Why I Write by Rita Plush

Why I Write by Rita Plush

I’m usually too busy writing to think about why I write. But now that the query is in my wheelhouse, torture and rejection do come to mind. That’s no joke, folks, considering my first short story was rejected ninety-three times before a literary journal gave it a thumbs up, followed by other stories labored over, fine-tuned and brought back to my writers’ group ad nauseam. And then there’s the seven years it took to find a publisher for Lily Steps Out, my first novel. 


So why do I spend hours a day developing a character, plotting and replotting a story, or on the worst of days, stare at a laptop screen, fingers limp, languishing on the keypad? Any normal person would think to try another line of work. But who’s talking normal? We’re talking writer here.

We’re talking digging into your heart and guts and trying to explain the world—to myself, I’ve come to think—as much as to others. Because that’s what writers do; we take bits of real life and build an imagined world around it. Within that world is what we think and feel and hope for, disguised as dialogue, inner thoughts and incidents involving made up people, all the while striving for clarity and honesty true to our characters.

It’s a job, let me tell you, to put a reader there in a scene, to make them feel, see, hear and taste it. To get the chill in the air or the heat of the sun just right, to get the dress and actions, the character's motivations clear and true. And when that happens—when all the bits and pieces come together in a way you didn’t even know you were looking for—you hear it from your readers that you’ve hit the mark—well, that’s a pretty wonderful thing. You’ve created a world with words. You’ve made life shimmer on the page. 
Now that I think about it ... that’s why I write. 

Wow! It does take a certain skill set and a little insanity, for sure - but that's my opinion as a fellow author - to write a book or story. There's a lot here for writers of all stages, and book readers to think about. So, thank you, Rita! :)

Readers, let's take a look at one of Rita Plush's books, a women's fiction novel titled Feminine Products.




Here is the blurb.


Everyone’s got personal baggage, but Rusty Scanlon thinks she’s carrying more than her fair share. Owner of a trendy boutique on the outskirts of New York City, Rusty has an eye for fashion and a gift for messing up her love life. She doesn’t trust men. They’ve all abandoned her – the first being her carpenter father, who ran out on her and her mother when she was only six years old. 
When she meets Walter Margolis, a guy who adores her, she thinks she has it all. Not so, she discovers when she tells him she’s pregnant and he suggests a paternity test. Rusty doesn’t know what to make of Walter’s reaction until he reveals the details of the accident he thinks he caused as a teenager, and the guilt that has tormented him all his adult life.
When a smooth-talking con man puts two and two together, ‘by the way’ mentioning that he once knew Rusty’s father, and also her mother – they apparently had a ‘thing’ some years back – she realizes he’s after something. She decides it’s time to find out the truth, and find her father. Until she does, she can’t fully commit to the life she hopes to share with Walter. 
Rusty’s emotional roller coaster ride is full of twists and turns that teach her and those around her about losing love and finding it, and what it means to be a family.

Here is an excerpt from the book.


She finds it on the shelf with the vaginal cleansers and tampons, anti-itch creams and panty liners, promising accuracy and easy use.
At home, hands trembling, she breaks open the carton, grasps the thumb grip, and leaning forward on the toilet holds the wand under her stream. She gazes at the little windows and waits for the stripes to appear. She remains on the toilet staring at the double band. “A baby,” she whispers to the silent tiled room. “I’m going to have a baby.”  She peers down and leans over, getting her face as close as possible to her belly and gives the air a little kiss. 
Rusty is thirty nine and she’s only been pregnant once before—at sixteen. Back then the thought of going through with it filled her with fear and disgust, but now she wants the life inside her—and the man who put it there.  A sort of man hard to describe. Traumatized by the deaths of his family and the accident at the root of it, only some thirty-plus years after the fact, did he sit shiva for them. Closure, some would call it—though not Walter; he’d never use a cliché like that. Wouldn’t even think it. Walter has a way of expressing himself. Stiffly, some might say, as if he’s out of practice, or just learning the language.—They are gone from me. I am of no use to them. It is time I give them to their graves. And on the subject of children? The one time they talked about it—Do you like kids? she’d asked over desert at her place a month or so ago. There will be none, he said. That too was Walter, succinct and to the point. And Rusty, unsure of where the relationship was going—she’d only known him three months then—let the matter slide. It slid all right… right into her fallopian tube. 
After days of worrying the how, when and where, she decides… in his loft. She’ll bring champagne—Oh?  And what are we celebrating?  She’ll seem mysterious by not partaking and he’ll want to know why. She’ll say doctor’s orders. She’ll give hints. I have a condition… I’m not supposed to drink…  Make him guess.
But before she gets the chance to buy bubbly or the opportunity to tease out the details, into her boutique walks the prime mover, trim and fit as a marathon runner, unannounced as usual. Hair gray, short and side-parted, eyes glistening with energy, he climbs atop a counter-high stool fronting the showcase.
Caught up short, she chatters away about a movie they’ve seen, the Chanel exhibit she’d like to catch at the Met. Has he tracked down that new carburetor for his vintage Ford? While about the baby, not a word.
He studies her face. “What is it? There is something else on your mind today.”  He cocks an eyebrow.
And so she comes out with it. “I’m going to have a baby.”

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01FZX77WU




Readers, don't forget to pick up your copy of Feminine Products, or even Lily Steps Out, her first novel!






 Guest Blogger Bio


Rita began her diverse career as an interior designer, enjoying the position of coordinator of the Interior Design/Decorating Certificate Program at Queensborough Community College for 20 years. She remains on the faculty teaching courses in design, decorative arts and creative writing.
The publication of her novel, Lily Steps Out, (Penumbra Publishing 2012)—twelve years in the making—earned “Published & Proud,” a feature article in Newsday’s Act II, followed by “Rita Steps Out,” in The Times Ledger.  Her short stories have appeared in many literary magazines including The Alaska Quarterly Review, before they were included in the collection, Alterations (Penumbra 2013).
A sought after speaker, Rita has presented at libraries and synagogues, Hofstra University, CW Post Hutton House, on topics as varied as decorative arts, interior design, the talk, “Writing & Publishing in the Modern Age, or So You’ve Written a Book, Now What?” and “Coco Chanel,” The Woman ­~ The Legend.” She is the book reviewer for The Fire Island News.
Frequently appearing on Blog Talk Radio, Rita read from Alterations on “The Author’s Corner” for Public Radio. She has guested on The Writer’s Dream, LTV, and “The Amy Beth Arkway Show,” When interviewed on Morgen Bailey’s “Author Spotlight,” Rita talked about the similarities between interior design and writing. “It’s still creativity at work,” she said. Writing is another form of design. “In rooms you put fabric and furnishings together aiming for the perfect note of color, texture and scale. Everything arranged in a way that instantly strikes the eye as a balanced whole. Writing a book is similar, except that instead of objects, you put people and plot together to create that perfect balance. A world made with words."

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