Category Archives: writing

Why I Write, by Bonnie Dodge

Welcome to a very talented author, Bonnie Dodge. I asked Bonnie why she writes, what infuses her passion in her creative endeavors.

“This is going to sound cliche, Sherry, but I write because I can’t not write. For as long as I can remember words have floated in my head turning into dialogue between characters, or poems, or stories. As a child I used to role-play. My friends were always blown away, commenting that everything I said sounded so real. And it was because the characters in my head were talking. I just repeated what they said.” ~ BD

What kind of a journey has this been for you, Bonnie, inward and outward?

“I wrote as a child and in high school. When I married and found a ‘real job’, I put my writing aside. One day I was watching Dr. Maya Angelou on #Oprah. She was counseling high school seniors on career choices. she told a young girl who was struggling with her choices that her life was not a dress rehearsal, that we don’t get do-overs. Tears poured down my face as I watched, and the following Monday I gave my notice. That was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, to leave a secure, well-paying job and devote myself to writing. I closed the door to that career and never looked back, and I’ve never been sorry. I think people are born to be certain things and I believe I was born to be a writers. Who else writes poetry in their dreams? I also think it is important to listen to that voice inside of you, your gut or your head, and to follow your intuition. As children we know this instinctively, but as adults we try to logicize that voice away. Jumping ship to be a writer was scary, but growth comes from taking chances; it’s all part of the process we call living.” ~ BD

Bonnie, what have you found to be the benefits and drawbacks of being a writer?

“The benefits are getting to do what I love. Getting to play with words. Attending functions with like-minded people and talking about writing until I’m hoarse. An opportunity to continue learning. Seeing something I create bloom into something someone else enjoys. Getting to work in my pajamas. Getting to write off travel in the name of research.” ~ BD

“The drawbacks are that is doesn’t pay very well unless you’re a best-selling author. Most writers are introverts and spend large amounts of time in isolation as they create their stories. And then, just like that, they have to flip a switch and become an extrovert to sell those stories. Some writers do that very well. Others, like me, struggle with the marketing.” ~ BD

Bonnie, what advice would you give to others considering writing?

“Read, read, read, and then, write, write, write. Attend as many workshops and conferences as you can afford, but don’t make yourself crazy thinking you have to attend every one of them. I think it’s important to attend one a year to stay in touch with the industry and to also refill your well. The energy at writer functions is contagious and can carry you a long ways when you’re feeling down or non-productive. Join a critique group and willingly listen to feedback. Don’t chase the market, but write what you like to read. Write from the heart, not from some “how to” book. Trust the process, even on days when you want to throw your pages out the window. But most importantly, enjoy the journey.

Because, as Dr. Angelou said, this isn’t a dress rehearsal. This is your life. Don’t wait. Make every minute count.” ~ BD

Bonnie, can you give us a brief description of your newest book Waiting?

Waiting is a book about three generations of Foster women-senior citizen Maxine, attention seeker Grace, and aspiring artist Abbie- think they are nothing alike. But they all share a secret. They wait. For love, for attention, for life, for death, for Idaho’s warm, but promising summer to return. In their journeys between despair and happiness, they learn there are worse things than being alone, like waiting for the wrong person’s love. with sensitivity and humor, Waiting carries readers into the hearts of three women who learn that happiness comes from within.” ~ BD

Thank you so much Bonnie, I hope everyone takes the opportunity to read this great new book, I know I will!

Guest Author, Bonnie Dodge
Guest Author, Bonnie Dodge


Idaho Writers & Readers Rendezvous

If you were a member of the Idaho Screenwriter’s Association, I have some wonderful news for you. This year at the Rendezvous, we are honored to present Steve Kirwan, Executive Director of the American Screenwriters Association.  Please don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect with an amazing man.

Steven Kirwan is the Executive Director of the American Screenwriters Association, and a screenwriter himself.

Steven spent his early career selling electronic components, and following his entrepreneurial spirit, started an IT support business, and currently provides IT support for small office/home office clients in the greater Boise, ID region. He also runs a flourishing Internet Marketing consultancy helping clients develop and implement social marketing strategies.

His love for writing began at a young age. A prolifoc writer of traditional styled poetry and fantasy-adventure short stories, he found that writing a novel was “just plain too slow,” and wrote his first full length fiction as a screenplay. “Hard Drive” is currently in production, Additional screenplays include “Outside In,” Short Time,” and “Faster Than You.”

American Screenwriters Association, once the preeminent organization for emerging screenwriters, is flourishing under Steven’s guidance and direction. After its dissolution in 2008, it is back on track to re-emerge as the ultimate Screenwriter’s Association and resource community.

Searching for Research

I’m writing a book that is a collection of short stories that are all centered around a small town on the Oregon coast.  I know this town because I used to live there, many, many years ago.

So I went back last week to reaquaint myself with the area.  It had changed.  But everything changes.  Although I have to say Garibaldi, Oregon hadn’t changed much.  It’s still a small fishing village and Coast Guard base situated in Tillamook Bay.  And it’s interesting that Tillamook on one side and Rockaway Beach on the other side are both tourist towns, Garibaldi is not.

And that’s what draws me to it.

I got a lot of great pictures of the small town with a population of approximately 700, and talked to some warm and friendly inhabitants of the community.  Garibaldi holds a lot of secrets, some of which will soon spill onto the pages of my book!

Idaho Writers & Readers Rendezvous

As a board member of the Idaho Writers Guild, I get the privilege of working on one of Boise’s premiere writing events each year, the Idaho Writers & Readers Rendezvous. This year it was held at the Boise Centre May 2-4, 2013. If you didn’t attend, you missed out. But if you did attend, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

The thing I enjoy the most about conferences and writing workshops, is the heightened sense of enthusiasm that fills the air and increases in intensity as it travels from person to person, and room to room. I have attended so many writing conferences over the years, I begin to think “There’s nothing else new to learn, what can I hear that I haven’t heard before?” And yet, every year, I am astounded at the new revelations and ideas that I receive. This year was no exception. In fact this year, was more amazing than I thought possible! Connections that I made sent my writing career around the next corner on the path to success. And I learned that it’s not about forcing what you want, but letting go of what you don’t want, and that opens the door for your destiny to unfold!

I also had the joy of meeting and hearing some amazing speakers, like David James Duncan, who was so incredible I went right out and bought two of his books for him to autograph. I can’t wait to read them! I also heard Ron Carlson, a very entertaining speaker and teacher that enriches the lives of so many writers.

If you can mark your calendars now, I hope you do for next year’s Rendezvous, here in Boise on May 1-3, 2014. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it!

Where do ideas come from?

It’s a question that is always asked of writers.  It’s not like we go to the grocery store and stroll down the aisle with the baking, spices, and ideas.  There’s no shelf with neatly packaged inspiration just below the pancake syrup.

Some say it’s the collective conciousness.  Perhaps.  To me it seems the more I write, the more ideas come into my head.  Where do they come from?  Something we saw or heard?  Where did George Lucas see or hear a wookie?  The imagination is grander than we can measure.

Ideas come when we are open to them.  Open your heart and mind, and just let them in.