Archive for February, 2008

Inspiration from Cynthia Whitcomb

Veteran screenwriter Cynthia Whitcomb gave a very inspiring talk last week at the Wilsonville Library as part of the Northwest Author Series. She spoke mainly on the topic of screenwriting and I was impressed by how readily she could draw up examples of her how-to suggestions. I think she gave us the equivalent of three hours of helpful material in one hour, which was inspirational in and of itself.

Even though  I’m not currently working on a screenplay (I threaten to take her screenwriting class on a regular basis but am always too booked up to take it), I so appreciated her insights on the creative process as it relates to writing.

She said a few things I really needed to hear after working hard and long on book two. Specifically, she emphasized the importance of taking down time after a spurt of hard work. Since this practice is not generally validated in hard-working America, it was really helpful to be reminded of the importance of rest right now.

Here’s an article Cynthia has written and reprinted on the creative cycle. See where you are in the cycle.

Are you an inspiration junkie but not big on the follow-through?

Are you all work and no rest?

Are you constantly “resting” without finding any traction in either inspiration or work?

A healthy creative cycle contains all three aspects. So I’m working on my rest muscle. Not only in the amount of work I’m tackling on a daily basis but in the way I approach my daily work.

In case I didn’t mention it, Cynthia was the one who mentioned the spinning ballerina in her monthly Willamette Writers Newsletter Column.

Remember her? Is she still spinning the same direction for you?

I did finally get her to turn left but only after a full day of student critiques. Apparently I “live” in my right brain. What can you do?

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Misc. Thoughts from a Misc. Brain

Wow. I’m still tired from meeting my Get Known Before the Book Deal Deadline last week.

I worked my (bleep!) off. For months. This past weekend I was tired to the bone.

Apparently I’m still recovering. On the upside, no more getting up at 4:00 a.m.! (At least not this month.)

I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a bit of a breather and work at a nice manageable pace.

I even took a nap today! What an amazing concept.

My workout (on the trampoline while watching Oprah) hit a skid, unfortunately, about two weeks ago. Haven’t been willing to get on the scale to access the damage yet. Not losing sleep over it either, though.

It was such a beautiful day today that I took the dogs for a walk. My husband usually runs them but he has his dress rehearsal for Thoroughly Modern Millie tonight.

I’m thinking about switching my workouts outside now that the weather has been so nice (sorry, snowbound mamas!). Maybe even work my way up to running with the dogs.

Now that would be quite a sight.

This is one of those  posts you are never supposed to write. You know that kind that doesn’t really say anything…yeah, this is one of those. But sometimes I think it’s okay to break the rules as long as you don’t step on anyone else’s toes while breaking them. Know what I’m saying?

Going to definitely do more recuperating this week and enjoy going my hubby’s show a few times with Samantha and some of her little friends. It’s full of tap dancing and twenties fashions and fun. 🙂

Catching up on all things household-related, as well. But that’s really boring to write about. Suffice it to say, I didn’t recognize my own kitchen earlier, I’d gotten so used to dirty cabinets and stacked dishes.

It feels like…turning a corner. And I like that feeling.

Happy hump day!

Don’t Forget: A List

Don’t forget that Friday, Leap Day, is the last day to send in your receipt for a new copy of Writer Mama that you got this month to get the essay markets. You may forward your receipt to: “writer mama 2 at earthlink dot net”

Don’t forget that the week to submit your application for the next full scholarship for Writing and Publishing The Short Stuff is between March 9-March 16th. I’ll announce the application requirements on March 8th. Please pass it on!

Don’t forget that the next round of classes starts April 16th. I’ll be offering WPSS and Pitching Practice. (I’ve decided to hold off on Platform Building Basics until August 20th. I’ll update the classes page soon.)

Don’t forget that I’m raising the price of WPSS in August to $199.00. Sign up for April for your last chance to get the less expensive price.

Don’t forget (okay, you probably didn’t know this) the WPSS class will likely be full by the time of the scholarship winner announcement) so don’t plan to try for the scholarship first and then sign up for the class if you don’t win. The scholarship is only for folks who truly cannot afford the class. 🙂

Don’t forget to keep aiming higher and higher and higher…that’s the path to success!

Writer Mama Invitations to Conferences!

Well, I’m having a happy Monday. I was just re-invited to the Writer’s Digest/BEA Conference in L.A. on Wednesday, May 28th. Yahoo!

I’ve also been invited to the SCBWI-Oregon Writer’s Conference in Portland, Oregon on May 16th-17th.

And, it’s official. I’ve been re-invited to the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon August 1-3rd.

Will I see you at any of these conferences? I sure hope so! (Always come up and introduce yourself if we’ve connected online—or even if we haven’t.)

You may want to read Mary Andonian’s Writing Conference Success columns in the 2007 Writer’s on the Rise to start getting your conference game going now.

I’ll be offering a nonfiction book proposal writing class this summer, Craft a Saleable Nonfiction Proposal.

If you haven’t already planned a writer’s conference into your year, I highly recommend it! Having a deadline always helps. Mixing with industry insiders and hearing about the latest trends is key. And connecting with fellow writers LIVE is one of my favorite things. 🙂

Hope to see you at a Writer’s Conference in 2008!

Northwest Author Series Presents Cynthia Whitcomb This Sunday!

Be there or be square! It’s going to be a great lead-up to Oscar night!

Cynthia Whitcomb Poster

The Birds Return

If you are snow-bound, I apologize for this post. But I just have to write about the taste of Spring (!!!) that we are getting here in Oregon.

We live on an  fertile stretch of land known as the Willamette Valley that goes all the way from the Washington/Oregon border to Eugene.

What that means is you can actually garden here all year round. I’ve seen some college friends do it in Eugene with the assistance of plastic tarps. Amazing!

For days I’ve been hearing birds twitter, not just in the morning but throughout the day. After a long, gray winter (which actually has not been all that bad) it’s so lovely to glimpse a few subtle signs of Spring.

Especially, when you have spent months computer bound, working hard on your next book! The other day, I got the bird feeder out and Samantha scooped in the bird seed. Yesterday, the finches were feeding!

How could something so simple be so exciting? Perhaps this explains why bird watching is such a popular hobby these days.

My friend Carol Frishman has written a book on the topic  I want to suggest to all of you bird-lovers out there. It’s called:

Attracting and Feeding Backyard Birds By Carol Frischmann

You can visit her site here.

Happy almost Spring, mamas!

February Writers on the Rise Now Archived

Did you miss the February Writers on the Rise this month?

If so, it’s over here in all of its glory.

What an amazing team of writers who are living the dream as working writers…and everything else that writers do.


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