Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



Thank an Author

This day was originally designated to thank the many authors that you lean on for entertainment, a bit of learning and for filling many hours with new friends and characters you can’t forget.

I have a new reason to thank an Author. In my quest to become a published author myself, I have joined a local writing group whose members are already published. Each month they have a speaker that teaches a fundamental of the writing process. One such talk was about “building the world” or location of the story and the characters will come automatically. I tried it, it works! Another talk was about build your hero and heroine so you know how they will act in a situation. How do you do that? Say you name your hero Jim Bob because the story is set years ago in the Tennessee hills. If you plan ahead on paper his looks, personality, religion, birth position, education, whether he likes animals, etc., as you write about the situations Jim Bob finds himself in, you will know how he would act. It really is that easy. I learn something useful at every meeting.

On a personal level, one of the authors has helped me learn some key ways to shorten my sentences while at the same time making them more active. It was a “trick” I knew nothing about, yet is so simple once someone shows you how to do it. I am indebted to B.L. She has quickly become a friend and mentor.

The fact authors want to help other authors be successful by helping them learn how to write better has made me thankful in a whole new way. I am now reading their books with a new appreciation. It is a big rush to be able to tell my family and friends, “The lady that wrote this book is a friend of mine.”

The next time you read a book by your favorite author take a minute to think about who helped him/her become a better writer and maybe even send them a thank you note for a story that touches your soul.


National Book Lovers Day

Books have always been a big part of my life.  Growing up whenever I asked my mother a question, she would say, “Go look it up.”  I guess she thought I would learn more if I took the time to get out the World Book Encyclopedia and do the work myself.  I remember sitting on the floor by the book case and after I found the answer to my question, looking at pictures and reading about other subjects.

I am six, and more years younger than my three sisters, so a lot of times, I needed to entertain myself.  Reading was a way to fill hours and I enjoyed it.  I can remember people’s names from forty years ago; unfortunately that doesn’t translate to authors and book titles so now when I am sitting in a writing group and they are rattling off names, I can’t join in.  It’s a bit of a detriment.

Once in high school I decided I wanted to write a short story for extra credit in English class.  It didn’t go well because I discovered how much work it was.  I now know that it was the lack of personal maturity and experience that were the bigger problems.  I am currently working on draft number five of the novel I wrote.  It needs to be condensed and I am learning a lot about editing.  Writing the original is much easier than rewriting.  It’s hard to let go of your own creativity.

I once read that a house with full bookshelves in a publicly used room meant the home owners were open minded.  We have lots of books on display in our family room.  About a third of them are reference books.  There is a series by Jennifer Chiaverini and another by Emilie Richards that are about quilters.  There are novels by David Baldacci, Tom Clancy, Jean M. Auel, Stieg Larson, Ann Rule, and J.K. Rowling.  There are also some that are by authors I have met recently.  The ones that are most important to me are by men that I went to school with: Bill T. Jones and Phillip Sheppard; and a family friend, Mick Foley.  I thoroughly enjoy being able to say I know the author personally.  It’s even more fun to see them in a public forum and be able to talk family with them.

Hopefully one day soon, my novel will be on the shelf too, in hardcover book form instead of a big pile of paper.

Website Powered by

Up ↑