Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Who Is Your Writing Yoda?

Posted on Jul 1, 2015 by Lisa Ricard Claro   19 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

My recent guest post at the Jaunty Quills was all about synchronicity. In case you missed it, let me explain. Synchronicity  is a theory by Carl Jung that states if we make bold statements of intent and act upon them, the Universe conspires to help us. My JQ post focused on the synchronicity I’ve experienced with author Kristan Higgins. The feedback was great, and it got me thinking about all the other ways synchronicity has played a role in my writing career. For that reason, today’s Naked Truth will focus on my Writing Yoda (she probably wishes I’d stop calling her that), the lovely and talented Cathy C. Hall.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you probably know Cathy, either because you also follow her blog, or because I’ve linked you to her blog, or you have noticed a comment she has left on one of my posts. Her comments are almost always funny, often insightful, and never boring—just like Cathy herself.

Okay, so you get it. I’m a Cathy C. Hall fan. You probably knew that already, and if you didn’t before, you certainly do now. What you didn’t know is that my foray into the blogging world came after several hits of synchronicity involving—yep, you guessed it—Cathy C. Hall.

Cathy and I first met as members of a community writers’ group. She was further along than the rest of us, and when the original facilitator of the group—the gracious Genevieve Williams—departed her post, Cathy took over. I realized pretty fast that in addition to being hilarious, Cathy C. Hall knows her writing stuff.

So there was Cathy—who knows her stuff—and yours truly, the newbie trying to figure it all out. I won’t say Cathy took me under her wing . . . it was more along the lines of me trailing along behind her asking silly questions, stepping where she stepped, and she was too nice to tell me to shoo.

After all this time, I still pester her with questions and stuff, and for the record, she has never once told me to quit stalking her.  She’s nice like that.

Eventually, the writers’ group dwindled away. I had my early publication cravings satisfied routinely through the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—thanks to an introduction to an editor there by Genevieve—and did my learning about writing online.

A year or so passed, during which time I did not see Cathy. Then one day at the local supermarket Synchronicity reared its head and we ran into each other.

“You should be blogging,” Cathy said after minor preamble.

“Nice to see you, too,” I said.

“Seriously. It’s easy peasy. You should start a blog,” she insisted.

“Why? No one would read it.”

“Lisa.” Cathy gave me one of her famous Cathy looks. “I will read your blog.”

I didn’t start a blog.

About a week later, at another supermarket, I ran into Cathy again, same conversation. I still didn’t start a blog.

About two weeks after that, we met again by chance at the local QuikTrip.

“Have you started your blog?” she asked.

“No. What’s the point? No one would read it.”

“Lisa.” She stared me down. “I will read your blog.”

Do you know how many times I’ve run into Cathy by accident in the last ten years? Never, except for those three times. (Unless you count the one time at the Howl-O-Weenie Festival, which I don’t, because she knew I’d be there.)

Weird coincidence, you say? I say, “Synchronicity.”

After that third meeting, I went home, spent the afternoon figuring out Blogger, and posted my first-ever blog piece. Here it is, Buttercup—a direct cut & paste from my old Blogger account—the first Naked Truth:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I’m a Virgin!

After 29 years of marriage and three kids it feels a little weird to admit it, but here goes: I am a virgin. Okay, okay, not that kind of virgin. I am that most elusive of all virgins in this techno society. I am a Blog Virgin. Yup, this is my first time, and if you are reading this then you are sharing this experience with me. (How many other virgins can promise you that?)

I may be new to the blogging world, but I’m an old hand at writing, so this is a bit like two worlds colliding. I hope the result will be a blog success of Big Bang proportions. We writers dream of stuff like that.

Now, my husband long ago declared me to be a technological airhead and I’ve not disabused him of this notion. After all, I can’t turn on the TV and satellite network without instructions from my 15-year-old daughter. I don’t watch TV very often, not because I find it to be a pointless waste of valuable time, but because I have no clue how to work the remotes. There are four of them and they are covered with buttons. I may as well be at the helm of the Starship Enterprise.

However, despite my technological challenges, I am jumping into the Internet blogging pool, and for any who stumble upon my ramblings I hope that what you find here makes you smile enough that you come back for more. These are stressful and crazy times; if my musings provide a brief respite for you then I will consider the effort worthwhile. Check back in a day or so and see what view I skew!

Til next time,

Posted by Lisa Ricard Claro at 11:22 PM

1 comment:

Cathy C. HallMarch 29, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Peer pressure will get you every time :-)Can’t wait to see the naked truths you uncover in your own skewed way!


So began my blogging career. There are countless posts that only one person ever read. Cathy.

She commented and she encouraged. I learned a ton of stuff and started meeting other bloggers. Eventually, I sort of got the hang of it and met more bloggers and blog readers, including you. I’ll be forever grateful, and if you have a copy of my book, take a look at the acknowledgements in the front. Cathy is there. After all this time, she’s still my Writing Yoda, despite her numerous attempts to shake me loose. She is, in short, stuck with me. (Sorry, Master Yoda, but I think the Universe wants it this way.)

Maybe someday I’ll be someone’s Yoda, and can pay it forward.

So, what do you think? Synchronicity? Weird coincidence? What’s your story? Do you have a Yoda?

See you Friday for Observations From the Tub!

P.S. One more thing! On Monday, July 6th, my broadcast interview over at The Author’s Show goes on air. Host Linda Thompson interviewed me about Love Built to Last. It will air for 24 hours on the 6th, so listen at your leisure.


Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last in e-book or print, go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Black Opal Books, Kobo, or AllRomance

19 Responses to "Who Is Your Writing Yoda?"

  1. Comment by Rob
    July 1, 2015 at 8:24 am  

    I wish I had one. Living where I do, writing what I write, I’m isolated from potential Yodas. Most of my friends threw cold water on my dream of becoming a writer, saying things like, “Do you know how many thousands of people do that and never get published?” or, “Are you still doing that?” When I did get published, they seemed disappointed that their predictions of failure didn’t come true. I’ve got new friends now. My oldest friends were happy for me, but, except for one, totally uninterested. I went to a book signing for a local author and suggested we start a writing group, but I think she thought I was a stalker; I never heard from her.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 1, 2015 at 11:01 am  

      Shame on the naysayers, and kudos to you for ignoring them. Many writers take those seeds of negativity and let them bloom, unfortunately. I believe that perhaps the hurdles we have to clear are there to see which of us wants it the most. If writing and publishing were easy, as they say, everyone would do it. I’m glad you didn’t give up, because you’re a gifted writer.

      My suggestion to you is to contact your local library and ask if they host, or know of, a local writers’ group. If they don’t, you should consider starting one. You may be surprised to discover a ton of other writers out there who would welcome the interaction and encouragement. Your library will likely be happy to help you spread the word about it. There are resources available to help you if you choose to try. I’ll pull together a few things and shoot you an email. Also, do you belong to any writing associations, local or online? Networking isn’t always easy for us love-our-solitude writers, but meeting and talking with other writers is inspirational, educational, and fun—we’re all part of the same tribe! No one understands a writer like another writer. 🙂

      • Comment by Rob
        July 1, 2015 at 2:06 pm  

        I’ll check that out. I may wait till winter; right now I’m spending as much time as I can in the mountains–it’s my office. I took today off to start another essay and send some off to the people who come to the battlefield after the battle to kill the wounded: editors. Thanks for the encouraging words. 🙂

        • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
          July 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm  

          🙂 Keep writing!

  2. Comment by Sioux
    July 1, 2015 at 8:41 am  

    So, can we listen for the whole 24 hours, over and over again? How cool would that be!

    I’m lucky enough to have four Yodas. All 4 of the other WWWPs are inspiring and agitating and prodding and encouraging.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 1, 2015 at 11:04 am  

      Actually, Sioux, yes, you can! When you get on the website just find my name alongside the date. It will air there from midnight to midnight on the 6th. 🙂

      You are lucky to have the WWWPs! I so miss the Inklets. *sigh*

  3. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    July 1, 2015 at 10:02 am  

    Aw, shucks, Lisa. I didn’t do anythin’. 🙂

    Seriously? You had written a book (or several!) when we met at that writer’s group, so I’m not so sure that I was a Writing Yoda. Unless you can count me prodding you with a light saber to write even more. 🙂

    You have always been a gifted writer–and I’m so glad you walked into that community center that day to share your writing. It’s been SO much fun, riding along with you on this journey!

    (Although…yeah. I didn’t look so much like Yoda then. Can we find a new title? Maybe…uh, oh! I’ve got it! I can be your Writing Heidi Klum!Not sure what that means, exactly. But I kinda don’t care…) 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 1, 2015 at 11:07 am  

      Sorry, you can keep trying, but you’ll never be off the hook. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

      I agree that Yoda is not quite as visually pleasing as Heidi. The only other Master I can think of is Splinter, and that sure as heck doesn’t fit either. lol Master Heidi is a little too, uh, shall we say, dominatrix sounding. How about my Writing Guru? Better? *sigh* You’re not making this easy, ya know.

  4. Comment by Susan Mayer Davis (Susie Q)-+
    July 1, 2015 at 10:46 am  

    I am so proud of both you, Lisa, and yoda-est but definitely more Heidi Klum-ish, Cathy C. Hall. Remember when we met at the writing conference in Athens? We all three knew someone in common, and it turns out we all three had stories in A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers. I’ve followed both of your blogs and my heart swelled with pride at each of your accomplishements, but alas – I’m a back-slider. My manuscript sits forlorn in cyberspace, waiting for me to do yet another rewrite. Since it’s been a year since I’ve looked at it, (and 12 since I started it!), the chances seem slim that it will ever get to a point of publication. But it gives me a worthwhile item on my “to do” list when people ask what I’ve been up to. You and Cathy both continue to sort-of motivate me. Now all I need is some energy and ambition to follow through. I think when one of you wins her first Pulizer, I’ll be envious enough to say “I could have done that!” and open up my manuscript again and promise myself that THIS YEAR I’ll finish it! Best of luck to two of the sweetest, smartest, most talented ladies I have the pleasure of calling friend! XO (HA! Glad I spellchecked this, Lisa. I had accidentally typed “Best of lust”…thinking of your books, I guess! LOL )

  5. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    July 1, 2015 at 11:12 am  

    Hi Sue! Thanks for the encouraging words. 🙂 I do hope you opt to dust off that ms and give it some attention. If it is the one I’m thinking of, you were off to a great start. It would be wonderful for you to finish it! Please do! And “Best of lust” would’ve been pretty funny. lol

  6. Comment by Debra Mayhew
    July 1, 2015 at 9:29 pm  

    Yep, she is everything you said and more. I know few people who work as hard as Cathy and yet make so much time for others. She truly believes in giving back and it’s such a nice thing to see! I’ve learned a lot from her, and I’ve learned a lot from you, too. I remember when she asked Tanya and me if you could join our critique group and she described you as a very good writer. (You can probably hear her…”Seriously, y’all, she’s really good…” 🙂 ) And I’m so glad she brought you in because as usual, she was right. You are a very talented writer and I’m blessed to know you!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 2, 2015 at 3:32 pm  

      Same goes, Deb! And I loved being part of the Inklets. 🙂

  7. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    July 1, 2015 at 11:28 pm  

    Your blog is always a delight to read and your “virgin” post was great. I’m not a writer but I had my own mentor during my working years. We worked for the same organization but never in the same state. We talked on the phone several times a week and traveled for work together a few times – we even shared a room once or twice. She also invited me to stay at her home a couple of times. She encouraged me to pursue my technology career and made sure that I got to know the right people which helped further my climb up the ladder.

    Since we’ve both retired we’re not as connected but I’ll always be grateful to her for the advice and friendship we shared.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm  

      Not everyone finds someone so willing to help. You are fortunate that you did, and I’m lucky Cathy never told me to get lost. lol Good friends are hard to find. When they can be friends AND Yodas, we’re even more blessed. 🙂

  8. Comment by Tammy
    July 2, 2015 at 8:59 am  

    Loved your first post, and what a nice tribute to Cathy. I haven’t read much of her blog, but her witty comments usually make me laugh. And lately I’ve begun to notice something else – like you, she seems to possess a genuine graciousness unique to the truly talented.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm  

      Thanks for the kind words, Tammy. I would include you in that group, as well.

  9. Comment by Claudia
    July 2, 2015 at 5:29 pm  

    Lucky you for CAthy!!! I have no Yoda but sure wish I did!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      July 2, 2015 at 7:02 pm  

      Lucky for me, yes. Probably not so lucky for Cathy, though. She’s stuck answering my silly questions. lol

  10. Comment by Theresa Sanders
    July 8, 2015 at 12:11 pm  

    I am so sorry I’m coming to this post late, but what a wonderful tribute to Yoda…er…Heidi…er, Cathy! I will definitely check out her blog. I’ve enjoyed reading her comments here — funny, insightful, gracious. And I loved your “Virgin” post — your witty writing style was apparent even back then. You are a Yoda yourself, Lisa 🙂

    I’m so sorry I missed your interview. I checked the website — do you think they will archive it?

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