I just returned home from the annual summer Retreat of the American Night Writers Association. I've been a member of this excellent writing group for about 3 years now, and joining has been the best decision of my writing career. My publisher, Chad Daybell suggested I join, and it took me a month or so to decide to do so.
He was so right.
The group is fantastic. I have learned more about writing from these women (and it is women only in the group) than I did in my entire college career, or in my years as a writer for the U.S. Congress, or in my years as an aspiring author. It's just a great, motivational, educational group.
During the Retreat in the high country of Arizona this year, I met several women who really helped me figure out how to make strides in my writing, and I appreciate them very much. For a long time I have resisted starting a writing blog, believing there are enough of them out there. (And there probably are.) I am quite averse to self-promotion, and I saw a presence on the web as annoying to myself and others. However, one of the women in my "suite" helped me see otherwise.
When I told her the catchphrase I've always used for my writing, "Cotton Candy for the Soul," she laughed and told me that needed to be my personal trademark, my logo. She said I should name my blog this. I laughed, thinking, no way. Then I came home, and it sank in. Voila, this blog. Then, as the "Crazy Coincidence" above states, the evening after I created the original page, a neighbor stopped by with six bags of cotton candy in hand. He'd just bought a machine and thought he would drop some by for us. I couldn't believe it.
It made me think, wow, the whole universe is reaffirming this decision.
I know. Now I'm sounding like candy corn for your soul.
But I believe there is a need for entertaining writing. We have a lot of people out there aspiring to write that "Great American Novel," one that will both wrench and open the eyes of each reader. There are others who are out to write something to educate the reader about a social issue, or to do all manner of shocking writing.
However, not I. For some of us, the great gift of reading is escape. I aspire not to write chicken soup or meat and potatoes or spicy salsa.
My stuff isn't deep. It's just light, sweet, gone.
And can't we just enjoy some cotton candy now and then?