Please give her a HUGE welcome. She's pretty amazing.
Little Ferrets in Our Writing
by Anita Laydon Miller
Morrell talked about “ferrets.” He said we all have ferrets in our lives…little creatures that dig into our psyches. He said sometimes these ferrets show up in our writing, and the ferrets can make the writing feel more authentic, real.
I thought, “What a bunch a poo. I don’t have ferrets.”
Except here I am now, thinking of all the friggin’ ferrets in my writing. They’re everywhere, digging tunnels between my words.
I recently self-published EARTHLING HERO. It’s a kids’ fiction ebook. A sci fi. How could I have ferrets in a work like that, right? Well, I do.
In one of the scenes, the alien kid (he’s come to Earth to help his Earthling clone save the world) is in a cave. Part of the cave is filled with water, and Axe (the alien) has to get across the pond in order to complete his mission. It’s funny, because this kid is afraid of almost nothing, but he’s afraid of this small body of water.
Hmm. Guess who else has a fear of water. That’s right. Me. In fact, I just learned how to swim a couple months ago—thanks to a very patient swim instructor and loads of encouragement from my family.
I’m working on a YA right now. Suicide is an underlying theme. Recently, somebody asked me why I was drawn to the subject. It’s weird, because I hadn’t wondered why until I was asked. And when I answered the question, I thought of (duh) one of my favorite cousins who killed herself several years back.
Of course I have other ferrets, but I won’t bore you with them. What I will say, though, is I’m glad I sweated through Morrell’s lecture. It helped me understand my writing and myself better. And now I consciously search for my ferrets and find ways to incorporate them into my writing--my work has a more authentic feel with my ferrets included, and I save cash by avoiding therapy.
And while we’re on the subject of saving cash, EARTHLING HERO is available for only $.99! It’s a great family read-aloud (links below) and can be read on PCs and Macs, as well as ereaders and iPhones/Touches/Pods/Pads, etc.
BARNES & NOBLE
Please feel free to tell me about your ferrets, ask me questions about epublishing, or just say “Hello.” I’ll be stopping by several times throughout the day.
Thank you, Carolina!
P.S. In EARTHLING HERO, there’s a tortilla-making scene. The aliens try out a bunch of different toppings for their homemade tortillas. See this short video to find out my favorite tortilla topping.
Thanks so much, Anita! What a great post. I think we all have ferrets in our writing, those little issues that worm their way into our writers' psyches. Understanding our fears and tackling them head on can work wonders, I think--can do everything from helping to dismantle writer's block to understanding our motivation for writing the things we do.
Also, that has to be the most amazing topping for tortillas. Even in my sick-dog delirium, I am now craving that bit of deliciousness.
On a little side note, guys, let me tell you that you really want to give EARTHLING HERO a shot. I'm telling you, just the first chapter is worth more than the 99 cents. Yeah, 99 CENTS. Your kids will love this book. You'll love it. Fast read. So cute, so fun. SO.WELL.DONE. And you don't need an e-reader (I don't have one). On Smashwords, you can download it straight onto your computer.
You can also find Anita at her website, her blog, and her middle grade blog. Please be sure to stop by and say hello.