“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
One of the things I love about writing is sprinkling in a dose of laughter. But not all stories are belly-grabbing hardy-har-har stories. Some are more serious in tone. My Plain Fear series is definitely more serious as it’s a battle of good versus evil. However, because I am the writer and because I love to laugh, it was inevitable that I would find a few humorous things to slip in between the covers of these books. But it was not easy at first.
Writing has brought a lot of interesting people into my life. One of my dear friends, Julie, and I met at a writers conference. We were actually standing in line for the restroom. If you’ve ever been to a writers’ conference, you’ll know that there is always a long line for the ladies room, because there tend to be more women at these conferences than men. Anyway, Julie and I struck up a conversation and discovered our children happened to go to the same school. About a year later, I can’t remember who emailed whom, but we finally found time in our crazy schedules to meet for breakfast and chatted and shared our writing. She is a fabulous writer, on the level of Jodi Piccoult. I was bowled over by how good a writer she is. So we began meeting.
You can’t share your books with another writer and read their writing without becoming good friends. Opening the pages of someone’s manuscript is like opening their heart and peering inside. So over a couple of years, Julie and I became good friends.
A couple of years ago when I was researching the first book in the Plain Fear series, I needed to go to Pennsylvania to do research. Julie volunteered to show me around Lancaster County because she had once lived in Philadelphia and knew the area. So we journeyed together into the Amish world, which is very different from our own.
It is easy to feast your eyes on the peaceful fields and tranquil farms throughout the area. But one thing I remember the most about that trip is something that tickled our funny bone. I can’t even remember what it was, but I remember the laughter. We laughed so hard together and frankly could not stop. Isn’t that just like friends to share some inside joke, something that’s meaningless to others. And that laughter wriggled its way into my manuscript.
Laughter. It’s healing and heartwarming.
Do you have a friend who can always make you laugh?
Share about your friend here on my blog and I’ll enter you to win Plain Fear: Forbidden, my about-to-be-released book, which doesn’t come out until August 1, 2012. But you could win it early! I’ll draw a winner this Friday!