It’s Day IDK anymore
It’s Day IDK anymore of COVID-19 shelter in place/work from home for me. I realize this experience is as different for each of us as who we are. Some people, utility workers, grocery store workers, food chain employees, truckers, etc., must still go to work, hopefully in as safe as possible environments. Some, like those in the medical field and public safety service, etc., must go to work despite the fact that their environments and/or interactions are most definitely not safe. I am grateful to be able to work from home and to have a home from which to work.
Because of the nature of the work I do, I am still employed and still very engaged with my work colleagues.
And I am appreciative.
Upcoming Appearances, Panels, and a Freelance Article
I have two major event appearances coming up quick. The first is the debut Cirque De Livre Writer’s Conference in downtown Mesa, Arizona May 27-19, 2016. I will be doing panels, signing books and hanging out with a lot of great authors, editors, illustrators, booksellers, screenwriters, etc., etc.
Here are the event details: Cirque de Livre
Here is my list of panels:
Writing Picture Books: Not as Easy as it Looks (PART 1)
Since the beginning of this writing journey, I have wanted to write a picture book. And, like many authors, I have more than one abandoned picture book manuscript to my name. I sometimes imagine them huddling together in a drawer somewhere, trying to keep warm. Out of sight, but not necessarily out of mind. I still love the ideas for those stories deeply, but I just could not figure out how to make them work.
While writing novels is not particularly easy, I found myself better able to figure out the structure of the longer format. I still had to study my craft, and learn to edit with an iron fisted pen, but it has always felt more natural to me than the shorter, “easier” children’s picture book format.
Plotting, Not Plodding!
Plot points, crisis, and climax, oh my! I have been reading up on plotting, taking a deep dive into process and techniques, attempting to distill the information that others have provided in books like The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson, Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell, Building Better Plots by Robert Kernen, and The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman into something that I can easily absorb and make part of my ingrained writing process and inform my teaching process, as well.
This is not the first time I have delved into plot at this level. A couple of years ago, I published an essay about plot called “Plot Isn’t Just a Four-Letter Word,” You can find it on line here for free.
Setting: Emotional Depth Through Character Perspective
When writing, I start from character, not simply because I think it’s a great place to start—although, for me, it’s mostly character engagement that keeps me reading (or writing) a book or story—but more so because that’s just the way my brain works.
So, when describing the landscape/creating the setting for the book, everything I see is filtered through the eyes of my characters. This is a huge plus in developing voice and for showing the character’s emotional journey, because the world the reader sees is from the perspective of the characters living in and experiencing it.
Here and There, This and That
I have been here and there, doing this and that. So here’s a quick update on what’s been going on in my world.
A huge shout out and thank you to Book Shoppe proprietor extraordinaire, Lady Ann Chamberlain. (She’s also an international bestselling author. Check out her website here🙂 This year’s Arizona Renaissance Faire appearance was another resounding success. Not only did I meet and speak with a huge number of new readers, as well as some fine aspiring authors, but I also received the Prince’s favor (and some lovely flattery). Huzzah! And I would be remiss if I did not thank my incredible assistant, Jen LaBuzz. Jen, I’m so glad your arms did not fall off!
Things I Learned Writing The Matriarch’s Devise
As with every new book or writing project, there are a lot of things I learned writing The Matriarch’s Devise. However, one of the key things I grew to understand on a deeper level is how much trust it takes to bring a story to life and send it out into the world. Here are five things I learned about trust while writing the sequel to The Healer’s Legacy: