I had four conversations about writing during my last week in Winnipeg before leaving for our winter home in Mexico.
The first was with a friend who had just finished reading To Obama With Love, Joy, Anger and Hope by Jeanne Marie Laskas. President Obama received 10,000 letters a day when he was in office and every night his staff picked ten for him to read before he went to bed. It was his way of keeping in touch with the people who had elected him. My friend said the book made her realize just how important those letters had been to the President. It made her decide to write a letter herself to our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telling him she recognized the personal sacrifice it required for him to serve our country and even if she didn’t always agree with him she appreciated the efforts he was making to govern Canada in the best way he knew how.
The second conversation was with a former professor of mine who is 86 years old. I shared a table with him at a luncheon after a funeral. I knew my professor had written many books, countless articles and other scholarly papers. I asked him if he was still writing. He said he had recently finished a book about his father and he was working on other projects. “As long as my mind and body allow it MaryLou, I will be writing,” he told me.
The third conversation was with my friend Suzanne who is a fellow writer and used to be a member of my writing group. We went out for coffee one afternoon. Her wonderful first novel Empty Cup is set right here in Winnipeg. Now she is working on a new novel set in Alberta. She talked about the hundred day goal she has set for herself to finish an edit of her novel and a trip she hopes to take to do further research. I am looking forward to reading her manuscript in the future.
The fourth conversation was with my writers group. We were talking about a book by Jessica Brody we are studying together called Save The Cat Writes a Novel. The book contends that every good work of fiction contains 15 plot points. If you want to write a successful novel it needs to contain those points too. The book also lays out ten different genres of novel and has ten chapters exploring how the fifteen plots points apply to each genre. Members of our writing group each picked one of the genres and will lead a discussion about it at future meetings.
I had four conversations this week about writing and they were all connected in some way to a book.