The women who paved our paths

All the lovely ladies who paved our path as writers, still inspire me. They draw me into worlds of silk and champagne, satin and stubbled cowboys wearing spurs, or tall men in tuxedos with lethal smiles. The women who wrote at the buffet, like Anaïs Nin, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Louisa May Alcott and so many more who all inspire me.

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin

I love this quote and still have my copy of one of her books, cleverly covered with the DNA sequence of 300 base pairs of the Rous sarcoma virus. The virus was the first onco-virus described and somehow I thought it a clever cover for such lovely prose. I truly believe this quote but I think our writing also feeds others, allowing them to taste our life whether it be a tiny fragment used to enhance a scene or a chunk used in a paranormal. After all, curiosity drives our creativity.

“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.”
― Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar

I have seen arguments end because one person used a brilliant metaphor or simile that gobsmacked the other person. It’s been a while though. Now, my ears are tuned into the wonderful phrases I hear flowing in the Appalachian foothills. They are like music sung in a strange familiar tongue.

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.”
― Virginia Woolf

I am so glad that several years ago I became a whore for words, doing it for money. I am writing about murders with romance and sex –now, I feel like a word-courtesan! My words are the fan I use to flirt with the reader, to entice a lover on the page to weaken the tough skin and allow the soul to be vulnerable.

Yesterday, my widow sipped her café au lait in a chintz ruffled chair on her little balcony overlooking the York River in Virginia before getting into her boat to ride the choppy waters to Camp Peary, where she would teach recruits to kill, among other things.

I realized this morning that chintz furniture and balcony, even the cafe au lait, is in many of my stories. It’s the me who dreamed one day of being happy, in love with the perfect man. I am now that woman, so I bestow my sanctuary to my heroines. Someday, I’ll have that little balcony off my bedroom overlooking a body of water… hopefully, it won’t be the dog’s water dish! 😉


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mimi
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 09:16:01

    I love this!


  2. Ashantay Peters
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 09:46:45

    I enjoyed the thoughtful blog. Thanks for an inspiring way to start the week.


  3. natalieratcliffe
    Aug 16, 2013 @ 23:05:29

    I used to have a quote book that I’ve apparently lost in a move that had awesome quotes by lots of notable and infamous women. Great post!


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