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Monday, August 17, 2009

Remember Why you Write By Christine Clemetson

Sometimes as writers, as we’re buried in deadlines or having trouble with a plot line, we forget our purpose for writing. Here’s a start: imagine that book in your hand. Feel it with your fingers clutching the pages. In one of the NJRW (the NJ chapter of RWA) online posts, Irene Peterson (author of Kisses to Go) wrote, “If I live fifty more years and have fifty books to my name, there won't be anything to match how cool it is to open up a box of books with your name on the cover.”

Maybe it’s been a long time since you’ve really thought about why your write. Each trip I made to the post office to mail a submission, the desk clerk that I became familiar with asked, “This one it?” I would reply, “Yes.” I had no other answer. If it wasn’t that submission, maybe it would be the next one. Without writing, I was lost.

When Margie Lawson came to speak at NJRW, she gave out laminated cut outs of stars with inspirational sayings on them. Mine read, “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar” (by Helen Keller). I posted it on the container where I keep my pens. Whatever your inspiration is for writing, write it down and post it above your PC. Or place a small piece of paper in your wallet so you’ll see it regularly. A sticky note on the refrigerator is even better!

It could be that you ultimately want to see your name on a book or maybe you want to get your thoughts down on paper for yourself. Whatever your reason, embrace it, and use it to keep your dream right in front of you.

Believe in yourself, believe in your writing, and you can accomplish anything.

Christine Clemetson – A Daughter’s Promise

A Daughter’s Promise, by debut novelist Christine Clemetson, is a sweeping love story of sacrifice and unexpected hope. In war torn Italy, 1944, Serene Moneto made a promise to her dying mother—a promise so haunting that it directs the course of her life. When she chooses to save an American soldier from death, she risks everything—her name, her life, and capture by the Germans. Finding forbidden love with this soldier tears her world apart. Against the backdrop of a war raging right outside her door, can she choose happiness? Despite the promise she made those years ago?

They both knew Serene’s turn had come. She took in a deep breath and touched his arms in a stiff embrace. She hugged him the way she had rehearsed in her head over and over, the way a mother would hug her son going off to war.

“I don’t care who sees,” he said gruffly, pulling her closer. He pushed her chin up with his fingertips, and bent his head to kiss her.

She took his lips, his body, all of him, into her heart for the last time. Feeling the rapid beating in his chest, she fought the urge to mold her most intimate part against his.

When their lips parted, his warm breath on her neck made her body shiver. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she buried her face into his jacket. “I’m not ashamed about
what I said to you last night or what happened between us.” Her voice cracked. “It’s a sin, I know, but it was the most beautiful—”

“Ashamed? I don’t think I’ll ever have that kind of love again.”

Trembling, she stood back a little, clinging to her emotions with the delicacy of a spider web. “But you were right. We made the most logical decision.”

“Jesus, Serry. I want to tell you so bad that I—”

“You’re all set, then?” Sam said, coming back into the house.

Serene let go of Miles, letting her one finger intertwine with one of his pinky fingers. She couldn’t let him go.

Slowly, he released her and went to the door, putting one foot on the outside pavement before hesitating and turning back. His eyes were red, and she clutched the stair banister to keep from running to him. How much she loved him would be a secret
she’d take to the grave.

Carrying a bottle of whiskey, Marcus passed him at the door and gave him a friendly slap on the back. “I came to give you a goodbye, Coulson.”

Serene stood up straight and froze.

Miles jerked himself away. “Change of heart about me?”

His answer was Marcus’ deep kiss on Serene’s cheek and an arm around her waist. “I realized, Coulson, that I’m proud of her for taking the responsibility for you. I thought it was about time that I offered my apologies for the undiplomatic way I acted. We’re all in this for a cause, no? Why don’t we share a bottle to celebrate?”

“No, your change of heart doesn’t rub me the right way.” Miles offered an apologetic glance to Serene and then shifted his gaze back to Marcus. “You hurt her, and I’ll hurt you. You understand me?”

“Have a safe trip,” Marcus drawled.

Serene watched the driver help him in and her knees weakened. As the truck’s engine started, she braced herself against the wall.

“Don’t worry. Serene. Just think of this as a wedding present from me. No more worries about your American. He is well now and gone for good. Your only thanks is to marry me.”

She couldn’t hear him. Her throat ached and she made no effort to wipe the tears spilling freely from her eyes. She started for the door, but he grabbed her by the shoulders.


Isabel Roman said...

That's excellent advice, Christine. You're absolutely right about WHY we write. And Irene's words are all too true. And congrats on your release!!

Christine Clemetson said...

Thanks so much for having me as a guest today!


Christine Clemetson said...

Hi Isabel!
Thanks for your kind words & stopping by!


M.Flagg said...

I know why and how I wrote my first novel. The desire to write and the inspiration for stories continues, but why I write - that all important feeling that started this journey - comes front and center every time I sit down to write.

Great post, Christine.

Christine Clemetson said...

Thanks for stopping in Micky! You give me such wonderful support. :)