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Archive for the ‘learning curve’ Category

Got the t-shirt, or in this case, my 2012 NaNoWriMo Winner-180x180winners certificate. I wasn’t as excited to collect this “goodie” as my first time around the NaNoWriMo block, in 2010. Nothing rivals first times.

If I picked feelings like daisies growing in a grassy field, I would pick these: satisfaction that I persevered and have a new story to continue to shape; relief that the exercise is over; and wonder over how much I have learned since my first experience writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

In The Forest for the Trees, Betsy Lerner quotes Michael Cunningham:

Fearlessness in the face of your own ineptitude is a useful tool.

I love that novel writing is such an exercise in courage. Writing builds character –the writer’s character as well as fictional characters. To persevere in the face of distraction (I dropped my blogs for a month), rejection (a friend dropped me for being unavailable) and demanding fictional characters who hijack your story and take you places you may not want to go, demonstrates you are willing to pay the high cost of a creative life.

It’s the difference between standing on a riverbank, wondering what life is like on the other side, and jumping into the water to experience the pull of the current, never mind what’s on the other side.

Congratulations to all those who put a toe in the river this year.

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Going to Twitter is like moving to the big city and starting a new high school. Will the kids like me? Do I have enough friends? Did I choose the right group? If you are a small town girl with big town aspirations it can be overwhelming.  Everyone knows so much more than I do. How will I ever get noticed?

I recently had a conversation with a high school girlfriend  I’m traveling to Eastern Europe with this summer. She started our high school in her senior year. Sipping wine on her spacious deck overlooking Laguna Hills we reminisced about our connection. She said:

 

You all had known each other since kindergarten;I honestly don’t remember why we became friends.

I remember. (more…)

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by spokesphoto at dreamstime.com

Much is being written about the social media time sink. How do I know? I visit the websites of the @newfriends popping up on my TweetDeck. That’s how I found Waste Time on This, not That by Kristin Tennant. Kristin suggests ways to add actual face-to-face to the mix of pinning, tweeting and posting. I have enough trouble managing this bourgeoning daily workout without meet ups for coffee or game night, but I take her point.

I’m in learning mode. I hope this will get easier. Like every new venture there are upsides and downsides. I choose carefully which media to follow. One happy choice is Relevant Magazine. I want to know what young Christian people are thinking. A forum post put me in touch with John Tibbs, a 21-year-old music and worship pastor with opinions about the form and content of modern church worship.  I’m heartened that young people are wrestling with these issues from inside the church walls. (more…)

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photo by Stuart Corlett courtesy Dreamstime.com

Make it an hourly practice to bond your work and your walk—so said Davis Bunn at the recent Christian Writers Guild Conference. For me, writing is a walk of faith.  Faith is something that must be worked out with fear and trembling.

In my quest for publication I’m putting my social media ducks in order and learning about the publishing business. I highly recommend a subscription to Publishers Weekly. PW appears on my Nook every Monday. In addition to hard data I find nuggets of inspiration. This week it came from Peter Brantley, author of Drag; Drop; Read.

Sometimes, words are the most God-filled thing we can offer. Written language provides us an accessible threshold for communicating among human beings who can imagine more than they can understand.

Each step of the process has been fearful. That’s exactly how many of us approach the business side of writing. Brantley says that technology will give us new canvases, brushes and palettes to craft different kinds of stories. Are we up for that?

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One reason I chose to set The Sheepwalker in the 1950s was so the only technology my MC would have to deal with would be a telephone and a typewriter. Burgeoning social media dominated the conversation at the 2012 Christian Writers Guild Conference. It’s a steep learning curve. (more…)

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Family secrets

I ordered postcards to use when I pitch The Sheepwalker to agents and publishers.  I found this image on Dreamstime and edited in Photoshop to add text and sepia tone. I’m still learning!

You’ll notice there are no sheep in this graphic.  That’s because it would land me in the pet section of the bookstore.

I like this graphic because it represents the four women who feature prominently in my story. Do you see the fourth face? That’s a clue!

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