Sunday, August 16, 2015
TSS: August 16, 2015
I didn't mean to take a blogging break.
Last Friday I took my computer to the store for a minor repair. I was told it would be ready the following Monday. While I didn't plan to unplug for the weekend, I must admit it was a nice change of pace.
The three day break, however, turned into five. And the novelty of going off the grid had worn off. Needless to say, it has taken me a while to return to a blogging routine.
I started several MG novels, but didn't finish any of them. I can't decide if my mood affected my reading, or if the story just wasn't for me. I may give them another chance in a few weeks.
How to Avoid Making Art is a collaboration between Julia Cameron (author of the marvelous book, The Artist's Way) and her sister, Elizabeth Cameron. Each page offers a different excuse artists typically use to ignore or postpone)their craft. The simple illustrations perfectly capture the humorous truth of the text.
While the book is light-hearted and certainly made me smile, it was quite sobering to read all the excuses, one after the other.
By the end, I realized how ridiculous our excuses can be - and how often we sabotage our efforts in the name of doing better, more productive work.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires more time for creativity in their life. In other words, EVERYONE.
Oh my ... what a roller coaster week!
UP: I joined the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and hope to register for the fall regional conference tomorrow.
DOWN: My critique group expanded to a point where I no longer feel comfortable. I highly respect the core leaders, but fear too many voices will dilute their wisdom.
UP: I discovered one student registered for my Storytelling Workshop, which will begin next Monday.
DOWN: I still only have one student registered. In order for the course to hold, a minimum of four need to enroll. The class will most likely be postponed until the 2016/2017 school year.
UP: I experimented with the iBooks Author app - and fell in love! The idea of creating multi-media books feeds not only my passion for writing, but also my passion for teaching. I have SO many ideas for using this medium to introduce children to reading classics, viewing art, and traveling the world.
UP: I got caught up in the #PitchWars fever on Twitter. Such a wonderful opportunity for writers!
In essence, over 100 agents/published authors have volunteered their time to read queries and first chapters. In the end, each author will select one person to mentor for the next two months.
I spent the better part of the past two days revising, revising, and revising some more.
CRASH: I realized my manuscript is total crap.
True... it is a first draft and as Anne LaMott says, all first drafts are sh*tty, but it is still a painful realization.
I'm not ready to give up on First Impressionism. I still like the idea of time travel to 19th century Paris. I still like focusing on the artists and introducing readers to their masterpieces. I still like my characters and want to know how their story ends (in my mind this is a series of educational stories...) But perhaps the audience is not quite right - or the genre needs tweaking - or it lends itself better to an enhanced ebook.
It is now back to the drawing board...
I decided to use my unplugged status to learn more about Twitter.
I like organization. I like compartments. I like structure. Twitter didn't seem to have any of that.
But then I took Catherine Ensley's advice and read Twitter for Writers by Rayne Hall. This Kindle ebook is packed with useful information presented in easy-to-understand language.
Don't be fooled by the title. While Twitter is touted as being the best social media site for writers, but the tips in this book will help anyone learn their way around the Twitter-verse.
The biggest aha-moment for me was learning how to use LISTS. What a game changer!! I can now view tweets by theme - which is exactly what I need. I can also discover other like-minded twitter-ers by reading the lists of other users.
While I currently tend to follow mostly writers, I would like to connect with avid readers as well. If you have a Twitter account, please leave her user name in the comments below and I will gladly add you to my contacts. Feel free to follow me as well: @mycozybooknook