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THE FUN OF WRITING essay
by Richard L. Provencher  
7/26/2008 / Self Help


My writing combines a love of the outdoors with contemporary issues. I spent so much time hiking and camping in my youth, my dad said, "Be careful you don't turn into a tree." My wife, Esther and I, live in beautiful Truro, Nova Scotia.

I'm blessed with a love for words and it's an honour to be called "an emerging writer" at the young age of 64. Some of my work is in The Dublin Quarterly, The Windsor Review, Poems Neiderngasse, The New Quarterly, Bogg, Jones Ave, Stellar Showcase Journal, Poetry Sky, Scribbulations, Canadian Stories, Quills, Rubicon Publishing, PusonWeb, Southern Ocean Review, and Tower Poetry.

My first Poetry Chapbook "In the Light of Day" is available through Mercutio Press at: www.mercutiopress.com In my mind, writing poetry and stories in all genres is a global adventure, a journey without borders. As a member of the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, I am listed on their writer's website at: www.writers.ns.ca.

I enjoy sharing a view of this world, and look forward to having a full book of poetry published, along with my picture books, juvenile novels and an adult one.

~

If you don't mind, and if you think it is worthwhile, I'll share some of my writing thoughts as a 'blog' although 'blogging' is not something I've really done before. If you get something out of it, let me know. I may not get back to you right away, but will do so eventually, be patient dear writer. Isn't that what you area writer. You have thoughts and ideas to share and it is such fun. So I will begin a few thoughts: (Remember, these are my thoughts gleaned from much pondering, reading, testing, persevering and writing, writing, writing, revising, revising and more revising. Whether or not I become a 'name' writer is not importantto write is important.

April 12, 2007
A writer writes. He/she does not talk about it. Wait until the words are complete, then gab all you want. I met fine people with wonderful intentions many years ago who hail me with the same line, "Boy, have I got a novel in me, it's about" and UNFORTUNATELY I have to change the subject because the dream seems to be beyond reach for that fine person.

I do not see the need for ANY swear words. I am not interested in writing about ripped skin, bared knuckles, nor eliminating helpless victims. That is for others who wish to do so.

Do not spend too much time, getting the right pen, the perfect corner setting, a comfortable chair, accepting mood, since time is of the essence to get that story/poem onto paper, NOW! Over the past years of my working life, I was as busy-busy as anyone could be. Writing ten minutes before breakfast, five minutes at noon, an hour after work and two hours on the week-end was my regime. I learned to compress my thoughts, to be triggered later by a key work, it could be "Lion roaring" then when I did get an hour, I wrote as much as a thousand words as quickly as I could move my fingers.

My precious wife, we're now married 32 years, still on our honeymoon, used to type my words on the computer, return them to me for corrections, then repeat the process, two, three, ten times. Phew. Yes, writing is fun. AND LOTS OF WORK, BUT FUN!! If it isn't FUN, forget it, because you'll begin to place a price tag on your time, and when you realize it may take two hours to write a poem, or ten hours for a short story, you may say to yourself, "Is it worth it? YES.

Learn to use a typewriter, use Font 12, I like Ariel print, save your work in FTP, AND Word is the most used in the world, and by most publishers.

~

April 14, 2007
So often we may wish to write a novel. It takes many baby steps to get there. I began with poems, maximum fourteen lines, about eight words to a line. When I saw something that inspired or saddened me (poetry is an emotional expression from the soul) I wrote key words, such as "A falling limbfox watching meeyes squinting. I tried to get five triggers for a future sit down, since I was always on the go. Write it on a pad. One's memory is like a computer, but it needs a trigger to open up the passion one felt at the time. With practice the scene can be totally recaptured.

To move to a short story, I took my five ideas from a poem that was written and translated it into five complete sentences, using the actual ideas displayed in the poems. Thus the story, a short short, would be approximately 75-100 words long.

Then the short short story could have five more sentences added to the same story, then five more, then five more, keeping each story totally complete in itself. By revising the same story, colour, taste and feelings emerge from many directions, like a painter placing another coat of passion on his/her scene. Before long you have a 1,000 word story,

I read quite a bit about how other writers wrote a book; Stephen King rattles off 400 pages plus in a steady stream. Remember to be yourself. A Canadian poet, Ray Souster told me one day as we played ball at Humberside Park in Toronto in 1965, "Dick be yourself. There is only one of you and do not copy anyone else's style." I must admit I copied Ernest Hemmingway's style of typing. I stood up for years, typing. Try it, you may like it. What works for you is right. Pierre Berton said the best advice for me, "Write a scene, or paragraph or chapter that may be in the order of 12, then 2, then 20, then 4 and join them all together. Worked for me. And it may work for you. Closing off for now, from Richard LP.

PS. www.synergebooks.com plan to publish three novels co-authored with my wife, Esther.

* * *

Richard L. Provencher 2007

My wife, Esther and I really enjoy writing. It is an excellent salve, in addition to prayers, a great wife and family during my continuing recovery from a stroke/aneurysm. You can contact us at: richardprov2@gmail.com re comments on our work. We live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Pray for others.

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