I often wondered if I began talking in the womb…

Greetings People,

I’m honored to have been tagged in a blog-tour that is happening right now.  Honored and surprised as I’ve not really been an active blogger nor reader for a little bit of time – and I’ll explain why in just a bit. But first I want to say “Thank You” to Karen, from Mended Musings, for all her support and including me with all these really talented people.   In turn, I shall be tagging 3 exceptional writers to participate.

I often wondered if I began talking in the womb… I wouldn’t entirely rule that out as a possibility. Some of my earliest memories consist of hearing people ask my parents ‘does she talk like that all the time?’ and being paid quarters (serious 7 year old cash in the ‘70s) to remain quiet during a car trip.  I’ve ever been a talker- and then by extension a Linguaphile. My forte is in storytelling – typically of the factual kind.  I also love to write letters and notes. I’m completely confident I have written what would be the equivalent of a tome, during high school years to my various schoolmates.

Ironically, I’ve never really considered myself a ‘writer’ – storyteller, maybe – but ‘writer’? No.  Most of the people I know who are serious writers have, in fact, written at least one book or a series of short stories. They have multiple ideas for other books and are constantly scribbling out ideas for future novels.  Me? Not so much. I’ve heard plenty of people say “you should write a book” – and then I ruminate over that and my mind goes completely blank.  I had not one iota of an idea about a book to write.  Nada.  Because, like I stated above, I didn’t fancy myself as a ‘writer’. I have a lot of stories but nothing book worthy.

For years I contented myself with the joys of being an email-whore.  It filled the desire to write, relate stories and use language.  It also allowed me to communicate with people who also appreciated and wrote a good multi-paragraphed email.  Then a couple, three years ago, my friend at Mended Musings confided in me that she was writing a blog – at the time it was anonymous – and might I be interested in reading some of her posts?  Well of course I was – she was one of the people that I wrote with in high school.  And so I did – and with some encouragement – started my own blog.

It was a wonderful venue for my style of writing- I got to relate my stories, voice opinions and read a whole lotta great blogs on WordPress. I threw myself into it full force.  I have definitely grown as a storyteller and, dare I say, a writer. However, I have to admit, I’ve been writing less and less since November 2013.  On some level, my stories have been told, on another, I have a bad habit of having about 3 month’s enthusiasm for most anything I have developed an interest in (and I was a steady blogger for almost 3 years!).   I worried I was drying up – that my brain was unable to really write anything ‘post worthy’ and fresh. So many talented people out there writing essentially what I was thinking of writing – and articulating it better. I didn’t want to waste space for the sake of just writing something.  But then I realized that something a little different was happening – my dried up brain was actually getting IDEAS.

Along with those ideas, I was getting a tremendous amount of encouragement from my friends Sharon Kay Penman and Ted Schredd to WRITE A BOOK.   Just the thought made my stomach ache.  That is a lot of pressure – TO WRITE A BOOK.  It’s a long term project that takes discipline, talent, patience, A STORY, and planning.  All those things I wasn’t sure I had enough of.  But I take some of that back…I did have a little story germinating in my brain.  Sharon suggested that I pick I topic I love and write about it. Ted advised that I just spend a little bit everyday working on something.  I have put those two things together and I’ve arrived at where I am today.

So, after 708 introductory words, I shall begin the ANSWERING OF THE QUESTIONS…

1)      What am I working on?

A BOOK! Yes, I’m working on a book – and this is the FIRST time I’ve publically put that out there. I started in May and have faithfully been dedicating a little bit of everyday towards the research, plot, and character development.   I’m deep enough into this process to feel like I can actually say that I’m going to write a book.   The only hint I will give away about it, at this point, is that it’s going to be a historical fiction novel – 14th century England.  Just the research, alone, for the time period, is daunting to me. I’m better acquainted with life in the 12th-13th centuries, but I wanted to write a little bit outside of my comfort zone and learn some new things along the way.   At this point, I’ve got a plot and my major characters are well on their way to being developed. I cannot wait to meet them on paper and see how they grow.

2)      How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Um… this is a stumper…  I don’t know if I have an answer to that. I am going into this as a storyteller in hopes that my style of writing, which people tell me is very ‘conversational’, shines through and enhances the story.  Whether this differs from others of its genre remains to be seen – at this point I just want to succeed in writing a book. One step at a time.

3)      Why do I write/create what I do?

For my blog, I found it a great venue for telling the various stories I’ve told to people for my entire life.  I also love the conversations these stories generate and the ability to use them as a way to meet new and interesting people.

Why I’m writing a book? I think because I finally have a story to tell and hopefully more. I also want to experience the process and maybe, just maybe, I will find something within myself that I never knew I had.  I also hope to get to England – and that is my goal if, a year down the road, this project has taken off and looks to be a life changer, I will go to England so I can experience the places that I’m writing about.


4)      How does my writing/creating process work?

Many years ago, at age 13, I was learning how to ski. I found myself on my first blue square trail, utterly terrified and overwhelmed at the sheer drop over the edge to start the run that seemed to go on forever. I stood there, frozen.  My friend’s father skied up beside me and asked if I was OK. I told him, because I’m a brutally honest person, that I was terrified. The run looked too steep and too long.  He gave me the best advice of my entire life – he told me to stop looking at the entire mountain, and just concentrate on 5 feet in front of me.  That did it. I went over the edge and skied that run.  Over the years, I’ve found that advice to work for most anything that overwhelms me. This book project is no different.  I’ve decided that every day, I will devote to doing a little something.  I made a list (I love lists) of the things I needed to do and just try to do them.  I have given myself a year – I knew that the first few months would be solely about research – not only am I writing a book (which is its own process) but I’m having to learn about a completely different culture.  As I started reading up on 14th century England, my brain started coming up with ideas for fleshing out the plot and the characters. I’m trying to just give myself a manageable schedule without any sort of deadline (except a year) – and am waiting to see how things develop.

The most interesting aspect of this process is for every plot or character trait idea, I have to actually research to see if it was something credible for that time period.  And the more I learn about that time period, the more I ideas I have about the plot.

I want to kiss the entire internet every day – because I could not do half of what I’m doing without it. I also am very grateful to the public library and Inter Library Loan – it’s a godsend.  And, most of all, I’m grateful for my family and friends who are supporting me with tons of encouragement.  My husband is willing to listen and give feedback on any number of plot lines I talk about. And, for some bewildering reason, people are taking this venture seriously. Which makes it so much more real to me.

So, in essence, for me – my creative process works because I am able to take small, realistic steps, and talk everything out.  Talking has always been my way of working through any number of problems and it still works here.


Phew – that was long winded, eh?   And now I want to invite three amazing writers to participate –  Three is such a small amount – I have a whole huge LIST of people I admire – but three is the number of which I was told to choose…so three it must be.

I’m not picking out any particular post of these three because you can find ANY post they have written and be ‘wowed’  – they have that much talent.  And  that’s a lot of talent.   These are three bloggers that I have connected with on some level. And for me, that’s the most important thing.  So go there and read them. You’ll thank me immediately.


    • List of X from, uh, List of X!  He is such an engaging & funny Russian List of X. And that should be enough to recommend him highly. But seriously, he’s really clever and anyone that makes me laugh is much admired in my eyes.
    •  Mike Calahan from B.L.O.G.  – Mike is just straight up FUNNY – a talented and engaging writer who loves to tell a good story from his youth. He’s my kinda guy.  He makes me want to use the word “adorbs” when describing him. He’s thoroughly adorbs.
    • No list is complete without Emily from The Waiting.  I’m pretty sure Emily has probably been invited to this ride before. She’s a big deal in the WordPress world o’wonder – but I’m listing her anyway!  I hope she has time to join us if she’s not done so already.  She’s been a busy, busy, busy woman making her mark in the world at her new gig.

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Childhood, connections, Humor, Language, love, News, Philosophy, Random Thoughts, Relationships, Sharon K Penmen, Story, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to I often wondered if I began talking in the womb…

  1. Dani says:

    “Why I’m writing a book? I think because I finally have a story to tell and hopefully more. I also want to experience the process and maybe, just maybe, I will find something within myself that I never knew I had.”

    I think that’s why so many of us write.

    Positive thoughts to you in and through your process.


  2. Amy Reese says:

    Awww, wonderful! I’m so happy for you that you decided to write a book. I think it can be done just as you suggest…little by little. I’m going to write one soon, too. Yes! We can cheer each other on. So best of luck. I have full confidence in you. xoxo

  3. You were paid not to talk. I love that. I really, really love that 🙂
    This was ridiculously interesting, particularly about your novel – 14th century England, eh? Why not set yourself a BIGGER challenge? 😉
    Super stuff dude, best of luck with the writing – and remember, if writer’s block hits, there’s always cheese.

    • Yes, yes, I was paid to not talk…or the game was actually…who could be quiet the longest…and sometimes I was the only one asked to play. My son is a a chatty-cathy too…even more so than I am…but so far, a quarter doesn’t seem to entice him towards quiet.

      Well, when I go to Oxford (it’s taking place in Oxford – there’s another hint) – we’ll hook up. Are you close to there?

      I have always loved history – and thought “WHY NOT?” – hopefully my lack of living in England won’t be too much of a hindrance. And then I can use ‘Rubbish’ 🙂

      I love cheese.

  4. rossmurray1 says:

    I’m so excited for you because… isn’t it wonderful? Aren’t you loving it? I’m a chapter and a half away from finishing my first draft (and then there will be revising and editing) and the process — just the working out of things in my head prior to writing — has been such a fresh experience to me. I’ve written a lot but not a lot of fiction. I don’t care if it’s cow cud, I’ve had a blast doing it, the sense of accomplishment, like running a marathon. As for the year, good target. I started mulling this seriously about a year ago and began the actual writing in November. I think by November I’ll have a draft ready for first reading. Power on, my dear!

    • Wow – I am envious!!!! I haven’t even gotten a chapter down – but I do have an outline for the plot. I’m mostly worried about being RUBBISH at dialogue – but I shan’t know until I try, eh? I am excited and some days I think…what the hell am I doing???

      Congrats, Rosemary – I know your book is going to be fabulous!!

  5. Twindaddy says:

    LADYCAKES! I’m so excited to hear that you’re writing a book! That’s awesome!

  6. Awesome and congrats on working on that book – fantastic! I have stopped and started and stopped my book. Ugh. But I can tell from what you say that you have some momentum going, and that’s amazing! Keep at it, even when you don’t feel like doing it. That’s when you *need* to do it! And as for that skiing / life lesson – loved that too. I have heard it too that when we drive at night, our headlights only give us a few yards of light, and yet we drive hundreds of miles like that. Do the next right indicated thing and it’s all gonna be alright 🙂

    Honoured to have been tagged with you 🙂


  7. List of X says:

    Oh wow, a book, that’s a really good excuse for disappearing from WordPress. 14th century England, interesting. 🙂
    Thank you for picking me, I’m blushing now :). Also, does this mean that I’m now supposed to write a book? 🙂

  8. Paul says:

    OK, I enjoy historical novels, always have. I find history too emotionless and I know that it is the emotions and the personalities that drive it. Many of the successful authors of historical novels are excellent researchers – like yourself. The question that I have Rutabaga, is how the heck did you become familiar with 12th and 13th century history? I am sure you will write an excellent novel. Just the way you speak of it gives the same feeling as famous authors speak of it. You’re in the groove Rutabaga – you’ll make it happen. And then I can say that I knew a famous author before she was famous! Whew.

    • Paul, you can come over and be my cheerleader ANY TIME.

      I have read a lot of novels about the 12th & 13th century England & Wales. Sharon K Penman is a fantastic author of incredibly well researched tomes of historical fiction. More historical than fiction – to be sure.

      I’m also a secret time traveller 🙂 –

  9. Yay! I was hoping you’d talk about what you’ve been working on. I know nothing about any century England so the 14th century is a great place for me to start. I can’t wait to see it through the eyes of your imagination! My daughter talks incessantly so I hope this means she’s going to take after you. I might have to try that quarter trick. 😉

  10. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wonderful to hear you’re working on a book! And a historical novel to boot. I’m sure the research is intense. But you’re right, writing in the age of the Internet is a blessing. I remember the days of research before the Internet. NOT fun.

    Good luck with your writing!

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