The Three R’s: Reading, Writing, and Riding

Mountains and Mandi SlackThis is a guest post by author Mandi Slack, whose new book The Alias was just released this month.

Jumping in the car (well….van), cranking the music, and going for a long drive, is one of my favorite things to do. With no errands to run or destination in mind, I feel free””happy. My children quiet, my mind clears, and I can think to the beat of the music while I delight in the view of the valleys, streams and farms. I love to discover new places and my children and I have discovered many “favorite” rides.

Our best ride is the drive around Bird Island, near Lincoln beach at Utah Lake. We love the lake. My boys have a fantastic time discovering new birds along the shore line, and of course, we always have to stop to admire the spiders and insects in the rocks. We find a fossil or two, and then go on our way. I truly enjoy this time with my kids. Not only do they learn to appreciate the beauty that God has created on this earth, but they learn about new and amazing things. With each trip, their world broadens a bit more.

Riding or driving is also the best time for me. I love to write novels. Like an artist, the locales we visit and the amazing things we discover inspire my stories. I enjoy writing about the places I visit, especially those areas that I love the very best. I always try toincorporatethe mountains, lakes, and towns we find into my novels. It feels like I’m bringing a little bit of that area home with me. I’m also a “people watcher”. Some people might call that “staring”, but I think of it more along the lines of “discovering”.

I enjoy seeing how different people live their lives. Everyone has something unique to offer this world”” the farmer, the fisherman, the grocer, and so many, many more. Each person I see along my way inspires the characters in my stories.With just a passing glance, a new character can suddenly pop into my head, and slowly, a story begins to form.Seeing people and visiting new places help to bring my characters and plot to life. I can find the story’s “personality” in my mind, and I love to create my new character’s individuality. While writing the novel, my characters become “real”. I’m able to discover their background, their fears, their joy, and unique nature. And just as my characters come to life, so do the locales in which my stories are set. I enjoy researching new places and even more, visiting new places.

Taking rides with my family is the inspiration for my creativity. I may not ever see all of my novels in print, but I am determined to never lose sight of my ability to create and discover. Like asouvenir, my stories are memories of the places I’ve seen, visited and loved. I’m blessed to live in such a diverse area with cities, valleys, mountains and deserts. I hope, like me, that the rides we take and the places we discover will leave lasting memories for my children, and will one day inspire in them the desire to create in their own unique ways. Everyone, I believe, is endowed with the ability to create, whether through art, writing, music, dance or a thousand other ways. We simply have to find the “ride” for our inspirations and then create.

8 thoughts on “The Three R’s: Reading, Writing, and Riding

  • May 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm
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    Excellent Many. I too find the places I visit to be great (sometimes comical), places to write about. Finding interesting people around my community is also a good way to develop realistic characters.
    Great Blog Mandy. I am planning on being at your signing Saturday. Will there be books to purchase? I have been holding off purchasing until then.

  • May 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm
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    It’s great you live where there is such diversity. I’ve lived in the south (Georgia then Kentucky) for the last… okay let’s just say since shortly after we last saw each other 😉 no need to go into age here. Basically alot of overly lush greenery, humidity, and bugs. Mostly drives in Kentucky lead to seeing horses, horses, and the occasional zebra. My inspiration is usually much more urban or historical.

  • May 10, 2011 at 8:15 pm
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    Love this what a GREAT inspiration! Sometimes people are full of ideas but just have no idea how to get started or how to get their minds to open up. Your such an inspiration to young mothers everywhere that if you set your mind to something everything is possible and you can bring your world to life through writing and teach your children to love and appreciate the beautiful work our Lord had created. Thank you!

  • May 11, 2011 at 8:00 am
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    Just received my copy of Mandi’s novel “The Alias” in the mail yesterday…can hardly wait to start reading it!!

  • May 11, 2011 at 8:28 am
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    I finished reading your book yesterday; I couldn’t put it down. I’m amazed at your ability to transport the reader into the places in the story.

  • May 11, 2011 at 10:35 am
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    Wow. What an interesting perspective. I don’t think I’ll ever look at people or places the same anymore! With each new person I see, I’ll be trying to think of what you would see in them and what story is behind them. How fun!

  • May 11, 2011 at 11:43 am
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    Thank you for giving us readers insight into your creative inspiration. I sit in awe at your ability to write and to share your characters in a way that we can relate to them. They become familiar friends to us as we read your novel, and we are able to share in their fears, triumphs, and emotions as if we have known them forever. You are truly an inspiration to those around you- not only to your readers but to those who know you on a personal level as well. Thank you for writing such a great book. I am anxious to read more novels by you in the future! Well done!

  • May 17, 2011 at 10:19 pm
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    I, too, am in awe of your writing ability, Mandi. You have an amazing talent to share your inspiration with others. I am presently reading your Novel, “The Alias.” It is excellent, I am very anxious to finish it.
    I am very impressed with the way you are able to express yourself. You transport those of us reading, into
    the world of your character’s lives, their trials and triumphs.
    I, too, have a love of people watching, especially those living along the Coastal Regions. I enjoy watching the fishermen sail into port in the evening, from their long day at sea, with their daily catch. How fascinating to watch as the fishing buckets fill, with various species of fish, from the fishermen’s nets. I watch the fishermen standing at the dock as they wash and fillet their fish. Then the entrails are tossed to the seagulls, as they linger by, waiting for their nightly meal.
    As I listen to the squall of seagulls, I am aware of the distant lighthouse fog horn calling the last of the fishing boats from the sea; into port. A lone helicopter hovers in the sky, lights upon the ocean as it shines on a damaged fishing boat, slowing making it’s way back to shore.
    And as evening turns into night, I watch as the sun sits on the ocean, exploding into a million
    different beautiful colors of reds, violets, pinks and yellows.
    As I step back into my own life, my thoughts linger on what an exciting, but extremely hazardous stormy life these brave fishermen live. Their lives inspire me to remember not just the days, but to enjoy each of the moments and the beauty in my own life.
    I want you to know, Mandi, that your Mother would be and is, so very proud of you. You have found the “ride” for your inspirations. Keep up the excellent work. We love you!

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