Of Stories, Writing and Life

I’m starting over, in more ways than one.

First: I’m redoing my blog. I called it “Woman of 1,000 Words” because that’s my nickname in my family. I’d originally intended to write exactly 1,000 words a week, every week, only to find that my reach fell far short of my grasp. It got away from me. I lost ground, lost time, lost words. Bye-bye original idea.

Now I’ve revamped, reinvented and rewrote. I’m keeping the name, but not the 1,000-words-a-week goal. I’ll simply talk here about writing and stories and books and life—about the things that rev my writing motor, so to speak, no matter how many words end up in each post. Hopefully, these things will rev your writing motor, too.

I’m starting with photography. After all, a picture is worth 1,000 words, right? So I’m already ahead there. And photos are everywhere, not just in our own cameras. They’re so prevalent that we don’t pay much attention to them these days unless they’re really unusual or spectacular.

But even ordinary snapshots can ignite a meaningful story, form a fascinating character idea or produce an irresistible setting. I’ll show you how. In addition, I’ll throw in a hint or two from my eBook series, Write It Right: Exercises to Unlock the Writer in Everyone. Or I might challenge you with something on words and their usage, give you a great quote on writing, or recommend a book I’ve enjoyed reading.

And I’m going to post each Thursday, to give you time to read the post, absorb it and have your ideas fresh for exploring over the weekend—two days without work to start plotting and/or writing whatever story you see in the pictures. Ahhh, heaven!

Second: I’m entering that “golden” stage of life where things are supposed to get easier: retirement, social security, Medicare, more free time—though with today’s economy, I’m learning that “easier” is a relative term. Still, it’s supposed to be “golden,” so I’m choosing to take that to heart. Which has led me to…

Third: I quit my job so I can write and edit full time. Life is short (scary-short when you reach this age! I won’t tell, but it’s more than a few years past “gold”). We should fill it with the things we love and I love to write and edit. I want to get up in the morning, turn on the computer and spend a few hours doing dastardly things in my story worlds. I want to drive around searching for the perfect setting to mold into literary shape—and where I can dump bodies. I want to stay up late and commune with my compelling characters—and think up yet another way to kill someone. (You can tell I write mystery and suspense.) This literary world is often more real and exciting to me than the so-called “real” world, anyway, so why not spend more time there?

By the way, that’s me in the middle, flanked by my mom and my son (he designs my book covers when he’s not filming movies). There’s a story in there. Can you find it?

Susan Tuttle, Author

About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.