- Olivia struggles with bitterness, a form of wrath. She’s bitter toward Davy and her mother. Have you struggled with bitterness in your life? How did it affect you?
- Olivia wears anger like a shield. Does anger really protect anyone from anything? If yes, when and from what?
- Davy has gone through Celebrate Recovery for his alcoholism. He claims to be reformed. Could you ever trust someone like Davy again?
- Two characters, Brian and Doug, have brain damage but it affects each differently. Have you ever known someone with brain damage from an accident? Were they more like Brian or Doug or neither?
- Olivia comes up with several recipes for essential oils. Do you use essential oils? Do you think they’re effective? Do you have any favorite recipes? (You can download Olivia’s recipe cards here.)
- Olivia also pursues alternative medicines for Brian. How do you feel about the use of herbs rather than traditional medicine? Have you ever used herbal remedies?
- Olivia must face an uncomfortable memory from her past, and it makes her stronger. Do you feel, in general, that facing up to our demons is beneficial? Or do you think it’s better to put the past behind us and try to forget?
- Child Protection Services has mandated that Olivia maintain a certain protocol if she wants to win back full custody without state intrusion. Do you know people who’ve had to deal with CPS? Do you feel, generally CPS is fair and helpful, or detrimental to the families?
The Inspired Life
Not because they’re annoyed, but because they don’t know. And I think being asked makes them (us) feel silly.
The recipe for a novel tends to read more like one for Grandma’s secret family meatballs, than one from a cookbook. It has a pinch of this and a dollop of that—all those measurements that aren’t really measurements. But I can tell you one or two things that always go into the soup.
Character’s emotions are echos of those we ourselves experience.
I’ve never had a child with brain damage like Brian in The Scent of Wrath. But I have had a sick child. I know that sinking feeling a parent has when the doctor gives them news they don’t want to hear. [Read more…] about Dogs, Anchorites, and Angels in the Attic-Where do authors get their ideas?
I recently attended a meeting of the O.C. Chapter of the Sisters in Crime. Alexandra Sokoloff, best-selling thriller writer, was the guest speaker. I felt a duty to respond to her talk.
It is obvious that, although Ms. Sokoloff is brilliant in many ways, pity party planning is NOT her forte, and in fact her discussion was actually damaging to the discipline.
So here goes, Alexandra. If you’re reading, I’d like to rebut some of your positions while I instruct the pitiable victims of the publishing industry, or any other industry for that matter.
Anne Cleeland has some great tips on how to create memorable characters.
One of the things I love about writing fiction is how much I learn about life as I work to improve my craft. For instance, at the April meeting of the Orange County chapter of Sisters in Crime, mystery writer Anne Cleeland gave us tips on how to create memorable characters for our stories. I wrote an article about it for writers on Lit Central OC.
For my blog, I thought I’d take a look at the same character tips and how we can apply them to becoming memorable characters ourselves. Here’s my snippet of encouragement. [Read more…] about 4 Character Tips from Anne Cleeland
I’m very glad turning water to wine was Jesus’ first miracle, but even happier it wasn’t His last.
The wine was running out at a wedding in Cana. Mary asked her Son to do something about it.
Jesus’ first response was less than inspiring. He said something along the lines of, “Why is that my problem?”