All posts by Janet Simcic

Greta Boris at California Writers’ Club

One of the benefits of joining the California Writers’ Club is hearing special speakers like Greta Boris.  She presented her talk in a professional, yet informal way and engaged the audience.

What I learned – How to discover the personality types of my characters.  She used the Enneagram Personality Types as her base.  I am more familiar with the standard…choleric, sanguine, melancholic, and phlegmatic.  And, if you’ve ever had marriage counseling, you’ve probably taken the Myers/Briggs test.

What I found most helpful – discerning which personality type my protagonist exhibits…then following through with their basic fear, desire, weakness, and motivation.  I came back from the meeting and tweaked some scenes to keep my character’s flaws honest and real.  Then when the inciting incident takes place, it showed me the character arc.

Thank you, Greta, for a great presentation!

Fourth novel almost finished!

It is with an enormous amount of relief to have my 4th novel complete…all except for the editing.  The Man at the Villa Fonte takes place in Tuscany with the villa being steps away from the amazing city of Florence.

I’m anxious to finish the novel because I yearn to return to my first love of memoir and non-fiction.  The desire has been so strong it has interrupted my sleep.  All I want to do is write the memoir.

I’ve even written the first chapter.  First line…”The meanest man in town, a mafia lawyer, changed the course of my family’s life forever.”  I hope that line inspires some curiosity.

But I do love my novel about Gina, her sister, Bella, Jake, the policeman, and Luca, the weathly Italian vineyard owner.  And I will finish it…by June!

Who will win Gina’s heart?  Jake, the next-door neighbor or Luca, the Italian man with the forest-green eyes?  Stay tuned.

Friendships

In February, I had the privilege of speaking at the Orange County branch of the California Writers’ Club.  A bit nervous speaking to my peers and all those familiar faces.  But just before the meeting started, an old college friend popped in with her granddaughter.  Had I know she was coming, my nerves would have skyrocketed!

Kathleen Clements Chapman is the author of 6 books and has written musical theater music for the last 45 years.  So why is this important, you ask?  I’m going to tell you.

We knew each other back in college when we were silly young girls who were away from home for the first time.  Wanted to have fun.  Doesn’t every college kid when they are out from under the microscope of parents?  But after the meeting was over and we’d said our goodbyes…I couldn’t stop thinking about youth and friendships.

Our kids, even those all grown up with families of their own, don’t know you.  They don’t know what causes you pain and sorrow.  They don’t know what makes you truly happy.  They know you as parents.  Friends…both old and new…appreciate you for who you are.

I have been blessed beyond words to have friends from long ago when I lived in Boston, friends from New York, friends from Michigan…friends who span my lifetime.  People who knew me when I was small, a teen, a young woman.  Now friends who are my peers, new friends, faithful friends.  I love the wisdom of Proverbs 18:24…a friend who is closer than a brother.  Through the years, I have learned that a true friend is closer than your own family.  The acceptance, grace, and forgiveness is deeper.

Thank you, Kathleen, for coming to hear me speak.  What a blessing it has been to see both of us mature from our youth.  And to those who are my friends through thick and thin, good times and bad times, I appreciate all of you.  You know who you are!!!!