Sunday, March 23, 2014

How Things Happen

Reading Annabel Aidan's post earlier this week about spring opportunities and Saturn in retrograde inspired me to ponder how things happen. At the time, it can all seem accidental, or is it providential?

Being involved in Richard Hugo House's wonderful Works in Progress series when I lived in Seattle taught me so much about my writing. It also connected me to fellow writers and authors, and resulted in my first short story publications in a literary e-zine edited by one of the other regular readers. Now on April 10 I plan to join other contributors to Randomly Accessed Poetics at a reading hosted by Everett Poetry Nite.

I joined a local storytelling group (The Yarnspinners) here in my hometown just for fun. Now they will host a reading of An Alien's Guide to World Domination, and the local newspaper plans to cover the event.

Three years ago I wondered what superpower I'd choose. I thought "what about the ability to tell stories that come true?" And I used National Novel Writing Month to create the first draft of my second novel, You, Jane, which will be published in June. It explores all the complications of romance and the havoc such a "superpower" can create.

Each spring offers these opportunities to take the universe up on its invitation to pursue the work we're meant to do. Whether it is writing, storytelling, organizing, teaching, cooking, gardening, or anything else, our job is to invest it with all the meaning it deserves. Otherwise, as Annabel reminded us, the universe has a way of increasing the stakes until we do.

I hope your first week of spring brings all kinds of lovely invitations, and you find ways to make them happen.

Elizabeth Fountain's blog is Point No Point. You can read her thoughts on life, writing, music, and baseball there, and find links to her published work.


Big Mike said...

I wrote a post couple years back about happenstance which was not random at all, rather followed some plan. These last two posts reminded me how many writers see order in things that many ignore. Here's an example. I was walking the woods on my farm and came across a remarkable icon of young love which in turn spawned the idea for a new novel I just finished as part II of my Cherokee valley series romance. Yeah, I too am more into seeing order than randomness in what we write.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Agree with you, Liz, and the groups sound positive for advancing that thinking. When we look back we can see the order, even when it looks like chaos prevailed at the time.

Rhobin Lee Courtright said...

LOL. Another reality question, how randomly happenstance is anything?

Isn't it amazing the number of helpful opportunities available for writers now?

Liz Fountain said...

Big Mike, I agree - there's something about writers, we see the "story" in everything, maybe? Julie, very true - the order is often visible in hindsight. And Rhobin, I'm with you on both points - especially the opportunities we find (and create).

Thanks all!

laura bruno lilly said...

Great to finally know the NaNo connection in your writing career. Congrats on all you've accomplished,
regardless of happenstance/deliberate reasons!

Liz Fountain said...

Thanks, Laura! NaNo has been very good to me. I hope to do it every year.