To tell a story …

tell a story

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Is no easy feat, dear ones. It is not as simple as writing a post card from your last vacation. Although a labor of love, how to tell a story is hard work.

This is a good time to discuss the major plans I had until technology and gremlins decided to wreak havoc in my world.

One of those plans was to begin a feature from my first series of short stories.

I don’t know if all writers remember their “first,” or if like love or the onset of insanity, we all remember exactly what we were doing at the exact moment we knew … this will be my first book.

Story-telling flows through my blood, it is engrained in my genes and embedded in my brain. I could not more escape the compulsive need to chatter and entertain, to tell tales and fabricate all manner of mayhem and mischief, than I could deny I am a woman.

I was late entering the world of higher education at the ripe old age of twenty-nine. I packed the kids into a blue sedan, moved back to Brooklyn from New Jersey, filed for divorce, and enrolled in college.

This was also the first and only time I agreed to go into therapy. Naturally, I was amused by one of her first questions. Traditionally, some shrinks ask you to describe yourself with three words.

who am I

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“Quickly,” she instructed. “I don’t want you to think about it. Just tell me in three words. Who are you?”

“A woman, a writer, a mother.”

She laughed. “I’m sure the kids will be thrilled they came in last.”

I remember with great clarity, often to my own dismay, every single first in my life. The first kiss, the first car, the first time I knew I was in love. The first child, the first time I made something for someone … my first baked cake.

To spare you … and because I am not much for dismal depression … I will only relate the best firsts. I don’t think you’d want to read about my first failed business … although my first eviction was an adventure that took place during a famous blizzard.

No, I’d rather share my first book.

The first time I put a pencil to a yellow legal pad and scribbled in my God-awful handwriting … the first time I unearthed an old Underwood manual typewriter and pounded on its God-awful heavy keys … the first time I knew I was actually writing a book.

Not a journal or prosaic prose … not the ramblings that would find their way to my blog … not the soap opera I wrote in my head as I traveled to and from work …

Instead, I will share with you my first and perhaps never to see the light of day novel … Sunset Park.

I fancy myself a magazine editor, and as such, I’ve made an executive decision to create new features for this magazine … the blog of it all … soon to become my first and only web page.

My publication features will, of course, include City Scapes, Random Thoughts (those weeks when I can’t think of anything and just babble on about whatever), my newest feature Finds of The City, and Sunset Park.

It all started in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with the four people who raised me … a mother, a father and two older brothers. It started with me as a left-handed, pigeon-toed street urchin, running the streets, roaming the docks, and wandering the hills.

NOTE: I had planned that each Friday I would give you a second day of posting, and on this day I would discuss My Other Life. And just for fun … ย each weekย I’ll featureย one item from my shop.

However, I don’t like posting twice a week. One … it cuts into my time way too much. Two … it cuts into your time way too much. Three … I don’t want to.

Instead, Finds of The City will have to take turns with all my other featured posts and come to you on odd Wednesdays … actually I might even be brave and do some of my three part series for each feature … but only on consecutive Wednesdays.

Join me in February, the month for lovers, the month I married, the month Lincoln freed the slaves and Mr. Cronin thought I became his … the month for my first news from Finds In The City … the month to once again roam through the sites of New York.

Do you remember the first time you knew you were going to write a book?

Is that book something you published
or something that will languish in a dark file drawer?

Writers are a nosy bunch … so tell me all.

fOIS In The City

Featured item from Finds of The City …

Etsy.Seven 041


Filed under City Scapes

24 responses to “To tell a story …

  1. I love reading about familiar characters and the bonds they build. I’m often reminded of listening to a ‘story’ on a Saturday morning – you know, that special kind of ‘story’ – the one you know will grow over time and become larger than life. BTW, did you restore the hat box yourself? Nice job.


    • Yes, Sheri … the characters I become the most familiar with are the ones I love to put into different situations … I move them around like the pieces on a chess board. I’ll pull out another truly funny one … a bit more modern … she and her friends are the brunt of blind dates and failed relationships that are more humor than tragedy.

      What I have done in the past with hat boxes I find, is glue and reinforce and reconstruct lids, etc. These were a bit easier as they were in better shape before I covered them. Have any old hat boxes you need to get rid of ???
      Send them my way ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. You’ll have to show me the ropes on Etsy as I’m fumbling my way thru. :s

    I remember all my firsts as well. I think most do. Tho not all of my firsts were magical. My marriage and child, the exception, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • PK, loved your firsts … about Etsy … I am learning also. I think you made a good first move joining teams. I am exploring a couple of them myself. We’ll track and support each other and see what shakes out ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. I remember it well! I was on vacation at the beach with my husband and two children. It was PK–pre-Kindle, before tablets and–horror of horrors–I had nothing to read! So I decided to write. Believe it or not, that first book became GAME ON, my debut novel with Berkley coming this May. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • That is a great first, Tracy. I remember when you announced the news about your book. Perhaps that is a first that is yet to come for me ?? BTW … my readers just found another selection to add to their TBR list with GAME ON ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks.


  4. That is a great story about GAME ON, as if that book was waiting to be written, waiting for the right time to run for daylight. First book I wrote ended up archived, where it belongs — wrote it under dire circumstances. A fact which to this day makes me sad.

    “However, I don’t like posting twice a week. One … it cuts into my time way too much. Two … it cuts into your time way too much. Three … I don’t want to.”
    This made me laugh; it is true!


    • Yes, Lindsay … and Tracy also belongs to a group blog. Go check her book out for yourself ๐Ÿ™‚ True enough that most of us have a sad first try hidden in a dark drawer. Keep it until the day comes when you might dust it off and bring it back into the light.

      I learned from Anne R. Allen that we must set our criteria for the blog. Hers has won awards and has over a thousand followers and she only posts on Sundays. I think enough is enough !!


  5. vicki batman

    Hi, Florence. I hope this doesn’t post twice. grr

    My first kiss was in the backseat of a car with a boy scout. Scandalous! I can’t believe I told that. lol

    Love, love the story.


    • You are too kind, Vicki. Those firsts are the most precious memories for all of us … and after all … you kissed a man in uniform ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for loving the story … I am a little partial to Antoinette and her crew.


  6. My first kiss was from a guy at least three or four years older than I (15?), in the middle of our mall, sitting on a concrete bench. I didn’t know about French kisses and at the time I thought it was kind of gross. Never saw him again.


  7. christicorbett

    Such a great group of questions!

    I was going through my old dolls in preparation to hand them over to my daughter when I found an old Cabbage Patch book that is basically a journal/baby book you kept for your doll.

    In it, there’s a spot about what the doll wants to be when they grow up. And there, in my first grade pencil handwriting, was two glorious words.

    “A writer.”

    It really was my dream for myself, and seeing that again makes me realize how happy I am to be pursuing my dream. And hopefully soon, realizing it!

    Christi Corbett


    • Christi … dreams follow us in our sleep and in waking hours. They are the shadow that walks ahead or behind depending on the angle of your sun. Your sun has moved and your shadow is walking ahead to show you the way. Follow her … she knows what’s right for both of you ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. I believe you’ve found your niche, Florence.


  9. I think the first time I knew I wanted to write in some capacity for a living was 6th grade, thanks to my wonderful Language Arts teacher!!!


  10. I loved this peek at your story, Florence. It reminds me of being in my teens. ๐Ÿ™‚ Firsts are special and I’m looking forward to more of your firsts. Let’s see. My first book is languishing in a cupboard along with a few others that will probably never be published. But they’re all special. Just like each of our kids, right? ๐Ÿ™‚


    • So true for many of us, Sheila. That first book languishes somewhere. I think some find the day when it comes into the light and we can bring it to fruition.

      And yes, they are each as special and individual as our kids ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Antoinette is a girl on a path that leads to heartbreak. I can feel it now.

    I love your writing. You have a terrific voice. Smooth. You give me a taste of it, and I’m dying for the rest. I want the complete short story. *stomping foot*


    • Ah Brinda … I’m glad that Antoinette peaks your interest. You may get more of her in the next year … however … only snippets of her as she is growing up. The fully grown Antoinette is something else entirely ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for your comments each week … they encourage me !!


  12. Mary Becconsall

    I felt honored that you asked me to read your books. They are so real, and you are a talented writer.


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