The Marshall Memo – 8-26 to 9-1-2012

The Things I Keep Nearby

As a writer I spend a whole lot of time at my desk staring at my computer screen.  This snapshot shows what’s directly under my Dell.  A small, rugged wooden cross, four smooth rocks each stamped with a different word, and a magical ring! (Yes it is magical, but more on that later.)

These little items have all been given to me, and they provide comfort to my eyes and that little extra lift beneath my wings when I need it.  At my age, I do have wings or as we call it at Curves® – wing span.

First and foremost, at the center of my collection is the cross.  Yes, I believe I am a child of God.

Next the lovely smoothed out rocks that fit perfectly into my palm.  Some might call them fetishes. True, I am a romance writer, but the first thought that may have jumped into your mind is not what I mean.  Nope.  According to the Bing dictionary’s first definition:


[ féttish ]

  1. magical object: something, especially an inanimate object, that is revered or worshiped because it is believed to have magical powers or be animated by a spirit

Synonyms: talisman, charm, idol, image, totem, amulet

Since I began by telling you I believe I am a child of God, I believe all power comes from him, so though it’s fanciful to assign objects magical power, I deep down inside do not believe it is true.  I do however believe in the power of our minds, this incredible gift we’ve been given by our Creator, and that’s where my smooth rocks that some might call fetishes, come in.

What the Rocks Say

I’ll start by clarifying that, no, they are not talking rocks!  But wouldn’t that be fun to have a little nagging rock spontaneously spewing out it’s word whenever it sensed you were lagging in, say – confidence? (the light brown rock in the back on the right) Or to remind me to – breathe? (front left) Those are the first two words.  Pretty good start wouldn’t you say?

The gray granite colored rock says – strength.  Boy oh boy does any writer need that.  Give me strength to take all the rejection I must endure.  Give me the strength to write that next book.  Give me strength to submit again.  Give me enough strength to understand that long silences from my editor don’t mean I’m being ignored, but that the editor is incredibly busy!  In other words, give me strength to understand that I am not the center of the universe.  Yes, in this business, we all need extra strength.

The black rock says – create.  Oh, if it were only that easy. If only I could snap my fingers and come up with an engaging plot and likeable characters.  But you know what?  This past week I wrote two synopses, and that exact thing just kind of happened.  I let my mind flow and my fingers fly and – I created a town and a batch of people that I’d really like to get to know better. I hope I get the chance. (Refer to prior paragraph- strength, and the following paragraph for hope.)

If I could have one more rock, I’d like to add HOPE to my collection.  Hope is kind of like faith (being sure of what we hope and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1) but with a twist.  Hope usually includes an element of evidence. For instance, we’ve experienced love and hope we can experience it again. I’ve sold books (evidence) and hope I can do it again.

The Wonder Woman Ring!

Ah, the ring.  It was a gift.  A coveted gift that I’m proud to have in my possession.  Jennifer Cruise handed out the plastic Wonder Woman rings in New York 2011 at the Romance Writer’s of America Conference in a published authors’ network workshop. In that workshop she insisted that we all had to be Super Heroes as writers. We have to be business mavens and goddesses (since goddesses create worlds – and that’s pretty much what we do as writers).  In her typical genius way, Ms. Cruise went through fun and gorgeous slide-after-slide of the sexy bombshell Wonder Woman and compared her job to ours as writers.  The workshop was so fabulous, I’ve kept my prized goddess ring beneath my computer ever since. Sometimes, I’ve even slipped it on my finger.

Oh, and hmm, I wrote three books since last year.  Maybe that smooth rock and goddess mojo works?  It’s fun to think about, but as for me, I’ll continue concentrating on that humble wooden cross when it’s time to give my thanks.  All the rest is the cherry on top!

What do you keep nearby for encouragement?


If you like books set in big cities, with a touch of medicine and a building relationship, I hope you’ll give Dr. Tall, Dark…and Dangerous? my latest Harlequin MedicalRomance® a chance.  That sexy guy on the cover deserves a second glance, wouldn’t you say?


Until next week, make it a great one!



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4 Responses to The Marshall Memo – 8-26 to 9-1-2012

  1. robena grant says:

    I have six similar rocks beneath my computer. A large one that spells dream in Japanese, four small ones that have luck, faith, peace, and luck etched into them, and one from Australia that has an Aboriginal painting of a kangaroo on it. I love them all. They’re perfect to pick up and rub as I think about what I want to write. Kind of like worry beads or love beads from the 70’s. : )

    • I agree that smooth rocks are very comforting, Robena. I’m not sure how much they stimulate my creativity, but they are encouraging to look at when my eyes drift down from the monitor, at those pesky moments when I’m not sure what to write or where to go next in my story.

      Wow – that was one long run-on sentence! 🙂

      thanks for commenting.

  2. Dee J. says:

    I LOVE your rocks and your ring! I wish I’d been at the workshop. Sounds like it was awesome. I have my own batch of rocks – all given as tokens when I received a rejection. I joke that I have enough to redo my kitchen counter (with rocks). LOL. Congrats on all your great writing mojo and I will confess to having a crush on your book cover hero.

    • Hi Dee J
      I received my rocks for some of the many rejections I’ve had over the years, too.

      You would have loved the Wonder Woman workshop – it was superb.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.