Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Toss Around Thursday

In my last post, I included my list of ten things that make me happy. I have found that being deliberately grateful, going out of my way to count my blessings, makes a profound difference in how happy I actually feel. So what I'd like to toss around today is this: name one thing that has to do with whatever pursuit you love, be it writing, reading, painting, sports, etc., that makes you truly happy.

One of the parts of writing I like the most is when I create a character I love. Just as my enjoyment of a book I'm reading is usually proportional to my fondness for its characters, so it is with my writing. My favorite characters aren't necessarily the brightest, the most beautiful, or even the nicest people. They have flaws, they make mistakes, they lose their way sometimes. But they're always vibrant, passionate, and real. More than anything else, spending time with these characters is what makes me excited to get up while the rest of my family's still asleep, settle in with my coffee pot and my laptop, and lose myself in my fictional world.

Okay, your turn!


Old Kitty said...


Lemme see.

It has got to be finishing an actual creative piece, poetry, short story, a chapter or even a baked loaf of bread from scratch and knowing that "darn! it's FLAMIN' GOOD!"


There's nothing like that feeling for me. For writing - I've drafted, re-drafted, edited, torn my hair out, had sleepless nights, countless headaches and then suddenly the piece is finished, the final line or sentence makes perfect sense and everything comes together beautifully.

With baking - the kitchen is a mess, I've ran out of utensils and crockery/cutlery to use, flour everywhere, Cat's given up asking me for food, but nothing like the kitchen smelling of baked goodies and best of all, tasting the end result!


Awwww thank you for a lovely toss around Thursday!

Take care

Theresa Milstein said...

Great idea for a post, Susan.

When I complete a manuscript, I get an enormous sense of satisfaction. The ideas that floated in my head for those two or three months are all down, even if they're rougher than sandpaper. I've created something.

It's kind of like giving birth. The experience was painful and messy, and the baby is squishy and messy, but there's a little screaming lump of life that, perfect in his or her own way, needs a bit of work before s/he is walking and talking.

Old Kitty loves baking, while I love cooking. When I tackle a complicated recipe or make up my own, and it comes out really good, I'm proud. I put a lot of love into cooking.

Sharon Mayhew said...

In the love of writing...I absolutely love doing research. I love learning about a different time and place. When I take notes I can envsion my characters doing the things I've researched and saying the phrases I deemed appropriate for that region or time period.

In the pursuit of friendship...I really love it when I'm able to help a friend with their quest to become a writer. Whether it's passing along contest information (Have you entered that contest, Susan?) or being part of a critique group. I love talking to my former students on facebook...encouraging them to reach for their goals and just being there to hear about what is going on in their life. I think knowing I've helped someone means more to me than writing. I guess I'm more confident in my character than in my characters...LOL

Susan Fields said...

Old Kitty - Yes, I love that feeling, that FLAMIN' GOOD feeling! It is such a thrill to read something I wrote and know (at least I think I know :)) that it's really good! And what can beat finding that perfect last line? On my current WIP, I had a really lame ending. I just knew it wasn't right but I didn't know how to fix it. Then the ending came to me and I just loved it. Of course, I'll probably end up editing it right out eventually, but for now it makes me happy! I love to bake, too, mostly desserts. For me, the best part of that is probably sampling the batter. :)

Theresa - I love the comparison to giving birth. Yes, it's painful and you can't imagine what on Earth enticed you to get yourself into such a thing, but in the end you've got this wonderful little "lump of life" - totally worth it!

Sharon - You are such an encourager to everyone around you, you're so gifted at that. You've pushed me to grow as a writer (kicking and screaming half the time), but I'm so thankful you did! And how I wish I liked research. That is without a doubt my least favorite part of writing. When you start your own contract research firm, let me know.

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Oh, there are so many things I love doing and so many parts of those things that I love.

Lately, I've been working on a painting. I work on a portion of the painting then let it dry. Then I look at it for a few days. The more I look at it, the more problems I see until I eventually repaint the offending parts.

Last Sunday, I repainted the sky and all week I've been looking at it saying, "Wow. That actually looks pretty good!" I love that feeling. When I can say something is good and know I'm being honest.

Tess said...

I love naps.

and ice cream.

yep. those two things never disappoint :D

Jackee said...

Dang! Tess took mine. I was going to say naps. I always wake up happier for having had one. (Isn't it obvious I have a baby and tiny kids at home with that answer?)

My other answer is writing--pure hand to the keyboard, punching through a story writing--always makes me happy. I can tell the days I have written and have not as to how well I can handle stress that day. It's much better on days I've written! Best (and cheapest) therapy in the world!

robby (once upon a book blog/fourteen years) said...

When I have a bad day and come home, sit at my computer and write, it makes me happy. It's an escape, another world I can hop in to, and I love that.
I love what you said about characters and the kinds you love, honest and real and flawed. I feel the same way. :]

Susan Fields said...

Amy - you are so multi-talented. Honestly, I'm in awe of all you do and all you accomplish. Do you even sleep? I agree, I love the feeling of knowing something you've done is really good. Like when your critique partner tells you she read your book in one day and loved it. :)

Tess - yes, naps! Can't beat 'em. I could never work outside the home again, my brain automatically shuts down right about lunchtime. Ice cream's good too!

Jackee - I agree with you and Tess, nothing beats a good nap! I know exactly what you mean about handling stress better on days you write. I get up early to write so it's always the first thing I do. If I should happen to sleep too late and then have to go to a super early soccer game or something, I just know it's not going to be a good day.

Robby - I do love the escape of hopping into another world, especially one of your own creation with those people you know heart and soul because you created them as well. The character I love in my current WIP has a bit of a violent streak, he thinks fighting is the way to handle everything. My sister read it and said something about him being a real hot head, and I told her that's who he is. He's not perfect, but I love him anyway.

Niki said...

Definately finishing a story. Which I have done today!!!! YAY

Another happy time is when I sit outside and listen to the sounds of my animals. We have a boundary of large pine trees and every afternoon it must be gossip time for the birds. The noise of birdy chatter is incredible!

Susan Fields said...

Niki - hooray, you finished a story today! That truly is an awesome feeling, especially when it wraps up just right. I especially love to listen to bird chatter in the winter, it's like a little sneak peek of spring.

Niki said...

Hi Susan, there's something for you at my blog :o)

Nicole Ducleroir said...

Reading this post was like looking in a mirror, except I'm still tethered to the wall by modem wires :) It's nice to read what other writers have to say, especially when I see so many things you have in common with me. I'll definitely be back to read more!

Susan Fields said...

Nicole, so nice to see you here! Thanks for stopping by and following. I do love hearing what other writers have to say, that's one thing I really love about the blogging world!