Tuesday Tip: A Pinterest Primer

ImageI’m just going to start by saying I didn’t think I was the Pinterest type. You know–the artsy-craftsy, look-what-I-can-do-with-duct-tape-and-shiitake-mushrooms type.

To be honest, I wouldn’t know a shiitake from a Shia Labeouf. But I will, on occasion, do something craftsy. Not fancy craftsy, mind you. I like my crafts the way I like cooking: if it takes more than fifteen minutes, I’m probably going to pass.

But Pinterest is not just about crafts and recipes. I mean, there’s an awful lot of crafts and recipes there, but you’ll find other stuff that may inspire you in other ways. And for a writer, inspiration can be a very good thing.

So here’s a very simple primer for Pinterest from those keen folks at Mashable: Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network.

And notice that Pinterest is a social network. It can’t hurt to expand your social networks, if you’re a writer. That’s why I waded into Pinterest.

(It can hurt if you stay in those artsy-craftsy-social waters so long that you forget to write. I’m just sayin’.)

Inspiration for the Picture Book Writer

It’s nearly the end of the month and I’m afraid that I still do not have my picture book manuscript completed for the 12 x 12 in ’12 competition.

But I’d marked Mem Fox’s delightful website and most particularly, her list of 20 Do’s and Don’ts of picture book writing. That list was like a condensed class in picture book writing, and very, very helpful.

But if I’m being really honest, it was stumbling upon Mem reading The Goblin and The Empty Chair that truly inspired me. First, because she so obviously loves reading, and the joy in her voice is absolutely contagious. Secondly, because it’s such a lovely story, and I’m such a sucker for fairy tale stories. And thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, I was suddenly transported.

Just like that, I was a much younger mom, trooping through the library, watching my kidders pick out books, and bringing me their treasures. And there was a Mem Fox book in the bunch, and oh, how we loved her books.

Mem Fox’s books first came out way back when the Junior Halls were very Junior Halls. And the The Goblin and the Empty Chair was published in 2009. So there’s hope for me yet.

Mingling and Moving Forward

So I had a lovely time at Springmingle, the Southern Breeze’s SCBWI conference this past weekend in Atlanta. It’s all over, as they say, but the transcribing of the notes.

Er…I did take notes. When I’m listening to presentations on writing fine dialogue or how to punch up a plot or what makes a thriller, I scribble furiously. But when I’m listening to a speech that’s inspiring and thoughtful and just fills my soul with all those writerly words I need to hear, the notes sort of drift off into a word or two. Oopsies.

So I’m sorry that I can’t share Kirby Larson’s points from her wonderful keynote speech. But I can direct you to her blog where she lists all the books she mentioned (that was lucky, huh?) and you can follow her posts to get a little inspiration and/or information. (By the way, is it only in the South where mac ‘n cheese is a vegetable? I mean, if you go through the cafeteria line, where else are they going to put mac ‘n cheese???)

Anyway, I picked up her latest book, The Friendship Doll, and of course, Cathy-on-a-Stick had to get in the picture with ’em. (I think my pic was a little miffed that the pics on the book were all wearing delightful outfits while Cathy-on-a-stick was a tad under-dressed for the occasion.)

And I did remember the last poem that Kirby read called “God Says Yes to Me” by Kaylin Haught. I love the last lines…

what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

Yep, I’ll keep going to conferences (and probably forget to take notes). But that’s okay. I’m listening and learning,  writing and growing. And someday, I’ll get my Yes.