Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Embracing the Ugly

Last week was interesting. Between twitter land discussions (see yesterdays post) that went wrong and family frustrations I can’t say it was filled with my usual dose of sunshine and cupcakes.

So rather than letting the online world and family gulp me up and spit me out, I decided to put all the positive spins I could on it! Some days were much easier than others, but with awesome friends and the ability to write the world really is at your beckon call!

So what the hell am I talking about?

My sisters. If you have siblings you know what I’m talking about. Those annoyances that only last for a few hours, but there enough to make you want to BLOW. The backhanded comments each one of us make, we know we shouldn’t, and yet the buttons are there to press so why not.

Yup, that’s what happened. Details not necessary. It could have been about my little pony or road trips to see one another. The conversation doesn’t matter, what matters is what I did to embrace the ugly.

You always hear write what you know. Well in that specific moment I knew my sisters were infuriating, they didn’t know me, and had no care for my feelings (yes, with anger comes over dramatics).

I’d been stuck with three great ideas for my next novel and yet no character wanting to chat. However, the moment my sisters and I were arguing, three voices showed up. They were sisters, each with complicated lives, looking to bond with one another but having no idea how to embrace their new lives and let go of their old ones. What a perfect premise, don’t you think?

I opened up my word document and wrote. There sat Claire Montgomery, Abby Winter, and Carolyn Granger, on the outside three lovely women, best sisters anyone had ever witnessed. Behind the scenes each had their own challenge to overcome and learning to appreciate one another.

It was there, amongst all the tears and frustration I’d come up with the rawest concept --> The Inadequacies of Sisterhood.

Have you ever embraced the emotion?

31 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

I don't have any sisters but always wanted one. I'm sure it's an emotional roller coaster.

The concept of your new story sounds great.

Clarissa Draper said...

Totally embrace it! I know what it's like to have sisters and how crazy they can make you. I say write it all down and get it all out.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Inspiration strikes when it strikes and if you're gonna fight with your sisters (honestly I wish I were still close enough with my sisters to even fight. But we don't really talk enough to get to that point. Which means we remain on good terms. lol)- at least you got a book idea out of it! When life hands you lemons...:)

Creepy Query Girl said...

Inspiration strikes when it strikes and if you're gonna fight with your sisters (honestly I wish I were still close enough with my sisters to even fight. But we don't really talk enough to get to that point. Which means we remain on good terms. lol)- at least you got a book idea out of it! When life hands you lemons...:)

elizabethreinhardt said...

OMG I LOVE sister stories! I also love my sister, and I also had a fight with her (one I didn't even realize I started...sigh!).

I eavesdropped on my young cousins' Facebook statuses and got this idea for a book about a cross country trip.

Family...may the things they do that drive you crazy eventually become the things you write about that drive your book sales!

lynnrush said...

OH yeah. Seems when there are bunches of emotions running around is when characters hit me too. Story ideas, too. It's like it helps process things or something. Totally go with it!

Meredith said...

What an amazing idea to come out of all of that frustration! Amazing where inspiration will strike, isn't it? Good luck!

Glynis said...

I have no sisters, but know what my two girls are like. :)

My emotional scene for one novel stemmed from DH and I having words (rare). It was the best thing that happened in my writing week!

Well done on finding something positive from a negative!

Shirley Wells said...

I love the idea for your story.

Isn't it great how we can get ideas from bad situations? If someone upsets me, they often end up as a victim in my next book. ;)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Conversations and fights inspire me all the time.

My sisters inspire me all the time.

~ Wendy

Em-Musing said...

LOve how positive you are. Yesterday, my best friend betrayed me. The only one I knew who would understand me was my sister, but she passed a few years ago so I could only cry to dark air over my bed and hope she heard me.

Amie Borst said...

yup. i embrace the emotion by killing each and every one of my characters!!

Julianna said...

I am the youngest of three sisters, I know exactly how you feel. My life is dramatically different from my theirs and I constantly feel their lack of desire to understand my choices. Embrace all the ugly you can, because behind it shines truth and vulnerability that makes you characters live. I'd like to say it gets easier the older you get, but it hasn't yet for me anyway and I'm 37!

Jen Chandler said...

Ah the world of sisterhood. I completely understand. I'm the oldest of two and we are as different as night and day.

And yet...we are more alike than we'd like to admit :)

Embracing emotion is when I write my best. Usually negative emotion, but when harnassed for good (rather than dystroying the universe as we know it...) emotions can turn into visceral writing that moves our readers and helps us, as writers, cope with what's going on around us.

Hope today is better for you!
Jen

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

I never had a sister - much to my great disappointment! But I did have four! brothers. Mmmm.... Not so hot when it comes to getting along. You choose your friends but you can't choose your family, eh? Shame...

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Oh, I LOVE this idea. I have no sisters but have always been jealous of people who did and jealous of the bond sisters develop. Brothers are fine and all, but they aren't the same:)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Great idea, Jen. I just LOVE the way you twist the negatives of your life into positives.

I don't have sisters, but I do have wonderful cyber-sisters, which are AWESOME and we never have disagreements. LOL.

I have two older brothers, so different from me, I sometimes wonder if we are really related. With my parents gone we drifted. I try to keep in touch but it's always one sided. Not fun... no story here on my part. You need to have communication to have a story and although you have misunderstandings with your sisters, you are still communicating.

Five weeks and counting.... I can't wait to meet my little cyber-sister.

Teenage Bride said...

I think sisters have one of the most complex relationships lol

Christina Lee said...

That 'a girl!!! Oh yes, those sisters really know how to push the buttons!

Lindsay said...

Great way to get some inspiration! <3

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Oh cool! I'm so glad you were able to take a frustrating experience and turn it into something positive. :) Sounds like a great story idea!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you got an idea out of it! No sisters, just one brother. And I think my book would be "Same Planet, Different Worlds."

Nicole Zoltack said...

Sounds like a great story! I have two younger sisters so I know all about the trials of sisterhood. I also have one older brother and two younger ones.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I have four sisters and though I'm thankful to say we rarely cause each other stress or pain, there are days, instances that make me understand this. Take care!

Jennifer Hillier said...

Way to embrace the ugly, my dear!

I think my book is pretty much all about embracing the ugly. So I definitely have been there.

li said...

Inspiring post! Glad you made something negative work for you. I'm often tempted to write about family members - but I'm afraid I won't disguise them well enough :-)
My sister and I loathed each other growing up, but now we're best friends.

Sarah Pearson said...

Yay for making lemonade! Hope you're okay.

Hannah Kincade said...

That is a fantastic idea. I have 3 sister and believe you me, I know the frustrations and joys that come with it. I'm so excited to read this next one. Get to writing! ;-)

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

Love the premise. How fabulous that it grabbed you and out came those characters. So awesome when that happens! Happy writing!

Catherine Denton said...

Not sure I have, but I should because your novel idea is sensational!
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Amy Richardson said...

I can't say that I've embraced the emotions, especially in a writerly way, but wow! I'm definitely going to keep that in mind as I go through my family angst!