• Kamy Wicoff
  • It's The Little Things: Share A Joyous Writing Moment!
This blog was featured on 08/30/2016
It's The Little Things: Share A Joyous Writing Moment!
Written by
Kamy Wicoff
October 2012
Written by
Kamy Wicoff
October 2012

Since I started blogging a few months ago about my experiences as a first-time novelist (at age forty, no less, but hurrah for that!), I have been very thorough on the topic of The Struggle.  You know the struggle I mean.  Letting go of the book you thought you were supposed to write to make way for something new.  Trying not to obsess about selling when you should be concentrating on story.  Writer's block.  My dad telling me my book was for women.  (Look for another post about our continuing conversation--yes my dad is awesome--soon.) But today I am here to say, I had kind of a great writing week!  (I don't want to go too far, as I am as superstitious as a baseball player.)  So I thought, better go with it.  It's Friday.  Time to share the joy; time to share the love.

So I want to know: have you had a joyous writing moment lately? One of those moments where, despite the fact that you are all alone, you smile so hard your face hurts, you laugh out loud, or you even cry, overcome by something you've created on the page?  Or even one of those quiet moments--and perhaps these are the best kind--when in the process of writing you discover something about the world, or about yourself, that you never knew before?

This is a simple post, and it has to be good karma.  I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

Here's mine:

One of the main characters in my novel is a brilliant physicist in her early sixties.  Her pride and joy is her collection of artifacts from renowned, or, more likely, little-known, female mathematicians and scientists.  I'd done some research on this already, trying to imagine what her most prized possessions would be, and one day, while the matter was on my mind, opened up the New York Times to find an article featuring Augusta Ada King, the Countess of Lovelace (and Byron's daughter, no less), widely regarded as the first computer programmer.  Wow!  This week, however, I did myself one better. When poking around for other items my physicist might cherish, I stumbled on a website listing famous women mathematicians, and was surprised to see Florence Nightingale's name on the list.  I followed the internet trail to the heart of the matter, only to discover that Nightingale was indeed an accomplished statistician, considered the first person ever to use graphs in the cause of social reform.  She invented what is known as "the rose diagram", which she also referred to as "coxcombs," and when I saw its image, it took my breath away, it was so beautiful.  (I've included it above, but to watch a short BBC video on the subject, click here.)

This discovery took my breath away, however, for another reason--and it was for this reason that, when I saw Nightingale's diagrams, a big ole writing-joy smile spread across my face.  Because one of my other main characters is a doctor.  The reason for my research at that particular moment?  I was writing a scene where the two women meet.  I had been trying to come up with something in my physicist's collection that would disarm, and irresistibly intrigue, my skeptical medical doctor.

And there it was, a gift from the past.  A bloom in every sense of the word.  In her apartment, my physicist would display an original copy of the rose diagram Florence Nightingale presented to the queen in the cause of reform, and my doctor, upon entering, would be awed by it.


Your turn.

Let's be friends

The Women Behind She Writes

519 articles
12 articles

Featured Members (7)

123 articles
392 articles
54 articles
60 articles

Featured Groups (7)

Trending Articles

  • Doris Denice Bibbs

    I thought my mind was playing tricks on me....I realize In the spirit we are guided when we hear the voice of the charactor(s) invite us in. Years ago, I worked on an short story, writing about a women pursuing her dream, dealing with a husband who's habit was the use of drugs...the women concerns was the care of her son whom she left with a friend. She felt safe enough to go on the business trip in New York then surprisingly she walked into her dream to sing, come true. After writing that chapter some months later. My daughter moved in with me and without a plan we went to New York for three days and two nights. To see the play I'd so many years desired to see, A Rasin In The Sun. as the plane set to land and we became closer to the tall buildings that seem to reach out at me, I gaze with teary eyes out the window in a daze.....WOW! is all I could say...as a feeling of a prom night I never had, delightfully took over me...My first time in New York, just "BEAUTIFUL"! those three days and two nights in New York with my daughter was a weekend I will never forget...priceless!

    There are many more I experience my writing come to life!


  • LaDonna Reed

    I'm very new in trying to write professionally so I'm basically in the learning process. I try to practice daily but most of the times I'm writing freehand and not on the computer. But I have submitted poetry to Blue Mountain Arts and have plans in submitting works to other literary and poetry magazines. I have also wrote, in my notebook, some short stories developing plots and dialogue, I do find this fun so I guess this is the career for me.







  • Amyah L

    Like everybody I had those moments when writing my books but the one that flabbergasted me the most... that puzzled me was when I was writing one of my novel, about 15 years ago.

    My "heroïn" went to a place, a research center in the States. I gave a fictitious name to this center, its purpose and which kind of research they were doing, described the entrance with minute details, gave the name of the director of the center and gave details of his appearance, described the uniforms of the security agents, as well as all the surrounding... the trees, the river nearby, the park, the residences behind the center... everything.

    One day -- when I was in the middle of my novel -- I listen to the TV... an american channel Icaught on the waves (I am not living in U.S.) and they were talking about researches done by a Research Center. A camera was there and filmed the building, the entrance, the surrounding... It was, to the last detail, exactly what I described in my book... name of the center included. The trees, the river, the park nearby... the name of the director and his appearance were exactly as I wrote... I froze, rooted to the spot!

    It was like I went there but I never did and never ever heard about this place before. Of course, I had to change the name of the Center, the name of the director and modify his description.

    It was puzzling.

    I had several other experiences of this kind while writing my books but never to this extent.

    Here what I wanted to share :)

  • Kathleen Kern

    That is very cool.  I think my exciting moments for my last two novels are that I start with a beginning and an end, and I know in general the direction the characters are going to reach the end, but when it all becomes obvious like in the last quarter of the book and the events start to write themselves and I sort of experience those events as unanticipated, the way my characters do, that's kind of joyful (even, oddly when the events are sad, because they're full of meaning.) Some unanticipated events are beginning to crop up for the one I'm working on now, but I'm only 125 pages in.

  • Rita, your words below encourage me. My book, Fire and Water will come out in Q1 of 2013.  I'm trying to muster up the courage to ask writerly friends and even an admired stranger author or two to blurb the cover for me. Tremble, tremble. I know how busy people are and I fear being an imposition.  But you're right!  If I think of it as karma, I've been doing favors for writer friends and acquaintances for a long time.  Maybe I've got some deposits built up in the karma pool.  Fingers crossed and charging ahead.  Getting little bursts of courage and support from writer colleagues is a source of great  joy for me.  

    And another thing...  I've been doing a lot of "writer business" lately, getting ready to publish a book.  But I actually did some new writing, some REAL writing this week.  It's felt like so long since I've gotten to play on the right side of my brain rather than doing left-brain business.  Refreshing.  It reminds me what the "real" work is.  

  • Kamy Wicoff Brainstorming

    Congratulations Melanie!  That is such great news, I am glad the contest was a help.  And Rita, my god woman, you have so much good karma floating around out there it's silly.  And wonderful.  And Suzi, what a wonderful story about the laundry line.  I love the image of building the virtual one and having to shore up the actual one, too.  Also glad, Denise, that you found joy and like-minded souls on Pinterest.  I have been meaning to spend more time there.

  • Melanie Bishop

    Happy to report that my young adult novel, My So-Called Ruined Life,will be published next year by Torrey House Press. My So-Called Ruined Life (10 page excerpt of it) was one of five winners in last January's YA contest, co-sponsored by SheWrites and Girls Write Now. The five of us who won received as our prize comments on our ten page excerpts, by several editors and agents of YA literature. While none of those editors/agents took the book on, winning the contest instilled confidence in me about the work. I continued to query agents and send the book out. Heard in August that Torrey House Press was interested and signed the contract last week! Thanks to SheWrites for that initial support.

    Joyous, yes.

  • Rita Arens

    I had a moment of writerly good karma today. I asked an author for whom I'd done a beta read to blurb my book, and even though she's crazy busy like everyone, she said she'd take a look at it because "I would love to be helpful to you." I love the way she phrased it, and it made me feel good that my actions back then to help another writer were recognized that way. This is such a tough business, and it's so important to help each other out and pay it back and forward and around in circles.

  • suzi banks baum

    Dear Kamy, I am so happy to have you percolating again back on SheWrites.

    What a great find you had in your research. I feel like the kids in the forest following bits of gingerbread leading them home, when I am on to something good.

    As you know I have been working on my book titled "Laundry Line Divine: A Wild Soul Book for Mothers" and I use the metaphor of an actual laundry line often in my writing. As I manage the expansion of my work, with my book, my blog and the event I produce for the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers, I have improved the template of my website and re-organized what happens there. I run a blog series too and host over 28 other women's writing. So, it is a busy place and it was time to make more room. Here is the point of my story, just last week my new site went live. And on Thursday, my real life laundry line collapsed under the weight of rain soaked sheets that had spent too long on the line. So...there I was...making room on my website and having to make major improvements to my laundry line.

    I know this is slightly beyond a joyful writing moment, but it is a joyful blogging moment because now I get to run a "Laundry Line Divine laundry line design" contest or something....which just is fun and gets my readers thinking about laundry and the sweet thing that happens when you take the time to step outside with your sheets and let them air out...provided you take them in before the rain falls!

    Off to write.

    Thanks for the fun.

    Love, Suzi

  • Denise Cunningham

    Have you ever been bullied?  As an adult?  Yes, the bullies of the world grow up, yet they never seem to outgrow talking about others.

    Why just the other day, I was talking about the quarter-sized plus spider I'd found creeping around my humble abode the first chilly evening in New England.  Of course I couldn't allow that HUGE spider to call my place home for the winter so I ran to the kitchen to find my flat-bottomed pitcher and squished him dead.  The she-bully noted I'd just killed my only friend in the whole wide world.  Imagine that; that I only had one friend in the entire world.  I'm still laughing.

    Yesterday, I told myself I was going to sit down and write; afterall, isn't that what they impress upon us in school?  To write every single day for at least 10 minutes because you never know what lurks within you that day?  Well, laziness set in and besides, I couldn't think of one good thing to write about anyway.  I ended up online wondering what Pinterest was all about so I clicked on it.  Next thing I knew I was lost in a world of beautiful pictures and sayings and guess what I found?  Yes!  A wonderful saying to fit my situation.  "They all laugh at me because I'm different . . . .  I laugh at them because they're all the same!"

    Ha!  Who's got the last laugh now?

    /dc 10-21-12

  • Daphne Q

    So true... if you don't enjoy writing... then what's the point?