Add to the mix Sandra Howell a West Springfield resident whose love in life is the American Curly Haired horse. The American Curly is a rare horse that she breeds. She also helped to reestablish the line in Sweden by sending over her mare for breeding. She has mixed her love of horses with her love of writing.
Sandra wanted to write her memoirs but friends and her writing club encouraged her to share her stories of her horses since they loved to hear about them. This led her to write the "Equine Mysteries" among other writing endeavors. Sandra loves to inspire people, and promotes Therapeutic Riding Programs and Rescue Horses.
Malachy McCourt was also in the house and had the audience roaring with his Irish accent and his excerpts from his book "A Monk Swimming." Here are the links to the reading, it is not to be missed! (Click highlighted links for part 1 and part 2.)
The three writers shared their styles and processes with a large crowd of writers and book appreciators during a two hour period. "Talking Books" is going to be a regular feature at the Whitney Center for the Arts with a second scheduled for December 6, 2014 at 2:00.
All of the writers present agree that anything you write begins with the things you know ~ interesting or unresolved issues. They develop characters from people they know and then modify them. Both Stephanie and Sandra use outlines and Sandra knows how her book will end before she begins.
Stephanie received feedback from a neighbor who had questions and suggestions. While she doesn't always follow the advice she said one needs to be open to listening and understanding and then just go with your gut.
Stephanie shared the fact that when she writes, something happens during the process of writing and she is taken over and the characters "come through her." She often writes through the night without even realizing how much time has passed.
Malachy McCourt was born in Brooklyn but grew up in Ireland. He writes about his wild life and drinking days. He said "I don't write, I write things down." He insists the mind is like a computer which retains everything.
Although he did not finish school, he said it doesn't matter as long as you can tell a story, and tell a story he does!! He writes longhand and dictates his story into the computer. As a child he listened to the older folk who told stories in the oral tradition and recommends you just "Tell the story!"
Time passed quickly as we were entertained and schooled by the first three writers in this ongoing series. The evening ended with a song "Will Ye Go Lassie Go" and the audience chimed in at parts. Malachy's parting words were: "Live everyday as if it is your last, cuz one day you will be right."