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Entries For: May 2018

Too Much Information!

by Barbara Wood last modified May 31, 2018 08:31

(image of cartoon woman with head open

I am often asked if I have a Twitter account.  I think I do.  At least, I recall signing up for it because my publisher recommended it.  But I don't use the darned thing.

You see, I have a mailbox out on my sidewalk where bills and catalogues are delivered.  I have a land line telephone that rings and stores messages on a machine.  I have a cell phone that chimes when I get voice mail and texts.  I have email that bings every time a message drops in. I have a website that I visit regularly to chat and retrieve messages. I have a Facebook page that I visit regularly to chat and retrieve messages.

But I draw the line at Twitter and Tweet.  I worry that if I open one more line of communication my brain will explode.  Plus, I am after all, in the business of writing novels.  How can I get anything written if I am at constant beck and call?

I am still being dragged into the twenty-first century, kicking and screaming.

 

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Vital Signs and #metoo

by Barbara Wood last modified May 20, 2018 10:23

My novel about women doctors, “Vital Signs,” is being reissued in several countries, thirty years after its initial publication.  I am told that it has to do with the current international Me Too Movement, as the book’s content is as timely today as it was three decades ago.

The inspiration for “Vital Signs” sprang from my experiences, in the early 1970’s, as an operating room nurse.  I witnessed first-hand the steep challenges and blind prejudice women had to face and overcome in order to enter the all-male world of medicine.  “Settle for being a nurse,” the men would say.  Further, once in that world, women doctors found themselves shunned and criticized by their male counterparts, and in fact did not receive their full due from the women nurses either.

Great strides and sweeping changes have been made since then – bravo to those gutsy women who stood their ground.  However, thirty-five years later, we still have a ways to go yet.  A close friend of mine is an Emergency Room physician, and she tells me that even in this day and age she still sometimes goes into the cubicle and introduces herself, and the patient (usually an older man) will say, “Are you a real doctor?”

 

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Happy Mother's Day

by Barbara Wood last modified May 13, 2018 05:53

To all the amazing Moms out there!

Enjoy your day :)

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Just Write

by Barbara Wood last modified May 09, 2018 08:12

(image of pen and paper)

One of my favorite writers, Maeve Binchy, gave us this advice:  “Don’t get it right, just get it written.”
     Brilliant, yet simple, advice.
     Many writers, myself included, get stuck on a paragraph, a character, a scene.  It’s not exactly writer’s block, it’s just that we’re trying to perfect something.  So we work on that scene, that character description, that bit of dialogue.  Because it has to be perfect, right?  So we work on it for days or weeks.  And the book never gets written.
     We are all guilty of it.
     I do it.  I have a bit of description.  I want to make I perfect. So I work at it, for hours, possibly days.  And I have lost sight of the goal.  Ernest Hemingway did it, so did John Steinbeck (I would bet even Shakespeare did it).  To make that scene, that piece of description just right.  Going to make it perfect but the story, the novel, the play never ends up getting finished.
     But what does that kind of behavior do?  It keeps us from writing the story or book that we are aiming to write.  It holds us back!  Okay, you’re writing … but are you really writing?
      What Maeve says is, “Just write it.”  Because you can always go back to it and polish it.  The point is to just write.  That’s all. Don’t fuss and dither.  Don’t go to dictionaries.  Don’t agonize over sentences or adjectives.  Just write it
     That’s how books and stories get written.

 

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