Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Love What You Do

I had a very nice interview with Jill Coley of The Post and Courier today. We talked about writing The Spirit of Sweetgrass, and at one point she said, "You make it sound so easy. But writing a book can't be easy, can it?"

NO, I told her.

Writing is not easy. It's hard--like everything worth doing--it's hard. Raising children? Hard. Maintaining a happy marriage? Hard. Keeping one's figure? Ahem...hard. And writing a novel? Very hard. The thing I pointed out to Jill was this: for me, writing is fun. Plain and simple. I love it. I'm passionate about writing and creating art, just as I'm passionate about my family and God. I'm passionate about writing, so therefore, even though it takes a lot of time, effort, creativity, and adds gray hair (which, by the way, so do my children and wonderful husband), it truly matters to me.

Yes, I love what I do. Not everyone does. What a blessing to have passion for something. I make it sound easy? Wonderful. That's just my passion and excitement coming through.

So what is it that you're passionate about? Are you making time for it? If not, you could be missing out on a whole lot of fun.

Family? Fun. God? Fun. Writing? Oh yeah. Whole lotta fun.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Cure for Writer's Block

I do believe there's such a thing as writer's block. For me, my imagination should soar when trying to decide what to write next, but I've found that my little life of routine, kids, sitting behind the computer, can often have a stifling effect on the "soaring."

That's where last night comes in. My husband and I joined six of our closest friends to celebrate a couple birthdays by going to a local wine tasting at J Bistro. It was such a treat. I sat directly across from our guide, Pasquale, an Italian wine consultant. And trust me, it wasn't just about the pinot grigio or chardonnay or merlot or the excellent food, but what captivated all of us and still has my husband and I talking today is Pasquale. With his Italian accent that has you pressed close to understand along with his storytelling abilities, last night was as if we'd been invited to an intimate dinner at a private home in Italy. We heard stories of his family, of wine makers, of European traditions. I must say, by the end of the evening, we were all imagining we could whisk away for a European vacation--to a slower pace.

For those of you who don't enjoy wine or partake in it, this message is for you too. The point of it is, we did something DIFFERENT last night...out of the norm for us. And today, my imagination is soaring with other cultures, other places. I highly recommend for writers to occasionally get out and try something new. You never know who you'll meet or how you may be inspired, but I'm pretty sure occasional change is good for the writer's mind and soul. It is for mine.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Get Moving!

I read the most fascinating article in Parade this weekend about exercise. Of course, I know the importance of it (although I definitely do not get enough), but I'll admit it...I had my birthday a couple days ago and well, things just ain't what they used to be :) This article explained something that really hit home for me. It said that our cells die off and regenerate except for a few stem cells in each organ, so basically, in three months, you'll have a whole new body than you do today--literally.

So here's the kicker: this article explained that your cells can do one of two things; they can decay or get stronger. When we exercise, we tell our cells to get stronger. When we sit and are sedentary, we tell our cells to decay--including brain cells! Thus, the aging process which is supposed to be a slow, gradual thing, is actually made faster! I always knew exercise was important but this article spoke to me, ESPECIALLY as a writer who sits behind a computer for hours a day. We CAN take more control over our aging!! I plan to do it more gracefully...

For all you writers out there, get moving!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Poem for Writers on Deadline

Looking through my files, I found this poem I wrote a while ago to commemorate completing my first draft of my next book, Trouble the Water (early 2008). I DO NOT claim to be a poet, but I think many writers can relate to the sentiment, especially if you're under deadline!

Time Stamps Me
by Nicole Seitz

Time stamps me
Minute by minute
Body growing older
Mind expanding
No time for wasting
Words must come.

No stalling
No pressure
Keep going
Keep going
My writing is driving me crazy.

Is it finished?

Pages filling
Fingers tapping
Mind unloading
Keep going
Keep going

Six months of my life
Is done.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Gimme Some "On Ice"

When I first started sharing my work from The Spirit of Sweetgrass, I had joined a group of folks that meet at Barnes and Noble Mount Pleasant every other Tuesday, the Seacoast Christian Writers' Group. The people, critiques, work presented, everything became very special to me. It was a magical time. Soon my book would be finished and now published. I owe so much to that group.

Another writer who came to those meetings and who read from his work at the time, On Ice, has just sold that novel, his first published book, to Kunati. I couldn't be more proud of Red Evans, a man who deserves to see his dream come true. He is a very talented writer, and his young character, Eldridge Brewer, will make you cackle and cry. Brilliant. Watch for it this fall!

I was so pleased to see Red and his lovely wife and granddaughter at my books signing/art opening at the gallery last night. His support means so much to me because he believed in my words from the start. Red Evans is a true gentleman. And a wonderful friend.

Here's to you, Red.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Come See Me -- Art and Books!

Friends! I'm having an art opening/book signing at Hamlet Fine Art Gallery in downtown Charleston, SC (7 Broad Street) this Friday, March 9, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm.

Come enjoy wine and finger foods while taking in my new Gullah-themed acrylic paintings. I'll also be signing copies of my novel, The Spirit of the Sweetgrass.

I look forward to meeting you--art lovers, book lovers, and Lowcountry lovers alike!

Mommy on TV

Thank you to Melissa Villegas, Ann McGill, Bill Sharpe and everyone down at WCSC TV, Live 5 News! I was so pleased to be a guest on the News at Noon yesterday and tell a little about The Spirit of Sweetgrass. My family was at home watching, and when I returned my 3-year-old daughter had this adorable picture for me called, "Mommy on TV."

What a wonderful artist! Look how thin I am :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Girls' Night Out!

Last night was a ball. At least I had one. We had a Girls' Night Out at the gallery (Hamlet Fine Art Gallery, that is), and I met a terrific group of ladies. Some are from Charleston, others have just moved here, but we all love the Lowcountry.

After delicious hors d'oeuvres and champagne we settled into the main gallery where I gave a little talk about the origins of The Spirit of Sweetgrass and shared my creative process for writing and painting. Then I read the prologue and introduced my character, Essie Mae! That was just so much fun. Next Nakia Wigfall, who'd brought some of her own sweetgrass baskets, gave a wonderful talk about the plight and progress of Mount Pleasant basketmakers. The group had so many questions for Nakia we almost ran out of time for the book signing!

I've posted photos from the evening here (!