Creative Woman Seeking Freelance Work

English: Willie Nelson Boulevard sign.

Willie Nelson

Claire, from Word by Word, tagged me in the ‘Be Inspired’ blog hop hosted by Vicki Orians, Page after Page.

As Vicki said, followed by Claire, “All of our stories come from somewhere, whether it be a dream, another book, a life event. So why not give people a chance to talk about their inspirations as well as their stories?

The 10 questions, followed by 5 writer’s who inspire me:

1.  What is the name of your book?

Creative Woman Seeking Freelance Work

2.  Where did the idea for your book come from?

I was writing to the prompt, Letters Home, when Always on My Mind (Song of the Week), sung by Willie Nelson, circled round on the jukebox. This is my absolute favorite song of all time. I have music for all occasions, and favorites for each, but this is the one song I carry with me at all times. I don’t know why it speaks to me as it does, it just does.

This song for me is everything I think that lover’s don’t know about one another. When lover’s say the wrong things to one another, let pride have the final word, and leave one another’s arms without really wanting to, and in the end when it’s too late and years pass they never let go of that one person ‘who is always on their mind’. It’s that sort of a song that stirs the soul and boils the blood because, the song remembers when.

The story didn’t spring forth at that instance, but a mood settled in. I was stuck on the idea of letters, lyrics, and a country western singer. A couple days later, I was in Barnes and Noble when I met Stella Delray, the shero of my story. I knew she was the lover with past and had a story to tell.

3. In what genre would classify your book?

I’m with Claire on this topic. I hate labels, but if I have to pick, I’d say Women’s Fiction.

4.  If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, whom would you pick?

I am saving this for a future Blog post.

5. Provide a brief synopsis.

When Stella Delray unexpectedly loses her job a week before Christmas, which happens to be the anniversary of her husband’s death, she is forced to come to terms with her loss and get her life back on track for her son’s sake as well as her own. But she never expected posting an ad on Craigslist would send her in the arms of not one but two men, one of which is her former boss. Adding to the craziness of her new life, her monster-in-law resurfaces, and the father-in-law Stella’s never met shows up on her doorstep.

With her best friend, Bono, to guide her, Stella will learn to redefine the rules she’s always lived by. Her new extended family comes with plenty of drama, and the ghost of her dead husband’s past are knocking down her door. Will Stella be able to find her voice as a writer, discover love again, and have the family she’s always dreamed of? One thing is for sure: Stella will learn that happily ever after doesn’t come in one size fits all.

6.  Is your book already published/represented.

NO! Boohoo, not yet. I am riding the agent query coast—and it’s a hell of a ride—as I type these words. The full manuscript is currently under consideration, but until there is ink on a contract, I continue to query other agents.

7.  How long did it take you to write the book?

Which time? I might as well be honest here, I wrote the damn thing a few times. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I decided to write the book. I remember thinking I read a lot (next to music, book purchasing is my single greatest extravagance) what can be so hard about writing a long story. I had written thousands of letter-sized stories. The novel, after all, was just four hundred one-page letters. Funny! Then I heard about NANO. I wrote the first draft without following the guidelines I had read about. I just wrote and wrote. I finally reached the end.

The first draft took three months, but the editing and rewriting took a couple of years. I was still learning. Good news to any one working on the first book, the second book is much easier.

8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or readers of which books would enjoy yours?

I thought about this a lot, and really, it’s a book and a movie. It’s Good Grief meets You’ve Got Mail.

9. What authors inspired you to write this book.

I wasn’t inspired by any particular author or book to write my own story, but along my journey to write the novel, I did get some terrific advice that I needed to hear,

a) To write what I wanted to write and not give a damn what other people said. (Stephen King).
b) Don’t apologize or explain why you write, accept that the passion isn’t explainable to non writers (Dorothea Brandt) and above all nurture your confidence, maintain your self-respect, and honor your freedom.
c) A best friend reminded me of the 10,000-hour rule – you can’t be good at anything without an investment of 10,000 hours.

10) Tell us anything that might pique interest in your book:

Stella is talking here…

Mornings are the most difficult part of the day. I’ve never been one of those morning people who wakes up singing with the blue jays, all perky and pink. Rather I’m crumpled, heavy footed with gravel in my pipes. Bobby said if he could catch me those first fifteen minutes, we stood a chance of recording a platinum record, if I could only focus long enough to sing with my husky just-had-sex morning voice. I wake up slowly with my reality coming to me in pieces. After Bobby died, it would take a full fifteen minutes before the realization he was gone took hold. But during those first fourteen minutes, I’d swear he was lying next to me.

Back when he was alive, and on the road, I would simply pull his pillow over from the right side of the bed and drink him in. I didn’t wash the sheets after he went out on the road with the band. If I got lonely I had his pillow and the sheets to wrap my body in. He was never gone longer than three weeks, so a part of him lingered between the bedclothes and kept my hunger for him at bay. After he died, it was almost six months before I changed the linen on our bed. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing his scent.

And now tag five writers, all of whom are an inspiration to me:

1) Kelly Hashway, Author

Be Inspired

Kelly is a rare gem. She gifted, passionate, kind and generous, and driven by her passion for writing. If I ever lose sight of the bigger picture, her words and successes remind me to keep my nose to the grindstone.

2) Monica Medina, Monica’s Tangled Web

Monica’s lively persona, honest voice, passion for writing, and her upbeat view on life are always an inspiration.

3) Debra El-Ramey, Author, Pure and Simple

I found Debra at the start of my blogging journey. I was lost and not sure who to be as a writer/blogger. She reminded me to stay true to myself because that’s what mattered and that readers would connect with my  honesty. Aside for setting me straight, whenever I am wandering aimlessly, her posts always ground me in the moment and get me back on track.

4) Claudine Gueh, Author, Carry Us Off Books

C’s posts appeal to the ethereal side of my mind. She unveils beauty in stories I’ve long since forgotten and reminds me to be still and see the moment as I might have back when I was but a lass without worry.

5) Beverly Diehl, Author, Writing in the Flow

Beverly makes me laugh, cry, weep, think, reflect, and run and hide. Her voice and style of writing makes me pause and study. I’ve long had a writer’s crush on her words.

POST SCRIPT: I do not usually participate in tagging forward because I dislike setting expectations in other writers to participate or tag forward. To those of you I’ve tagged, please know this is a tag of choice.

And finally, thank you all for reading my words and leaving comments, and always coming back around.



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I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

36 thoughts on “Creative Woman Seeking Freelance Work

  1. Well said. Brenda, I cannot wait to read your novel. This is the first time I heard what it is about. I know it will be fabulous!

    Funny what you say about the second book. I loved Good Grief. Like loved, loved it! But Lolly’s second book Happiness Sold Separately was of a different quality. So itmaker me wonder. I still love her though.

    Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever recently posted….How to Blog: Attract More Reader With SEO!My Profile

    • Thanks, Jodi. It was an wonderful journey, the writing, the editing, the workshops in between, the writer’s groups I tried, and in the end it was just me an Stella. The second book seems easier to write because of what I learned writing the first one. I’ve only read the one book by Lolly, so I can’t comment on her second.

  2. Aw, Brenda, you make me smile. Thank you for the kind words. You’re such a sweetheart. I’m so glad I met you and that I was able to read Stella’s story. It’s such a great novel with so much heart. I can’t wait to have it sitting on my bookshelf.
    Kelly Hashway recently posted….Monday Mishmash 6/18/12My Profile

    • Kelly, you’re silly, you the best ever and you’ve no idea how glad I was to have found you. I do wish we chatted more and had time for java and lengthy discussions.

  3. pamela bono

    Brenda! Your book is drawing me in…It does have that you’ve got mail feel..where the womman reader can put herself as the main character by identifying emotionally..1st the book then the movie!!! Be’s coming!!

  4. Brenda, if you wrote catalog copy, I’d buy the catalog. You have a mastery of words that is amazing. I cannot wait to read this book. You bring enchantment to the written word. It’s just a matter of time till you are published!
    Linda Medrano recently posted….One Hump or Two?My Profile

    • Linda, from you lips to the celestial beings who sprinkle fairy dust and grant wishes to Latin women raised by wolves and gypsies.

  5. I’m with Linda… Your words are masterful. I knew I would love your book, based on your writing and what I’ve read/heard about it from you, but ‘Good Grief meets You’ve Got Mail’? What ARE those agents waiting for??? Congratulations on your ‘Be Inspired” award – well deserved for someone who continues to inspire me :)
    Astra recently posted….“I wish I could go back to college…”My Profile

    • Astra, of course, my emotional heart has no freaking clue what’s taking the agents so darn long, but the minuscule portion of my brain that is logical knows this is the worst part of the book, shopping it around. Naturally, I had to wait of live my dream when everyone else in the world decided to be a writer. Why I didn’t do this fifteen years ago is a question I ask myself at least weekly. As ever, thanks kindly for you words and your support.

    • J.R., it’s true, there is nothing like doing something for a long period of time to improve, of course, there has to be a glimmer of talent to start with, and to build upon.

    • Gosh, Martha, if my olive skin reveal blushing, I be doing that now. I am excited.. mostly, and probably stupidly, because I finished it. Whatever happens next is anybody’s guess, but knowing I can write a book from start to finish and still continue to write and love it all the more is rather amazing. I do feel blessed because of this.

  6. But a mood settled in… love that phrasing.
    If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, whom would you pick?
    I am saving this for a future Blog post. Good answer!
    How long did it take you to write the book?
    Which time? Thank you! You make my day! When they ask me how long it took to write my novel I round it off to 5 years 😉
    To write what I wanted to write and not give a damn what other people said. (Stephen King). That’s my man!
    Mornings are the most difficult part of the day. I’ve never been one of those morning people who wakes up singing with the blue jays, all perky and pink. Based on this first line, I’d buy the book 😉 I can relate to Stella. She’s my kind of woman. I’d care about her. And the last paragraph… powerful!
    I am so honored to be mentioned by you! Thank you dear friend! You make my day!
    Debra recently posted….La La Land?My Profile

    • Debra, my pleasure always. You do inspire many more than me. I smile rereading my words in your comment. We writer are such geeks about the little things.

    • Bev – you are one of kind and in an amazingly wonderful way. I envy your political voice and razor sharp wit. This is one thing I cannot do, write eloquently and passionately about our rights, which others are always wanting to take away.

  7. Brenda,

    Such a great post. Good for you staying on the road to getting to your passion.
    Passionate pursuits sounds like something every woman should have as her tag line. Check out the Called Woman group on Facebook. You might find some additional inspiration there. Also come visit me at I write and speak about making your passion happen.
    Kathy recently posted….This is a test postMy Profile

  8. Ooh, Brenda, your novel sounds like wonderful fun. Love the storyline. I find it so intriguing, and am already curious to know more.

    And, thank you, thank you for including me in your five. I feel so special, like I ought to be dancing! How very sweet of you, my dear. (Btw, my last name is Medina, with an “n.”) Thanks again!
    Monica recently posted….Thoroughly Modern JillMy Profile

    • Monica, of course, the writer in me thinks it’s a wonderful story and something all women can relate to, but that’s my ego talking. I am sorry about your name and corrected the spelling immediately. You are an inspiration.

    • Ah, Corinne, you are wonderfully kind. And yes, when he told me about the 10k rule I was sort of speechless, but now having logged as many if not more hours, I know he was right and bow to him every time we meet to talk about writing. When I look back at my earlier work and compare to what I write today, I am again speechless. We do improve with the investment of time.

    • Helen, music is my best friend when it comes to inspiration and ideas. I am ever so excited and honored to learn of the lovely blog award.

  9. k~

    I enjoyed reading the answers to your questions. A bit of insight is enjoyable when you already enjoy the words written.

    This particular statement, I second! “To write what I wanted to write and not give a damn what other people said” (Stephen King).

    For me that is a requisite.

    • k- I really found my footing after reading his book. Up until then I was tormented (unnecessarily) about the stele of writing, Literary Fiction, dense and and flowery, or to write what I want and damn the rest. I always knew this but hadn’t grown the chops to just be me until reading the words.

  10. Brenda, as I read your comment about Debra, I was reminded that I too told you the same words. At the beginning of your blogging journey, when you wrote and asked me for advice on writing, I remember mentioning that you should follow your own voice. I’m glad to see you’ve done exactly that. I hope your book will meet with success! :)

    • Yes, Bella, you did and I was and remain ever grateful to you for taking time to share your wisdom with me. You had no reason to, but you did, and you’ve no idea how much it meant to a novice blogger. I am not longer a novice and clearly I write what calls me, but I do wonder from time to time about this folly of mine, the writing is like my breath. Tis a passionate pursuit.

  11. B., my dearest, thank you so much for thinking of me. Stella’s story sounds great, so don’t worry about the rest. You are doing what you can by researching for agents and submitting queries. The right one will come along. (Don’t know if you’ve found one by the time of this comment. Nevertheless … hang in there.)

    I think I can smell Stella’s heartbreak in the sheets.

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