Monday, February 21, 2011

The Wildest Edge of Edges

"If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill--take it and push it as far as it will go, push it beyond where it has ever been before, push it to the wildest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of magic." --Tom Robbins

Tuesday, February 15, 2011



Here's my new favorite question to ask people:

What would you do if you could do anything and didn't have to worry about paying the mortgage or buying food for your family?

Now, I'm not a therapist or a life coach or a self-help guru (although the last two sound like awesome jobs!), but I believe our individual answers to that question can be revealing. And I think that we need to try and get as close as possible to living ouranswer. Whether we take baby steps or Bigfoot steps doesn't matter as much as taking those steps.

So, now I ask you the same question: What would you do if you could do anything you wanted to do? If you're not ready to answer that question here in the blogworld, answer it in your journal. Then, if you have a couple of extra minutes, what steps are you taking (or are you going to take) to live your answer?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy V-Day, Muse! I love you!

For Valentine's Day this year, I've decided to send flowers to my muse. Why? Because she's awesome!

Last night, after what had pretty much been a week-long writing dry spell (my fault, not hers), I opened up Word and started writing a scene I've had in my head for a while for Cinder Thief. It wasn't in order of what I've been doing and, like a lot of my revision has been, wasn't even in the first draft. But it's been rattling around in there, and I decided yesterday it had to get down on paper. Or in an electronic file as it were. Four pages done. Woot!

Then, I still had all of this...writing energy. I was unstoppable, so I didn't stop. I opened up Un-Merci-ful, which I haven't looked at since I started revising Cinder Thief in December and revised a scene (which really was writing almost an entirely new scene). It was awesome! Full of...awesome! Four and a half pages of awesome. Woot woot!

So, after that, I really should have gone to bed, you know, because I had to get up and go to work and all. But being unstoppable as I was, I opened up the Maui romance, which I haven't looked at since October. Yeah, it was pretty much genius. I figured out the whole problem that the two characters were having, discovered that there was legal basis for an annulment for such a problem, and wrote 5 1/2 pages of genius. Woot woot woot!

Really, I'm not tooting my own horn here. I'm here to toot my muse's horn.

Thank you, Muse, for being so awesome. What would I do without you? Enjoy the flowers and have a lovely Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Find Peace

Originally uploaded by VonMurr

"There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub." --Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Writer Packrat (Or how cleaning out my studio is like revision)

I have a room in my house that I call my "studio." Others might call it a craft room (or a "crap" room), but I call it my studio.

In my studio, I have a desk for making art. I have a sewing machine all set up on its very own table. I even have a writing desk. Do you know where I write? On my bed. Why don't I use my desk?

I can't even get to it.

I also can't use my art desk or my sewing machine. *hangs head in disgust*

I do mixed-media art. What does that mean? That means that I have my fingers in many different kinds of art supplies. Some people wouldn't even consider what I have in there an "art supply." (Why do you have all of the bubble wrap you've ever got in the mail in here? You use these shelf liners for what? What are these empty envelopes that come in your bills doing stacked up on the floor?)

The problem: I keep everything because one day I might need it for something in my art. That strip of scrapbook paper that you'd throw away? Yeah, I'd keep that. That fluffy romance that you read once and you're ready to send it to the thrift store? I could use it to make a cool pendant. That broken necklace that you'll never wear again? Hmm, let me see that...

Last week, as I attempted to make sense of the national disaster that is my studio, I came to the realization that cleaning out my studio is much like trying to revise my writing.

The problem: Sometimes I write something that I really, really love in the first draft. And then others really, really love it too. I feel like I have to keep it. Other people liked it! Why would I toss that line of dialogue or that description?

Because the story no longer needs it.

But it's still so hard to get rid of. I've had to learn that I can't keep it simply because I like it; I have to stay true to my story, and the story has grown up, changed. I can't tie it down with bits and pieces it no longer needs.

It's hard to let those favorite bits go, but, in the end, the story is the most important thing.

Now if I could just learn to do that in my studio...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Scariest Moment

Originally uploaded by iwouldstay

"The scariest moment is always just before you start." --Stephen King

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011: One Month Down, 11 More to Go

Holy cow! It's already February 1st. Seriously, where did January go?

On the Big Scary Fun goal front, I've accomplished a couple of things: I finally got in my application for the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. That was stressful. Now we move on to the hardest part of the application...waiting.

I had also planned on having a 1/3 of my novel revised by the end of the month, and I'm now on page 102. So, I'm hoping that's 1/3.

Amy Jo and I decided to go to LDStorymakers in May and we're both pitching to agents. (What am I doing?! Someone please tell me how I'm supposed to pitch to an agent!) And then we're also both going to WIFYR again this year and we're in the Bootcamp session. (Again, What am I doing?!)

Now I need to move on to February. I have another 100 pages to revise in the novel and it's a short month, so I better get cracking.

Give me a quick update of your January. How's 2011 treating you so far?