Monday, February 27, 2012


I'm pleased to welcome my awesome critique partner, Carla Rehse, to the blog today. She agreed to share her inspiration for her wonderful story, WHISPERING HANDS without too much begging on my part.

I am extremely fortunate to have met this amazing woman, and I can't imagine where I would be without her constant support and faith in me.

The blog is yours, Carla:)

Howdy y’all.

Thanks Angie, for giving me the opportunity to explain how my environment shapes my writing. As an Army brat, I moved all around the world when I was young. Thirty years ago, my father retired at Ft. Hood, and I’ve called Texas home since. I’ve lived in East Texas, where the tall Pines whisper in the wind, and in West Texas, with its tumbleweeds that chase you during dust storms.

I currently live in Central Texas, on the edge of Texas Hill Country. I love the rolling hills, covered in crumbling limestone caliche, cedar and mesquite trees, and cacti. Wait. This isn’t an advertisement for Texas tourism, so why am I describing this? Simple.

Show, don’t tell.

When I first started writing, I had a horrible time with telling, instead of showing (and a weird affection for commas, but that’s a different topic.) It took me a while, and endless patience from my crit partners (thanks again Angie!) to learn the difference. Now, I use the environment to help show the attributes of my characters.

Instead of saying my main character has guts, I’ll describe how she wanders the countryside in the dark, regardless of the two-legged and four-legged critters around, to rescue those she loves.Using a blanket in a field of bluebonnets with a warm spring wind brushing the skin is a powerful image. So is the horror of falling in a tangle of sticker vines when the bad guys are close behind.

On a personal note, I’ve found that if I’m stuck on a scene, it helps to disconnect. I love to grab my writing pad and head outdoors. Sitting on a park bench or handy boulder, without any distractions from the internet or family, helps me focus. One of my favorite fight scenes that I’ve written was influenced by watching a squirrel duke it out with a catbird.

Have a great day, y’all.

Carla Rehse

Carla, thank you for sharing a little piece of your soul with us. It took a lot of "guts".


  1. I was born in Austin, and when you started talking about the bluebonnets (my favorite flower), I had a total flashback of running in the bluebonnet field next to our house as a child. :> Fantastic writing!

  2. Great post! I have to say, I'm the same way. If I feel disconnected, I have to head outdoors. It kind of gives you a better understanding of everything. The way the wind moves through the trees, the scents on the air, etc.

    And Angie is absolutely fabulous!

  3. Thanks Blakely and Rebekah!

    They are predicting a wonderful bluebonnet season this year in Central Texas. I can't wait.

    Thanks again, Angie!!

  4. Yay, Carla! Your writing is lovely--I know this from reading a chapter or two of your work. Show vs. tell is something most writers struggle with. I had this problem too, when I first started writing, but I've since learned to distinguish one from the other. Your advice and examples are spot on, and very helpful.

  5. I love how you use your environment. I certainly see it in your writing and it makes for great details.


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