My friend Cari Noga tagged me in the Blog Hop. This was a fun way to think about what I am reallydoing with my time and writing! Read on… and see the three women I tagged at the end to hop over and read next Monday!
What am I working on?I am working on stitching together essays into a novel. For the last three years, I’ve written about my mother and losing her. I’ve written about my parenting and how that changed when I no longer had a mother. I’ve written about biking and how it’s been my salvation. I’ve written about making new friends when your old life is gone. After three years of writing in increments, taking apart moments of sadness and happiness, I see a pattern now. I can see where I came through the loss of my mother via those friends and my children and that bike. I’m now working on putting those pieces together in a novel, part fact, part fiction.
I’ve posted many of my essays on my blog at www.kandacechapple.com. One of my favorite excerpts, I just reworked as an editorial this month. This particular essay is about four-wheeling, boozing and trampolining. And missing my mom. I also work year-round on my own publication, Grand Traverse Woman, a bimonthly regional women’s magazine I pub with my twin sister. I am the editor and also write a regular motherhood column that is sometimes funny and sometimes incriminating.
How does my work differ from others in the genre? I feel my work is both serious (working through the loss of my mother) and funny (my mother would not approve of some of these confessions). It’s a combination of writing as deep as I can go, then taking a break by finding something small and real and funny to write about. I like that my writing feels like a conversation between best friends – one minute we’re crying together, the next laughing.
Why do I write what I do?I like to laugh and I like to remember. I wrote for many years while my mother was alive and well. None of that writing means anything now, it is empty. I see now how loss has changed me. I wrote about this writing shift in a recent issue of Writer’s Digest. It’s true. The words I write now carry so much more, a perspective that only grief and overcoming can bring.
How does your writing process work? I like to write in short stretches and short pieces. Often ideas come to me while I am out biking. I sometimes stop in the middle of the trail and get out my phone and make note of the idea. It’s just a few words but I’ll suddenly realize I’ve been thinking about it half the ride. If I don’t write it down, I’ll forget about it even I’ve thought about it for the whole ride. Then, I get home and try to write it out in 30-60 minutes. Sometimes I have to let the idea sit a day or two and then it comes to me, the start. Once I have a start, the rest comes hot on its heels.
I try to devote part of my day to something related to my personal writing (outside of my magazine duties) – stitching essays together, pitching an essay to a publication, writing something new. My favorite part is the writing something new. Taking that nugget of an idea I thought of on the bike and turning it into an essay. Those are always the truest things I write. The things that keep coming to me even when my eyes should be on the trail, the ruts, the turns. They are often the hardest to write – the most emotional and the most rewarding.
OK, next Monday, May 12, hop on over to the following blogs to check out their writing processes:
Heather Johnson Durocher – Michigan Runner Girl is a site written and produced by Heather Johnson Durocher, a journalist of nearly 20 years. – She offers race recaps, running advice and great articles on women and running. She says, “I love Michigan. I’m passionate about running – and all things outdoors in our beautiful state. There’s so much to see and do, and I welcome you to come along for the run. And ride. And paddle. It’s all about being in a state of motion.” – Visit http://michiganrunnergirl.com/
Margaret Fedder – Margaret lives in Traverse City, Michigan. She is a mom, a wife, a former teacher, a freelance editor, and an aspiring writer. She says,”when I write, it comes from a place inside of me that just wants to speak truly – about relationships, family, motherhood, spirituality, creativity, memory. But I also like to write about the things I love – like Michigan, the seasons, books, and paper crafts.” Visit http://www.mjfedder.blogspot.com/.
Chris Convissor – Chris is a creative writer, artist and adventurer. She fixes things that act up in and outside of your house to pay the bills and is presently making the transition from full time fix-it person and part-time writer to full-time writer and part time fix-it person. Visit her newly launched blog at Jhidzia.wordpress.com.