Thursday, July 22, 2010

There's a New Girl In Town

Susan here. Consider me your Girl Friday, as my sister-bloggers have already dubbed me. Today’s post is a bit of an introduction and hereafter my own musings on the writing journey will appear on, well, Fridays.

Why do I write? I could lie to you, give you lofty reasons, tell you I’m driven to do it, that it’s my gift, my calling, my Reason For Living. Honestly? I write because I’m selfish. It’s all about me.

You see, I’m defined in many ways - daughter, sister, wife, mother, communications consultant, church treasurer, homeschool teacher, dog-fish-lovebird-parakeet keeper… the list could go on, but the point is I’m defined by my relationships. Writing is the only thing I do for me and me alone.

Even though writing is a solitary thing, I don’t write in a void. My writing journey started a loooong time ago and continues because of the encouraging words and advice I receive. My confidence grows in proportion to what I’m willing to share and have critiqued. It’s scary every time, but I come away with feedback that's like fuel -- feeding my greedy need for having something that is purely mine. So I write some more. (I told you I was selfish…)

What do I write? Literary fiction best describes my work-in-progress. I also write for a non-profit agency that serves frail elders and their families. I also journal my life in Alaska, the adventures of raising two sons on the edge of the wilderness, of my husband’s many projects and harebrained ideas. (Thankfully, he’s a man who can do just about anything he puts his mind to.) I write all the time.

My current literary work-in-progress started as a germ of an idea when I was a twelve year old penciling away in spiral-bound notebooks. About fifteen years ago the story grew into a screenplay. Its current re-incarnation as a novel has been the most rewarding, best learning experience I’ve had with fiction writing.

Requiem for a Warrior is the family saga of the three Rivers brothers and the woman they love. As deeply connected as they are - bound together like the tendrils of grape vines that grow in the Rivers’ family vineyard - they are torn apart by events beyond their control and by unforgivable acts of their own doing.

Requiem is Nathan River’s story. He’ll tell you life’s not fair, that it’s a bitch, even. He’ll tell you, without a hint of self-pity, that life was once good and sweet and tender. He would also tell you, if he could speak of it, when life ceased to be all that.

In April of 1967 his mother opened the door to find an awkward young Army lieutenant standing on her doorstep. She had two sons in Southeast Asia: her oldest and her youngest. The Army doesn’t send men to your doorstep for social calls. The Rivers’ ordinary world crashed that evening as she gripped the door frame, looked the young soldier in the eyes and quietly asked, “Which one?”

Requiem is about loss and redemption, about a man caught up in secrets he can’t share from a war he chose to fight. It’s about a love he can’t forget. It’s about having the strength to face the things that make him run and about finding love again.

Look for an excerpt of Requiem soon. I’m still figuring out the finer points of posting work at ATWOP. Meanwhile, I’ll be selfishly grabbing a few moments to call my own, to do what I’m driven to do: write.


  1. Susan, welcome again. :-)

    After that introduction, I CANNOT wait to read a snip of your WIP; it sounds absolutely gripping!

  2. Welcome, welcome :) I'm so excited to have you here, I can't even tell you.

    I'm always amazed by the parallels in both our writing and our writing journeys- like you, my story started as teenaged scribblings, then morphed into a screenplay before I decided to try it out as a novel. I'm so glad I did now- and I'm so glad you did, too. Still, I remain rather hopeful we might see the Rivers family and the Cutler family on the big screen one day :)

  3. Thanks Rachel! Thanks Claire! I'm excited to be here.

    Claire, your writing & writing journey always amazes me with its similarities to mine. We could be long lost sisters. :)


  4. Can't wait to see a new snip Susan! I - and Austin - are glad that Nathan's coming to the house party after all.
    And welcome :-)

  5. Wonderful intro, Susan! I'll look forward to the additions you add every Friday.

  6. Thanks Deniz! I'm glad Claire talked me into letting Nathan play, even if I can't be there. Be good to him!

  7. Zan Marie, I'm looking forward to the challenge. :)