One Moment in Time

Glenn Snyder

 

Welcome to my blog

 

I hope you enjoy One Moment in Time and feel inspired to change the world.

By gsnyder, Sep 16 2012 11:54PM

One of the great things about writing a novel that takes place in different countries was the research that was required. In writing One Moment in Time, I spent three weeks in Italy, two days in Pacific Grove, eight days in Mexico (seven in Oaxaca and one in Mexico City), and five days in Sonoma. As Jack learned about new cultures and languages, so did I.


In Italy, I realized how similar the Spanish and Italian languages were. Although I was years removed from my Spanish classes in college, the words came back to me rather quickly. I was able to understand about a third of the words I was exposed to, either written or oral. This came in handy when my friend George and I went to Trattoria Milanese in Milan. Just like in the book, there was no English translation on the menu. When George said he wanted something with meat, I found three items with “carne” listed in the description. He picked one, and ended up with a plate of seasoned raw ground beef. I didn’t say I was fluent in Italian, just that many words crossed over from Spanish. Sorry George.


The rest of my trip in Italy allowed me to experience history, culture, and cuisine in an up-close and personal way. If you ever think of going to Italy, here’s a tip I got from a former colleague of mine… Start in the north and travel south. In each city have a pizza. Your first pizza in the northern part of Italy will taste fantastic, but as you move south, you find the pizza becomes more fresh and flavorful. It’s a fun experiment, which proved to be true for me.


I traveled to Oaxaca (pronounced wa-ha-ka), Mexico by myself, and loved every minute. In the mornings, I would walk the town and do research, then go to the wonderful restaurant in the Camino Real (see the picture of the interior courtyard on the photos tab), and write for an hour or two. Then I would go back out in the afternoon for more research and sightseeing. In the evenings, I would enjoy a wonderful three or four-course meal (for under $30) while reading a David Baldacci thriller. Afterwards I would enjoy the warm night and slowly stroll back to the hotel, where I would spend four or five hours writing the chapters that made up the Mexico segment. I would highly recommend a vacation to Oaxaca. It’s affordable and a fabulous place for a trip. Oaxaca is an hour flight south of Mexico City and is about eighty miles north of Guatemala.


My other trips to Pacific Grove (between Monterey and Carmel, California) and Sonoma, were very different. Since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, each was less than a two hour drive. In both locations, I was pampered with nice hotels, great food, and breathtaking scenery. I didn’t have to worry about a new language or a different culture, but I did try to see the world through the eyes of Jack, Maggy, and Ana.


So even if you don’t write a novel, I would recommend getting out and seeing the world. It’s full of incredible sights, people, food, and culture that is unlike anything you can experience at home.


Glenn Snyder


By gsnyder, Sep 10 2012 04:25AM

Watching and listening to all of the political rhetoric sometimes makes me nauseous. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had politicians that could just “Do the Right Thing?” Candidates and campaigns on both sides of the aisle seem to be misleading the public by outright fabricating stories, not worried about any potential fallout. It’s a sad state of what our politics have become.


Most of us want a politician that is unbiased by lobbyists, political contributions, and being re-elected. That idea was integral in my creation of Jack Barrett in One Moment in Time. What could the country, or world for that matter, be if our politicians truly looked out for the best interest of the people they serve, rather than themselves.


Many readers have said or written to me that they really enjoyed the debate and solution Jack came to around education spending in California. Although they acknowledged it was a creative solution to a difficult problem, what they liked the most was the way Jack approached solving the issue. Rather than backroom deals or boasting in the media, Jack brought all sides together for a brainstorming session. He pulled opinions and desires from all sides, and found the areas of overlap that they could all agree to.


I would like to believe that most politicians truly want what is best for this country and want to be good leaders. Unfortunately those who are out for their own power and wealth have gained too strong of a voice in our media. However, we have to remember that we are the ones with the power, the power to vote. Although we may not feel like our one vote carries any weight, just remember there are probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who feel the same way you do.


Glenn Snyder


By gsnyder, Sep 2 2012 06:02PM

I’ve been asked many times by aspiring writers about the process I went through to write One Moment in Time. The process from writing the first words to submitting the manuscript to be published took over nine years. Okay, yes I was working full time and teaching at S.F. State while writing, so my timeline may be longer than most. However, the version of One Moment in Time that was published is actually the fourth version.


It took me three years to complete my first draft. Once I did, I read it over a few times and caught many typos and mistakes. Next, I asked eight friends and family to help me edit (they are thanked on the last pages of the book). I couldn’t believe the amounts of edits — grammar, spelling, character and plot issues — they found. It took me about six months to re-write the novel to clean it up to where I thought it was perfect.


I then sought out a professional editor, and after a couple of tries, found Alice Peck. Alice was wonderful to work with, and when I saw her notes on my manuscript, I felt like a complete idiot for the mistakes that I had overlooked after several times reading it over. Alice pointed out things in my writing that I never knew I was doing. I re-wrote the book again and re-submitted it to Alice for a final read. She came back with fewer changes, but still I had some work to do. In the end, I could, not just see, but feel the difference in my writing.


I recently read a post on a social media website from a seventeen year-old writer. He said he just self-published his first novel on Amazon, but after it was published, he found spelling and grammar mistakes. He wanted to know if that was a big issue. Fourteen authors responded to him (myself included), and we all said the same thing, “You only get one chance to win over a reader, so make sure you put your best writing forward.”


The moral of the story for all of you future authors is to take your time. Rushing to market or publication with an inferior product will help you build a reputation, just not one that you would want.


Glenn Snyder


By gsnyder, Aug 27 2012 12:56AM

One of my favorite places to go is the town square in Sonoma. Napa gets all of the fanfare, but it also gets most of the tourists. Sonoma is a beautiful town a few miles west of Napa County and a few miles north of Marin County. Several times a year, my wife and I drive up to Sonoma for an afternoon or for a nice dinner at one of the fabulous restaurants on the square. The Sonoma town square is one of those hidden gems that locals know about, but not many others.


When I was picking a place for Jack’s first exposure to politics, Sonoma wasn’t my first thought, but I’m glad it was on the list. While writing the chapters that led up to and took place in Sonoma, I spent four nights at the Sonoma Hotel on the square. Each day, I would take my laptop to the park in the middle of the square, watch the children play and the ducks swim in the small pond. The environment was very conducive to writing, although those ducks can really capture one’s attention.


I tried to incorporate many of the top issues of the day that were being debated in Sonoma county, the biggest one at the time was the possibility of a new Indian casino. I hope that when you read the chapters in Sonoma, you can relate many of the issues to today’s political environment and wish we had a leader like Jack.


Glenn Snyder


By gsnyder, Aug 18 2012 10:18PM

The San Francisco segment took on a more personal feel for me in the past few years, as I switched jobs and now work in downtown San Francisco. For a while, I was even riding BART into work.


In my lifetime, I’ve lived through two major earthquakes, the 1989 Loma Prieta quake that rocked the World Series, and the 1994 Northridge quake in Los Angeles. I have many friends who live all over the country and those that never lived in California wonder how we can live knowing that an earthquake can come at any time. My response is simple, I would much rather have a significant earthquake that lasts for one minute every ten to fifteen years, than four or five hurricanes every year, or dozens of tornadoes. But that’s just me.


As for Jack, like all natural leaders, he showed poise and leadership in a time of crisis. I think when we witness natural disasters or even man made ones like the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, we should stop to thank those first responders who put their lives on the line every day to protect us.


Glenn Snyder


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