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Jul. 2nd, 2011

memkns

99-Year-Old Bachelor Marries for the First Time

"A year before his 100th birthday, Gilbert Herrick is finally settling down. At 99, he never married and assumed he never would until he met 'the one'. That's 86-year-old Virginia Hartman."

Read More » 99-Year-Old Bachelor Marries for the First Time

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Jun. 19th, 2011

memkns

"So, are you still doing that 'writing' thing?"

"Some people have families who hear that they are trying to start a writing career–whether freelance or in books–and are nothing but encouraging, saying things like..."

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Jun. 17th, 2011

memkns

Vancouver: Kiss Amidst the Chaos

"Scott was comforting her and gave her a kiss to say, 'It's going to be OK,' and the photographer took the shot at just that moment."

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Jun. 1st, 2011

book

memkns

Shooting Fish in a Barrel

"What set my hair on fire about this article is that this is EXACTLY the attitude I was trying so hard to combat in my upcoming book, the one where romance readers and authors worked together to help me defend against this crap."

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May. 11th, 2011

memkns

(no subject)

"Roberts hates it when people ask her where she gets her ideas. 'It's not like I go out, pluck them off the Idea Bush or pick up a few at the Idea Store,' she has said. She told me she has never quit on a manuscript: 'I will beat it. I will wrestle it to the ground. It will not defeat me.'"

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Apr. 8th, 2011

heart-sand

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Luann Udell

"When we make something that resonates with someone, gets past their life-defenses. When it slips in and breaks their heart wide open. When what we create, creates that secondary moment—that awareness of something bigger, something special, something powerful, something meaningful.

"Even if only one person feels it..."

Read More » Art For One Person

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memkns

Terry McMillan

"Write hard and from the heart." —Terry McMillan

"I have revised a single chapter, sometimes up to fifty times, until it sings and I can hear all the notes." —Terry McMillan

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Apr. 7th, 2011

heart-sand

memkns

Louis de Bernieres

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides; and, when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being 'in love'—which any of us can convince ourselves we are.

"Love, itself, is what is left over when being 'in love' has burned away and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground—and, when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches, we found that we were one tree and not two. But, sometimes, the petals fall away and the roots have not entwined. Imagine giving up your home and your people, only to discover after six months, a year, three years, that the trees have had no roots and have fallen over. Imagine the desolation. Imagine the imprisonment."

—Louis de Bernieres, Captain Corelli's Mandolin

book

memkns

Adriana Trigiani

"Thank God I'm writing fiction! I have a license to make things pretty. Now, this is not to say that my characters in their worlds do not grieve, are not hurt, do not suffer and are immune to tragedy. Far from it! All the guts of life are laid bare in my work—I just happen to think that choosing someone to share your life with is possibly the most daring choice a person can make—and losing that person—equally life altering. Or having a child—this simple human step—to me—is overwhelming and divine and frightening—you see—the real stuff is the daring stuff—to me.

"I won't rest until I get it 'right' or close—that is to say, that I achieve what I'm trying to say in a scene—have I said what it is I'm trying to say to the best of my ability? Have I made the scene crackle and hum—have I served the story? Is it surprising—does it flow into a greater whole? Does something happen in this scene that progresses the story of the novel? This is what the craft of writing is all about—engaging the reader in a story he or she does not want to put down told by characters that they relate to and perhaps want to be!

"I just knew I could do it if I worked at it. This, of course, is the cornerstone of discipline: a belief that the talent is at the core, but it's useless unless it is honed. Discipline is a dirty word in a lot of circles, because it requires sacrifice. But I don't know how else you get where you want to be, unless you give up something that might be fun in order to get there.

"Writing is not a career, it's a calling. I'm compelled to it—have to do it, need to do it. I can't separate what I do from who I am. Writing is not a job that leaves you at 5:00 p.m.—the characters stay with me while I'm awake, the scenes play through when I sleep—it's a constant—even as I'm writing this, part of my brain is off in the midst of a scene that needs rewriting. If I go to a movie—often my mind wanders to whatever I'm working on—and my husband catches me talking to myself—a lot. My dear friend Stewart Wallace and I get together and have a good laugh about being artists—and the irony of calling what we do a 'career.' It's not a 'career,' Stewart always says—there are no guarantees, there's no gold watch at the end, you can not be an artist for profit—because we believe there isn't enough money in the world to pay someone for creating art. So we bob and weave with it—and apply professional principles to what appears to be a career—and attempt the business side outside of the process of making the art—and hope for the best.

"I believe in creating a world that begets the lovely. I am comforted by gorgeous surroundings—soft chairs covered in sumptuous fabrics, a hot mug of coffee, candles lit, books opened—these things take the rough edges off of life—I create peace—beauty (my version of it), ambience—knowing the setting, calm and lovely will create the place where the emotions will follow..."

-Adriana Trigiani

imagine

memkns

Darien Gee

"We're creative beings — we're born this way. We don't lose it despite what some people say — we just get trained to turn our attention elsewhere. The way to get back into your creative mind is to turn your attention to the things that you love and that please you. If you are stressed, unhappy, resentful, worried, and so on, it is very difficult to be creative. You're creative when you're feeling good. Period." -Darien Gee

Read More » Darien Gee on Writing & Publishing

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Mia Michaels

"The calling in one's life to be a creator is a huge responsibility to the world. There's no backing down once this realization of artistic destiny takes place. It's the commitment of one's life—the artistic version of the monk. We're being used by God to affect and change the universe, shift the planet, and hopefully leave it forever altered. Once our calling takes place, it's our duty to respect, nurture, and dig into it so deeply that there is no other way of living. It becomes our life and our every breath. Everything we experience transforms into art.

"Then there are those who choose but have not been chosen. They make it a career (a business if you will) and have a different take on it. It's a different way of life. They do it for the love of recognition, money, and fame. These people operate in a thing called the 'entertainment business'.

"So many in this business have been successful—just copying the great ones that have come before—without caring about creating their own voice or vocabulary. They continually repeat themselves without ever considering the reinvention of oneself, and without guilt or apologies. There is truth in both these worlds, they just have different heartbeats. We are now in a time of reality TV and instant celebrity.

"It's a time of mediocrity, not too much dignity or integrity on screens all over America. I'm one of those so-called 'instant celebrities' in the world's eyes. It just happened overnight. I dropped out of the sky and became a big-name choreographer with a face. The funny thing is I'm just Mia doing what I've been doing for the last 25 years—but now I am MIA! Very funny and very strange.

"The fame will pass. The show will close. The trends will change. What will remain constant are the true artists, visionaries, and creators, the ones that are called. They will stand as they are until they are gone.

"I hope and pray to always stay true to my calling. A creator of beauty, ugliness, and worldly art of movement. I hope to be a constant because I am called."

-Mia Michaels

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Feb. 19th, 2011

heart-sand

memkns

Child Brides and Boyhood Crushes

"Apparently, marriage seems to be on my 5-year-old daughter's mind a lot these days.

"It all started a few months ago when the Peanut came home and announced that her friend 'Dane' had pronounced his love for her and told her that today was their 'anniversary.' He also told the Peanut that they were going to get married some day..."

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heart-sand

memkns

Catherine Anderson

"I chose the romance genre because I am a firm believer in true love and I don't think we celebrate true love enough in this messed up world.

"The entertainment industry occasionally comes out with a love story, but those stories often end unhappily. The closest we normally get to a happy ending is bittersweet. I don't believe that the majority of real-life love-stories end sadly. I believe that love can move mountains and that it does so on a regular basis. So that is why I write romance, to put those positive endings out into our universe. Now, many years into my career, my books are being published worldwide in languages I can't begin to decipher. Women and men in the farthest reaches of our world are coming to believe in the power of love! How awesome is that?

"Love doesn't only transform the world between a man and a woman, you know. It can change the world when an old man meets an unhappy little boy in the park, or when an old woman hires a younger woman to clean her little house. Think about it. Maybe, through the old man's eyes, that unhappy little boy learns a new way to view the world and grows up to become our President, intent on providing for the old men who are forgotten and sitting on park benches. Maybe the young woman cleaning houses becomes a nurse who is an advocate for the elderly who want to remain independent.

"We never know how our love may touch the life of someone else. What we should know and must come to believe is that love is more powerful and beautiful than any other emotion on earth. It can bring about change. It can end wars. It can perform miracles. Its opposites, anger and hatred, bring only more pain into our world.

"And that is why I write romance, because I believe in love. I think far too many young people settle for the thrill of first meet and create ties with someone simply because the relationship is fun and seems like a last chance. If only they would wait! If only they would believe that someone really special is out there, searching for them. So many hearts have been broken, and so many tears have been shed, simply because people want love so badly that they find it too soon or in all the wrong places. Even sadder is the fact that so many people who make a wrong first choice end up in horrific relationships, feeling trapped and helpless. Most often, these people are women, but men, too, endure this kind of pain.

"I write my stories to tell them there is something more, something beautiful, something that is for everyone, not just the supposedly perfect people. In our world, so many silly standards that define beauty or handsomeness have been drilled into our heads, making our modern-day young men and women feel ugly unless they have been blessed with ultra-superb bodies. How crazy is that? Young girls are getting breast augmentation as a birthday present from their moms and dads when they turn sixteen, and teenage boys are pumping up with steroids.

"What are we allowing the media to tell our sons and daughters about themselves?

"I write romance to send a different message, namely that each and every one of us is beautiful and wondrous in his or her own way. No matter what flaws we perceive that we have, we will be beautiful and perfect in the eyes of at least one special person."

—Catherine Anderson

Dec. 1st, 2010

book

memkns

Unsupportive And They Don't Even Know It

"My best friend says 'You're writing AGAIN?!' every time she calls or stops by, coupled with a heavy sigh or eye roll. Yeah, I am. Everyday, you boob...is what I think but don't say. Out of about a dozen family members that I asked to read my first manuscript, only one did—my mother, of course. After that experience, I stopped discussing my writing all together apart from people who actually write. Most people really don't understand what it takes or, heaven forbid, they're jealous or haughty on some weird level I can't possibly grasp. I never realized how little people thought of this endeavor until I actually began it."

Read More » Unsupportive And They Don't Even Know It

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Nov. 29th, 2010

book

memkns

Storytellers vs. Status-Seekers

"The more I see, the more I feel that novelists fall into two broad categories: those whose desire is to be published, and those whose passion is to spin stories. I think of these as status-seekers and storytellers. You can't tell the difference right away but, over the course of a career, it always emerges. Status-seekers focus on self-promotion and obsess about the industry. Storytellers ignore that stuff and focus on improving their novels. Guess who succeeds and who fails?"

Read More » The Fire in Fiction: Storytellers vs. Status-Seekers

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