each month four different authors arrive and stay in individual rustic cabins to work on their manuscripts. In the first book, one of the guests is a psychopath posing as an author. Why? You’ll just have to wait and see…

Chapter 1:
Like a brilliant, multi-faceted gem nestled snugly on the ragged hemline of the northern Pacific coastline, Creative Quill—a wooded retreat for writers—sits zen-like overlooking Bellingham Bay in Fairhaven, Washington, holding space to unleash possibility.

Chapter 2:
Arriving at the baggage claim with time to spare, McPherson’s piercing green eyes drank in the details of his surroundings, a habit he’d picked up on the force; a habit that had kept him alive.

Chapter 3:
Having parked in the area reserved for handicap pickup, Mick didn’t have to jockey for position as he deftly pulled curbside, both side panels of the van silently slid open for the waiting guests, one of whom was in a wheelchair.

“Life is about showing up, so is writing. That’s why I sit at my desk every day and dance my fingers across the keyboard.” — Laurie Buchanan

Now it’s my turn to tag four writers for the 2014 WIP Tour. Please check their websites, you’ll be glad you did!

Julia Munroe Martin lives in southern coastal Maine and loves to get hands-on with a camera. When she’s not out taking drop-dead gorgeous photographs, you’ll find her at her dining room table, where she’s happiest and most comfortable with her family — including black Lab Abby — or when writing or researching her next story.

Christine DeSmet (my writing mentor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) writes mouthwatering mysteries featuring fudge or fowl (two different series). She mixes in fun, little-known facts, recipes about fudge, a bit about Belgians and the culture of Wisconsin and the Door County Peninsula.

Melissa Crytzer Fry steps outside her front door smack-dab into southern Arizona’s breathtaking Sonoran Desert, often with camera in hand. A full-time freelance writer and novelist, she was a 2014 semi-finalist in the William Faulkner William Wisdom Writing Competition for her novel, The Quickness of Life.

Dorothy Sander orchestrates Aging Abundantly where she brings the wisdom of women together in one place, offering insight, support and a helping hand to people wherever they are in their journey. Her focus is on transformation and metamorphosis at midlife and beyond. Her most recent work is, Finding Hope: Inspiration for the Midlife Journey.

And though none of these authors are under any obligation to play tag, I sure hope they will because it’ll be fun to sneak a taste of what they’re cookin’ up next!

Book or otherwise, what’s your current Work in Progress?

© Laurie Buchanan

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