ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Thursday, 21 July 2011

I'm back, sort of, croak, croak. Wendy Marcus blog tour - How Soccer Relates to Writing.

This is not the post I imagined as my first after my sojourn overseas, but a nasty little French bug travelled home from Paris with me and has laid me low ever since. I've dragged myself from my sick bed to post, as I'd promised Wendy Marcus I'd host her. Unfortunately the date clashes with Romantic Friday Writers. So my pre-prepared post (thank goodness!) is going up a day early as is. 

Here we go!

Today I welcome Wendy S Marcus to L'Aussie Writing. Wendy has a debut Harlequin Medical Romance out, When One Night Isn’t Enough. Right now she's conducting a blog tour that has been extended into August! Please check out her News  page to see where she’ll be.

Today Wendy is going to tell us about soccer and writing:

How Soccer Relates to Writing

By: Wendy S. Marcus
Hi Denise!
PromoPicSmall.jpgThank you so much for hosting me on the 25th stop on my blog tour to promote my debut Harlequin Medical Romance, When One Night Isn’t Enough, which is currently available for purchase at Mills and Boon UK  and Amazon UK and on Mills and Boon Aus/NZ  as well as in stores in the UK and Aus/NZ and online in the U.S. 

My son, now 17, has been playing soccer since he was 5. Intramural soccer. Travel and premier soccer. Junior varsity and varsity high school soccer. Usually he plays on more than one team per season. Over the years I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours watching my son play soccer in the rain, fog, sleet, snow, heat, humidity, and once through a swarm of bees.

What does this have to do with writing? Participation in competitive sports (in this case soccer) teaches children valuable life lessons that can benefit us all:

1) You fall down; you get up. Fast.
2) You miss the ball; you chase after it.
3) You get hurt; whenever possible, you shake it off and resume play.
4) You lose the ball; you do your best to get it back.
5) You elbow someone; you're going to get elbowed back. (Same applies for tripping/cleating/jersey pulling.)
6) Your coach tells you to do something; you do it, or you won't get to play.
7) You take a shot and miss; you keep shooting until you score. And then you shoot some more.
8) You win; you celebrate.
9) You lose; you practice harder, play better and put forth your very best effort to win the next time.
10) You never, ever give up...if you want to stay in the game.


Writing is hard work. It can be frustrating and lonely. But if you want to succeed, learn the lessons I mentioned above.

And consider this: A soccer team succeeds when one player is having a bad game so another picks up his/her level of play to compensate. When one player is down and his/her teammates pump them up. When the coach requests the impossible and the team unites in support of one another.

Become part of a team. Find a dependable critique partner. Join a local writing group. Find a supportive bunch of peers to accompany you on your journey toward publication. It makes the trip a little easier. (And a lot more enjoyable.)

I had help along my path to publication. A critique partner - Joanne Stewart - who questioned my choices and made me dig deep. Supportive writing friends – too numerous to mention – who supported and encouraged me and wouldn’t let me give up. And here’s the result. The following is an excerpt from When One Night Isn’t Enough. When you’re all done reading, leave a comment to tell me what you think. One lucky commenter will win a copy of the 2in1 UK edition of my book which includes a complete novel by Janice Lynn.

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Float nurse Allison Forshay glanced at the clock on the institutional white wall of the staff lounge in the Emergency Room, wishing she could accelerate time with the snap of her fingers. Then the eight hours and six minutes that remained of Dr. Jared Padget’s last shift would vanish in seconds.
Along with him.
Hallelujah!
The chorus of sopranos belting out a private concert in her head came to an abrupt halt when the door opened and chatter from the busy outside hallway overpowered her glee.
Ali cringed, keeping her eyes on the patient chart open on the round table in front of her, struggling to maintain focus on her documentation for little Molly Dawkins, her first patient of the night. The three-year-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed terror had tried to bite the triage nurse and kicked at Ali when she’d attempted to expose the girl’s infected big toe. Then Dr. Padget had  arrived, complimented the pink polish on Molly’s tiny toenails, the delicate gold bracelets on her ankle and wrist, and the princess tattoo on her hand. In less than three minutes he’d charmed that little girl right out of her sandal, confirming Ali’s suspicion. Women of all ages were susceptible to the man’s charisma.
If there was a vaccine to protect against it, Ali would have opted for a double dose.
The subtle change in the air gave him away, some type of electrostatic attraction that caused the tiny hairs on her arms to rise and lean in his direction, her heart rate to accelerate, and her breath to hitch whenever he found her alone.
His blue scrub-covered legs and red rubber clogs entered her peripheral vision. He pulled out the chair beside her and sat down, brushing his arm against hers. No doubt on purpose, the rat.

“You’ve been avoiding me,” Dr. Jared Padget said.

“You’re hardly worth the effort it would take to avoid you.” Although, in truth, she was.
“I’m leaving on Monday.”
Yes! Finally! His arrival three months ago had thrown her life into a state of flux. Now, his temporary assignment over, his departure meant she could finally settle back into a normal routine free from his constant badgering at work and ‘coincidental’ encounters on her days off. With a flippant wave of her hand she said, “Here. Gone. Alive. Dead. Makes no difference to me.”
“Come on, Ali Kitten.” He snatched her pen. “You know you’re going to miss me.”
“About as much as I’d miss a painful hemorrhoid,” she said, glaring at him from the corners of her eyes. “And you know I don’t like when you call me that.”
“Yeah,” he said with a playful twinkle in his peridot-green eyes and that sexy smile, complete with bilateral dimples that tormented her in her sleep. He leaned back in his chair and clasped his long fingers, and her pen, behind his head. “That’s what makes it so much fun.”
Ali grabbed at her pen, making sure to mess up his neatly styled dark hair. He raised his hand over his head and back out of reach, his expression daring her to come closer.
She didn’t.
He chucked the pen onto the table.
“I hear a bunch of you are going out Sunday night to celebrate my departure,” he said, making no mention of the fact he hadn’t been invited.
She shrugged, tamping down the other, less joyful reason for the night out. “It’s as good as any other excuse for the girls to get together. And it’s easier and less fuss than burning you in effigy.”
He moved forward, rested his elbows on the table and leaned in close. “Was that supposed to hurt my feelings, Kitten?” His voice, soft and deep, vibrated through her.
Four hours into a busy twelve-hour night shift, and he had the nerve to still smell fresh from the shower. A picture of him naked, water sluicing down his tall, firm body, slick with suds, forced its way into her mind. It took immense self-control not to pound her fists against her head to get rid of it.
“What’s going on in that pretty little head I wonder?” he teased, staring at her face as if trying to see behind what she hoped was a disinterested expression.
Heaven help her if he could. For months she’d fought this attraction. First she couldn’t act on it. Now she wouldn’t.
Distance was the only thing that worked so she gathered her charts and stood.
Jared rose to stand directly in front of her, so close she noticed a tiny freckle on the skin exposed by the V-neck of his scrub top, a miniscule droplet of chocolate she wanted to lick clean. He smelled so good, his scent an intoxicant that impaired rational thought.
She stared straight ahead, at his clavicle, wouldn’t meet his eyes for fear the way he affected her would show. “Please move.”
“I think you don’t want me to move, you like me right here.”
“Now you can read minds?” She took a step back. Distance. What she wanted was distance between them. Preferably a continent, but the opposite side of New York State, the site of his next temporary assignment, would have to do.
“Yes, I can.” He tilted his face in front of hers. “And you are thinking some very naughty thoughts, Nurse Forshay.”
“Only if you consider me beating you with the bell of my stethoscope naughty. Now get out of my way.” She pushed his arm. “I’ve got to get back to work, and so do you.”
He turned serious for a change. “Are you ever going to forgive me?”
“To forgive you I would have to care about you.” She looked up and locked eyes with him. “And I don’t. Not one bit.”

Visit my website: http://WendySMarcus.com
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The Oz cover

 




22 comments:

  1. Welcome home, Denise! I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well... hope you get better soon.

    Thanks to Wendy for another great extract. I've been enjoying her blog tour!

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  2. Hi Denise,

    Welcome back! I enjoyed the lovely photos from your trip to Paris, hope you get well soon!

    Hello Wendy!

    Thanks for this wonderful post on comparisn between Soccer and writing, the aspiring writers need this encouragement!

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  3. Awww Denise, sorry to hear you're poorly. Get well soon.

    And I knew there was a reason I loved football, thanks Wendy :)

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  4. Get well soon, Denise!

    Great article, Wendy!

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  5. Hi Denise!
    Thank you so much for having me to your blog, today! I hope you're feeling better soon.

    Hi Talli!
    I'm glad you've been enjoying my blog tour!

    Hi Nas!
    You're welcome! I think playing competitive sports greatly benefits children in life. Working hard, playing nice with others, and not letting every minor setback pull us out of the game are lessons that can benefit every writer.

    Hi Sarah!
    I love soccer, too! Even on TV.

    Hi Megan!
    Thanks!

    And thanks to all of you for stopping by!

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  6. Hello Denise.
    Welcome back! Sorry you're feeling under the weather...hope you make a speedy recovery.

    Excellent post, Wendy, with lots to think about. Great, inspirational tips for the writer who's had too many slaps in the face!

    Best wishes, ladies! ;-)

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  7. Hi Andy!
    I'm glad you found my tips helpful! They won't take away the sting from the slap, but maybe they'll help writers recover a bit quicker.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. So, so sorry you've been sick! That is no fun and hope the weekend will be kind to you.

    As for the soccer/writing tips, I like no. 10.

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  9. Hi Suze!
    #10 is the most important.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Hi there, Wendy!

    I have never ever thought of writing in conjunction with soccer! This was such an enlightening post and really inspiring too!

    Thanks for showing us something new with each post of yours! I must say, I'm collecting pearls of wisdom :) and loving it :)

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  11. Hi Ju!
    My most loyal blog tour follower! I'm so glad you're finding my posts helpful!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Those overseas bugs can be nasty. Hope you're feeling better.
    I love the same things we learn in soccer we can learn in writing. So true!

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  13. Hi Lynda!
    I agree!
    Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Thank you all so much for visiting me today. And a special thank you to Denise for having me. I hope you're feeling better soon.

    The winner of today's book giveaway is......

    Talli Roland!

    Congratulations, Talli! Please visit my website at http://WendySMarcus.com On my Contact page you'll find my e-mail address. E-mail me your mailing address and I'll mail your book out by early next week.

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  15. Hi, Denise, Hi, Wendy,

    Denise, welcome back. I hope you feel better SOON.

    Wendy it's nice to meet you. This is the first excerpt I've read of your book. Your descriptions are wonderful the tension is spot on. Great job.

    Good luck with your novel.

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  16. Thanks, Michael! Nice to meet you, too!

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  17. It's been way too long since I visited your blog, Denise! I'm sorry about that.

    Medical Romance is a new one for me - never knew about this subgenre! Nice!

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  18. Thanks for the well wishes everybody. It has been great hosting Wendy today and it looks like you've all enjoyed what she had to say.

    Denise

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  19. Hi Trisha!
    I hope you'll check medical romance out!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. Welcome back. Sorry to hear you picked up a hitchhiker. You did a great job even if you are under the weather.
    Get well soon.

    Pamela Jo

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  21. By the way I really like rule number 7. Just keep right on shooting...

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  22. I really enjoyed the similarities. I once wrote a post on writing compared to photography. It is funny what we can relate to. Great post.

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