So, I’ve been busy this month, working on the middle grade novel, catching up on serious reading, and (still) researching agents. But I’ve also been working on the Picture Book Idea Month and enjoying the daily blog posts going on over there. This week, amongst the posts, I came across a link to artist Austin Kleon (and thank you, Liz Garton Scanlon for pointing me in his direction).
Austin Kleon has a book coming out (March, 2012) called Steal Like an Artist. And if you zip over and read this WHOLE post on “How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)”, you, the writer, will read something and think, Wow. That’s exactly what I needed to read today.
Or maybe you’ll be like me and find lots of somethings you needed to read. And when you read the last something, “Creativity is subtraction,” you will sigh and think, Oh, yes, that’s it exactly.
Dear New Writer,
I was so excited when I saw you at the writer’s group today! I know you were probably a little nervous, and I know how hard it was for you to read aloud what you’d written. But you took that first step, and good for you! You’re on your way! I’m feeling downright Seussical!
Look at you go! Off to start your journey–and you’re just about to bust with all the excitement of this new passion for writing! You have so much to say, and you can’t wait to get all your words out there! Right now, you’re busy creating and imagining and the ideas flow so fast, you can barely get them all on the paper. That’s a great beginning!
I want you to remember that joy. I want you to grab hold to all those wonderful feelings and store them away. I wish you could have heard yourself gushing when you talked about what you’re working on. Or seen your face lighting up as you jumped from one thought to the next!
I was so glad I was there, to see your bright, shining face, to hear the excitement in your voice as you shared your writing dreams. Because in those few moments, I remembered. That’s why I love writing.
Thank you, thank you, dear new writer.
This is my first post in May, and generally, what with May being all about Spring, and school days winding down, and my bare little toesies poking out of flip-flops, my thoughts turn to merriment and such.
However, I would be remiss if I did not address certain events which have recently transpired, namely the (sorta) sudden demise of Osama bin Laden.
Frankly, I’m not sure when the man died, as news reports vary on that fact. And if I’m being perfectly honest, I’m a tad confused as to why most networks spell it “Osama” and yet another network spells it “Usama.” What I am certain about is that the person who orchestrated a heinous terrorist attack upon thousands of innocent American people has been stopped. And for that, I’m grateful. In fact, I’d like to thank every courageous man and woman in our military and varied services who show up for work each day to fight the good fight.
I show up for work almost every day, and I fight, too, if you count arguing with Sally the Crazy Dog. Somehow, it doesn’t seem quite as…well, courageous. But still, I get to sit here at my desk, with my bare toesies wiggling, and laughing at Steve Martin’s hilarious essay “Writing is Easy!” (from his book, Pure Drivel) until the Beneficent Mr. Hall comes upstairs to find out if I’m all right.
Yes, Mr. Hall, I’m all right. I’m better than all right on this, my first post in May. Because I live in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
(Thanks to isafmedia for the photo!)
I’m sitting here, listening to birds outside my window. The sunlight throws a checkerboard pattern against the sheer curtains, and my spiderwort’s dripping with indigo blooms. In short, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
It’s hard to believe that many folks in my neighboring counties, in my neighboring states, aren’t having such a beautiful day. The birds might be singing, but their notes may be closer to songs of distress at finding their treetop homes gone. The sun still shines through plaid shirts flapping from torn-in-two power line poles. And it always amazes me to see a flower bed, bursting with reds, blues and yellows, perfectly intact ten yards from a flattened house.
Nature is beautiful yet oh, so powerful, and my heart and prayers go out to all those affected by the recent tornadoes. I’m sure there are many stories, and perhaps one of these tales or essays will be told for the Whispering Prairie Press Writing Awards.
They’re looking for poetry, flash fiction, and essays, and the entry fee is $5.00. Deadline’s June 30, 2011. Maybe by then, it will be a beautiful day in the neighborhood for us all.
When I was a kidder, Good Friday was…quiet. Around noon, a somberness would settle over the everyday activities, culminating in an evening service that left all spiritually bereft. Even children could sense the sadness of this sacred day.
These days, I’m not sure Good Friday is that much different from any other Friday. Kids have baseball games, adults have to work late into the evening, moms rush around with last minute shopping for Easter dinners. I mean, if aliens crash landed on Earth today, they might wonder why humans were making such a fuss about recycling (It’s also Earth Day). But would they notice anything else?
Would they find the spiritual quiet of Good Friday?