Posts Tagged ‘master class’


My special guest today is author Jo Mele, who shares her writing life with us.

Josephine (Jo) Mele is a world traveler, tour guide, magazine editor, and life-long mystery reader. Author of The Travel Mystery Series including Bullets in Bolivia, Homicide in Havana, Mystery in Monte Carlo, and Bandits in Brussels. She wrote The Odd Grandmothers, a memoir, and co-authored with her grandson Nick Mack, “ABC’s of Asperger’s Syndrome,” for Parents Magazine.

My daughter gave me a year’s subscription to Master Class online for Christmas. Listening to successful writers share their personal techniques and experiences gives me pleasure. I’m guess I’m still a curious student at heart.

So many styles, methods, and suggestions. Lessons on how to start, and what to do when you’re stuck, creating interesting characters, dialogue, or settings. I take notes, pages, and pages of notes from Dan Brown, Walter Mosley, David Sedaris. I was a little discouraged when the men said they wrote for hours every day, even weekends. Some wrote from the moment they got up until mid-afternoon.

When I listened to Margaret Atwood and Shonda Rhimes, I started laughing. Margaret Atwood was talking about writing every day. She said only those who had someone to make and serve their breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and clean their houses could write for seven hours a day, every day. She whispered, “That’s just not how my day rolls.”

Shonda Rimes said she writes on a tablet and can use it in her car waiting to pick up her kids, in the doctor’s waiting room, or in the park playground. Okay, now I could relate.

I have been a caregiver for my husband since his stroke, eighteen years ago. Every day is different. When he naps, I write. Sometimes for only ten minutes, or to edit a piece.

But I think all day.

Order here!

I imagine my characters walking through a scene and I make notes. Sometimes only one or two words in the note section of my phone can trigger a whole chapter. Jason the bartender, the mini bats, the tiara, beer research, are scenes for me to fill out.

If I have a problem, I think about it before I go to sleep and sometimes when I wake up my brain has figured out a way around the problem. Don’t ask.

When triggered by a word or phrase, my brain and fingers on the keyboard get in sync almost without me. In ten minutes, I can plan, commit, or solve a crime.

On paper that is.

Visualizing the action in my mind makes writing dialogue easier.

Got to go, time to make lunch. Thank you, Margaret Atwood, that’s the way my day rolls, too.