Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Head Lights for Dark Roads

A couple of years ago I met an amazing woman at a meeting of the Carrollton Creative Writers Club. Diane Quimby is a survivor of a traumatic brain injury and she had an astounding story to tell. Her perseverance served her well during therapy and during the writing of her memoir. It's been my honor to help her by editing Head Lights for Dark Roads. Now her story is available HERE. You won't be sorry if you read Diane's book. You'll be inspired! All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to TBI organizations.

Diane Quimby’s inspiring personal narrative details life with a traumatic brain injury, and invites the reader along on her challenging journey. Along the way, the reader meets fellow patients and shares in Diane’s unexpected life changing spiritual lessons learned on the road to recovery. This is one road trip the reader won’t soon forget.

Head Lights for Dark Roads is a deeply personal account of recovery with a traumatic brain injury. Be prepared to be deeply moved to laugh, cry, or wince…I know I did! This book is perfect for brain injured person, family members of the injured, or for health providers working in the field of brain injury. It provides a necessary context and poignant understanding of the pathway to recovery. Absolutely phenomenal!
Damond Logsdon, PhD

Join Diane on her person journey of survival of a horrific car wreck, injuring both her body and brain, as told in her amazing book, Head Lights for Dark Roads. You will enter the mind of a brain injured survivor through her vivid words of humor and sadness. Her journey will guide you to a brighter future of recovery and an understanding of God’s plan for your new life post traumatic brain injury.
Ann Boriskie, Director & Founder, Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association®

Check out Diane Quimby's blog at Head Lights for Dark Roads.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Three Little Words

source- Amazon.com

Research is a necessity of writing no matter what genre you WIP is. Historicals demand research into the era they are set in. Mysteries and suspense usually need police or detective procedure. SF is based on science in some way and fantasy has myth as its underpinning. It's the little truths that make stories and characters breath.

My WIP is no different. For example, my main character is a retired history teacher and I didn't have to go far to research her background and life since I'm a retired history teacher. ; ) But the character who changes my MC's life is an abused foster child. I've researched the foster care system and interviewed foster and adoptive parents and the case workers who work with them. That left the main research I needed to be from a foster child's POV and that interview would require an entirely different level of sensitivity.

Thankfully, the foster child came to me. The Department of Family and Children Services case worker I've interviewed suggested I read Ashley Rhodes Courter's Three Little Words. Courter is an amazing young woman who spent ten years in the foster care system of Florida. Her memoir is harrowing and revealing. With a foster child's first person testimony to refer to, my plot has deepened. Samantha's reactions have become based in reality. My story's layers have grown in complexity. I'm grateful for the help to make Samantha a more three dimensional character.

Research can take so many different forms.

Where do you get your little truths to layer into your story?
What is your dream research source that you need to make your story real?

I can only wish that you find as good a source as I have. Happy digging!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dream a Little Dream with Me

Zan Marie Steadham copyright 2010

To write is to dream....

That is how my morning pages started off this morning and what followed was an outpouring of understanding of how my stories are all connected. Cherry Hill is a lovely town, but hiding in it's streets and houses are all flavors of nightmare, abuse, and wounds unhealed. And all of this comes from a simple dream of a retired teacher meeting an abused child during a church-hosted party for foster children. There's so much fertile ground for my books. All the Cherry Hill stories come from that dream. When Laura Grace met Samantha in that dream, I found a town full of hidden stories. Stories that had been hidden for various reasons.

Laura Grace tries to hide how much pain she has lived due to grief for her husband and childlessness. Samantha hides from a life of abuse. To feel would be beyond painful, but to hide means the wound isn't open and subject to further damage. But it isn't open to healing either.

Rosemary hides abuse because if she admits it's happening, she will have to say that the appearance of domestic bliss is all a lie. If she can hide the pain behind the perfect family facade, she thinks she will be able to control it. Her son Dean hides his abuse because to show fear invites a heavier load of it from his father and older brothers.

Mack hides long ago abuse among the memories of combat and his grief for Sandra. It's another pain that can't heal until opened to sunshine and new love.

I could go on with several more of my characters' hidden hurts.

What about you? Have dreams influenced your stories?
Do your characters have a few dreams or nightmares that need exploring?