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writing

I love words.

I love magazines, newspapers, and libraries full of books. Language haunts me, in letters, poetry, and love-notes posted on the bathroom mirror. I can even love advertisements, because I appreciate a clever turn of phrase. Precise statements and provocative arguments are compelling. I love vivid imagery and raw, vulnerable prose.

I. Love. Words.

I write because I have to.

Writing is how I tell the story of my life to myself and others. I say that I am a talk-to-think person. Sometimes I don’t know what I think until I hear it come out of my mouth. Sometimes even I am surprised by what I say. (Sometimes I want to stuff the words back in.)

Writing has the same effect for me, the same power, except better.

With writing, I can edit and re-write. I can have the initial unbridled word-dump, be surprised by what I have written, and then refine it to say more precisely what I mean to say.

I joke that I cannot tell the short version of any story. That’s not always a good thing. ;-)  So, much of my editing is shaving words. Saying what I mean with an economy of words makes me happy.

I wrote my first children’s story in collaboration with my best friend in eighth grade. The story took the top prize in a small contest, and gave me that first thrill of seeing my words in print. Writing children’s books became my dream – a dream that remained on the back burner.

Since then, more writing. I’ve been published in local and community newspapers, and I wrote a regular op-ed column for a (now-defunct) website. For nearly 20 years off-and-on, I’ve done freelance writing for corporate and non-profit clients: advertising, marketing materials, press releases, newsletters, and more recently, website content.

Now it’s time to return to my first dream — a dream that has grown and evolved while it simmered over the years. I’m working on fiction now: first a YA novel, with other story ideas impatiently waiting their turn.

Why scatterbeams?

It started out as the name for my (then daily) photography blog, found here. My daughter came up with the name, which she wanted me to spell with a ‘K’ as her name is. No made-up spellings for me though – a cool made-up word was good enough.

The creative process is a bit scattered for me – ideas, light, thoughts, facts, senses, opinions, texture, images, research – all that and more is in the creative field. My task is to pay attention, find the essential idea, and capture it in such a way that I can share it.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. alissamiles permalink
    May 20, 2009 12:54 pm

    I love that your daughter came up with “scatterbeams.” Sometimes we forget how creative children are.

  2. Jet permalink*
    May 21, 2009 1:21 pm

    Indeed. And thank you. Kristina is very creative in her own right, and she pushes me to stretch my creative muscles also. (Plus, she provides a lot of great source material.)

  3. May 28, 2009 9:40 am

    I grabbed your post (& blog) as soon as i read it in the topic search entries. I am finally working on that long-ago dream of writing children’s books, after having some published work ‘waay’ back in high school. Felt there might be some insight here, and already feeling a good vibe from your blog; after reading about “introverts” and the feelings of ‘other-worldliness’ upon exiting a focused arena into the ‘normal’ world. A theme which seems to recur in many writers lives, including my own. I look forward to reading more. Talula

  4. Jet permalink*
    May 28, 2009 10:18 am

    Thank you, Talula, and welcome. Congratulations on returning to that seed of an idea – feed the dreams! Have you looked into SCBWI? They are a great organisation and community of support for children’s writers.

  5. david,the brother, the grandson,and uncle permalink
    November 16, 2009 9:54 am

    hello and excuse my ignorance but i do not remember the story. would or could you or will you post that first story. if it is private or you are shy could you send it to me on the DL? I must have read it or know about it but I don’t seem to have access to that file at this time. maybe it is time to reboot:D

  6. Jet permalink*
    November 16, 2009 10:15 am

    Oh my. The story in concrete form has long-since disappeared. It was printed/drawn on what we called tag-board, and laced up the back to bind it. It’s likely I remember it being more compelling than it actually was, but we were extremely proud of it. You were in 5th grade at the time – not exactly yesterday – so I expect it’s not in your RAM anymore. I imagine it was archived several OSs ago.

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