Welcome to A Writer’s POV. If someone had told me that writing a novel would cause me to loose sleep, gain weight, snap at my husband, pull my hair out, (literally and figuratively) and kick the dog, if I had one, I never would have put pen to paper. But as they say, ignorance is bliss, and I plunged in and began writing my book with the na├»ve expectation that I’d be finished in a year. Needless to say, five years and seven drafts later, I’m still on my quest for the Holy Grail, a published novel. Although frustrating, I spent that time growing as a writer. Every rewrite, revision and critique taught me something. Every book I read or workshop I attended offered new insights and ways to improve my craft. My goal with this blog is to share with you what I've learned so far. To talk about issues that plague all writers, to talk about the nuts and bolts of writing. Despite the fact that it's all been said before, each of us has our own way of telling a story and hopefully you'll visit often for help, support or just for the fun of it to read the posts written from this writer's point of view.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Just my Type." A New Column and Columnist Emerges.

If you've read my new column, "Just my Type," in Ocala's Good Life magazine, thanks for stopping by. The Nov/Dec 2013 issue marks my column's debut, and hopefully, it will be a long run with plenty of opportunities for me to share my thoughts and experiences with readers in print, and online. What's more, being a columnist, (I still can't believe that's true) has given me another plank to affix to my writer's platform, preparing the way to publishing my novel.

None of this happened overnight. It took years to write my novel, and in the meantime I pitched, begged and cajoled editors and publishers to read my work. Lucky for me, I found a home, so to speak, in Ocala's Good Life magazine. As a free-lance writer, that doesn't mean I can't continue to pitch to national magazines. It just means that I found an editor that is easy to work with, is receptive to my suggestions, listens to my concerns and most importantly, likes my writing. My first published piece appeared in Ocala's Good Life in the April 2011 issue. Now, the opportunity to have my own column is another first, as the magazine continues to grow entering it's fourth year of publication.

So tell your friends, and write to the editor if you like my column. I promise to do my best to keep you entertained and provide a little mental R & R as you enjoy what I've written that's "Just my Type."

maryellen@ocalasgoodlife.com
@writer_mebarchi



Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Little Self-Promoting Never Hurt Anybody

May I have your attention please. This blog is being interrupted for some shameless self-promoting.

Besides blogging and posting on Twitter, I've been free-lancing to gain writing credits in an effort to build my platform and establish my brand. That has included contributing to Ocala's Good Life magazine on a regular basis for over a year now. And just recently I've been published in Florida Gardening magazine.

In the June/July issue you'll find "The Reluctant Gardener" on pages 22 through 24, a been there done that story about gardening in the sunshine state. Using humor, I share my success and failures with a bit of helpful hints thrown in. I also received photographer's credit for six of my photos inserted throughout the piece.

I am beyond happy with this accomplishment that spurs me on giving me hope that my novel will also be published with much more gushing and celebrating planned in the future.

So read it if you get a chance. The magazine can be purchased on-line at: floridagardening.com, at a local book store if available in your area or perused at the library. I hope you enjoy it.

This blog will now be returned to it's regularly scheduled posts.



Monday, May 27, 2013

Writing Isn't Really Work, Right?

Physical work is obvious: sweat, bulging muscles, dirt under your fingernails etc... But writing while sitting in a chair isn't really work, Right? 

To some, unless you're expending some kind of energy you're not actually working. Little do they know that writing is exhausting. Muscles tense up in frustration as you struggle with a scene transition. Your vision blurs from staring at the computer screen as you rack your brain for just the right word. When you finished working your "shift" your body feels like you've run a marathon...twice.

But is it actually work? You bet it is and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Just because you can do your job while still in your pajamas doesn't make writing any less tiring. And just because you work from home doesn't make it any easier to accomplish the task undisturbed.

So the next time someone tells you how easy being a writer must be tell them; yeah, but the boss is a tyrant, the benefits stink and I can never take a vacation. Writing is work all right and the best job I've ever had.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm A Social Media Newbie

Judging by the popularity and length of time the world has been captivated by social media sites, I'm a relatively late arrival. Not intending to be fashionably late I was just apprehensive and lacked the self-confidence to put myself "out there." But a few months ago I finally dipped my French pedicured big toe into the virtual cyber-waters and am now the proud owner of a Twitter account.

As a self proclaimed social media newbie, Twitter appealed to me for one very important reason; posts are short. That forces one to be brief and I found that I was more likely to post something every day, sometime several times a day, on Twitter rather than on other sites offering more ways to communicate and demanding more of my time. Another reason is the interaction with followers. In succinct sentences one can comment, retweet, favorite, converse, share accomplishments and tell followers about your business or book. All this in 140 characters or less. A time-challenged writer's dream come true.

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not  bad-mouthing any other social media site. In fact, I can appreciate their value. I'm just not ready to jump on board right now. But when I do, I'll be sure to dedicate enough time to use the sites effectively to interact with friends and take advantage of them as platforms to further my writing career.

You can follow me on Twitter at: @writer_mebarchi.




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name

Writing is freedom. Freedom to share your thoughts, make up situations, places, entire worlds. I even enjoy research, but it's too easy to get carried away with that online and I have to rein myself in often and get back to the job at hand, writing my novel. But what really gives me the chance to have fun with my work is naming my characters.

Sometimes I borrow the name of a family member if they have similar characteristics to help me determine how they will speak and act throughout my story. Sometimes it's those traits that inspire a name. For example; I might give a character the name "Gabby" if she talks a lot or "Malefemina" (Italian for bad woman) if she's the villain or Walter because of a shy manner and imaginary anal retentive personality. And there are times in a very personal way that I use the name of a loved one who has passed making them live again in my mind and honor their memory.

It's sort of like playing a game alone with no established rules but the ones you make up on the fly. The best part is that whatever reason or method you use to name your characters, if it works your story will be enhanced by memorable personalities that shine and you've done your job as a writer.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Writers Always Win...Eventually

I don't know about you, but I'm one of those people with brain-lag who can never think of a smart come-back when needed until it's too late. "Oh yeah?" worked when I was six, and "your mother wears army boots" is no longer relevant and actually something to be proud of now with so many women serving in the military.

I've accepted the fact that I'm witticism challenged. But as I writer I have the ability to live vicariously through the characters in my novel supplying them the witty retorts I'd never be able to hurl at adversaries in real life.

It still takes time though, but eventually I can create a scene with banter that reads like it just came off the top of my head in seconds. Somewhat satisfying to me and cheaper than therapy.

It's good to be a writer.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Some of the benefits of becoming a writer are personal satisfaction, receiving the recognition of your peers and hopefully financial gain. But only just recently I've discovered another unexpected benefit of writing. I have finally overcome my life-long fear of speaking in public.

Ever since my first oral report in grade school, I've had an irrational fear of standing in front of a group of people and having to talk. It didn't matter if it was a book report, reading a few pages from a textbook or reciting the pledge of allegiance. Any situation requiring me to open my mouth, alone, elicited a rapid heartbeat, perspiration, trembling voice and shaking hands similar to a drug user in withdrawal.

I can't pinpoint this condition to a traumatic experience in childhood. In fact, I remember thinking I was a tap dancer when I was about five years old and fearlessly performing a dance routine for my audience of relatives who dutifully clapped and cheered when it was over or maybe they clapped because it was over. Either way, as an adult, I could never explain the reason for this phobia.Then I began writing and joined a writer's group. Problem was, If I wanted a critique of my work, I had to read a few pages out loud.

Flashback to fifth grade. My heart raced and my voice shook every time it was my turn to read. I tried taking deep breaths. I slowed my rate of speech. No, I never imagined everyone naked. I had enough problems holding my self together without that mental image. But no matter how hard I tried, I trembled. Then I decided to give a presentation on writing and a remarkable thing occurred when I stood at the podium with eager faces watching, waiting for me to begin.

What happened could only be compared to running over hot coals. Once you start you can't stop and I plowed through my presentation, concentrating on my topic, speaking for about an hour. And instead of hating the experience, I actually enjoyed it. I can't explain how, but somewhere between my first oral book report and my opening statements that day, my fear of public speaking had magically disappeared. Of course there was no magic involved. Just determination and a willingness to face what I feared the most in pursuit of a writing and a speaking career.