Wednesday, March 28, 2012

RTW- Best Book of March

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs.

This Week's Topic:
What was the best book you read in March? 

Anna and the French KissMy favorite book of March was Anna and the French Kiss by  Stephanie Perkins.  

I loved this book. Whenever I read a YA contemporary it feels like visiting with an old friend. I love dystopia and fantasy but I love books like this.  

I like that Anna goes to France rather reluctantly and then really finds herself there.  Not only that but the writing made me want to go to Paris. 

I started reading Lola and the Boy Next Door the other day and I can tell I'm going to love it as much or even more than Anna and the French Kiss. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Diorama Time

It's that time of year when I use the hot glue gun to create marshmallow candy awesomeness.  It's time for the 2012 Pioneer Press Peep Diorama Contest.

I know that other diorama contests have sprung up including The Washington Post's Peep Show but I feel like Minnesota lead the way because ours is the 9th annual.

I decided my theme would be Zombie Peep Crawl, a diorama celebrating the tradition of Zombie Pub Crawl that takes over Washington and Cedar Ave. in Minneapolis with 8000 Zombies lurching down the street.  The next day the sidewalk is covered in fake blood and Zombie parts.

How to make a diorama. (I'm providing a valuable resource here.  My diorama posts are my most searched/viewed posts.)

Step 1: Supplies. This year's diorama included a trip to the Peep store at the Mall of America. People they have Peeps in every color, both bunnies and chicks. It is the one stop shop for Peep dioramas.

 Step 2: Set pieces. I created signs and miniature versions of some of the stops along the Zombie Pub Crawl route.
400 Bar and Grumpy's

More set pieces. I also added a blue construction paper background.

Step 3- Decorate Peeps. Some years this means costumes but this year it meant removing ears and making them look like they'd been eating braaaiiiinnnsss.

Step 4- Place Peeps in diorama.  This is the part that involves the glue gun. Arrange Peeps creatively keeping in mind color and variety.

Step 5- Have photos taken by professional photographer. My friend Amy took the photos for the actual entry. They are awesome.  She also takes really great pictures of kids, families and weddings so if you live in the Twin Cities you should check her out. 

Step 6- Enter contest and promote.

Just in case you've missed Peep dioramas of years past here are links.
Princess Peep

And for all you Harlan Ellison fans out there, my friend Sara's diorama from last year Repeep Harlequin!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Revision Patio

I feel like I haven't been updating as frequently or commenting on all of the blogs I normally visit.  I have a couple weeks off work and am trying to finish this revision which has taken forever.

The good thing is that I finally feel like I've found the magic puzzle pieces that feel like they will make this story work.  I've added some new layers of conflict and choices for my mc to make.  Also things where she gets what she wants but it means something she doesn't want as well.

This revision had been going so slow and I was almost ready to put it away and not work on it. See I'd been reading a lot of YA dystopia like Divergent and The Hunger Games, you know books that make your heart race and your palms sweat, and my contemporary MG seemed to be lacking. Then I had this sort of Don't-give-up-dream and I thought about how to add more conflict to my story. I'm excited trying out these new ideas.

I plan on doing the A to Z Challenge so I'm working on my plan for that but for now I'm sitting on the revision patio or in the revision coffee shop if it is raining and finishing this revision.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How I find patience

Sometimes as a writer I feel impatient. Time spent writing, dreaming and hoping that one of these manuscripts will be the one.
I'm working on a revision and currently a lot of things are changing and shifting in that manuscript. The changes are scary but I know I shouldn't give up because I feel like even though they are scary these are the kinds of complications and conflicts that are going to take my wip from good to better.

The other day I had a dream that Maurice Sendak and I were having a conversation about writing for kids. As I told a friend when he asked what we talked about "I can't remember but I'm pretty sure he wasn't telling me to give up writing and go into investment banking."

When I get impatient because I think things aren't happening fast enough or I think I've been at this writing thing for a long time and I want something to happen I think about my Grandma.

My Grandma lost her husband when she was 36. She had three kids under the age of 5. In order to provide for her family she went to work at the financial planning business her husband had started.  In 1950. This was before Oprah and Suze Orman.  Many of her clients left, happy to help her in other ways but not trusting that a woman could manage their money.

Over the next 45 years she built a business that still exists today.  She became successful. She was honored and looked up to as a successful business woman in her community.

So when I get impatient for success I look at all my Grandma accomplished after the 35 and hope that I can accomplish half that much.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

RTW- It's My Life

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered.

This Week's Topic: NAME THIS LIFE: What would your memoir be called?

I have thought about this before and my memoir would definitely be called Dressing Them Up because that is pretty much what I do in my life in theater.  It is actually the name of my other blog which I don't update very often. It would probably tell my journey into theater.  I have been writing a fictional novel for grownups about a crew or wardrobe girls who win the Powerball. So far it is just for fun but we'll see. 

Quick change costume preset

What would your memoir be called?

Monday, March 05, 2012

A Shot of Inspiration

This weekend I watched Being Elmo, the documentary about the career of Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who plays Elmo.

It follows his story from a kid making puppets through the first shows he worked on to when he started working with Jim Henson to when he made Elmo into this beloved character.  

It's available on Netflix and you should watch it but the end of this clip has him talking about doing what makes you happy and following your dream.  

When I first moved to Minneapolis I worked making costumes for Sesame Street Live so maybe that is why I connected with this film and can see it as an inspiration for writers and artists and anyone pursuing a dream.