Monday, August 20, 2012

Ferris Wheel Wishes

Every year I visit the Minnesota State Fair. Who am I kidding I visit several times. But part of my tradition always includes a ride on the ferris wheel. 

Since I haven't been in school in a while my annual ferris wheel ride takes the place of my back to school restart. While I'm suspended high above the hustle and bustle of the fair I usually think about the end of summer and the beginning of fall. I think about goals I have for the fall. While I'm floating above the fair I usually make wishes as well.

Do you have an end of summer, beginning of fall restart? New school supplies, classes or recommitment to writing. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

RTW- Love of the Game

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 is: In honor of the end of the Olympics, share your favorite sports book!

The Olympic Ceremonies have come to a close, but there are some amazing sports books out there to keep the competitive spirit alive---at least until the next Olympics in 2014! List one or more of your favorites.

I just started reading Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally and I'm pretty sure it is going to be the perfect book to get me ready for football season. Skol Vikings!
Catching Jordan

But while I love football my favorite sport is baseball. It reminds me of growing up and spending time with my grandpa and playing catch in the yard. I was raised a Yankees fan but I live in Minneapolis and became a Twins fan ten years ago watching players like Brad Radke, Corey Koskie, David Ortiz (you're welcome Boston)  and  Torii Hunter become AL Central Division Champions. 

Being from Iowa my favorite baseball book is Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella. This is the book that the film Field of Dreams is based on. It's about baseball, fathers, sons, faith and forgiveness.  

Shoeless Joe

What is your favorite sports book?

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Creative Practice

A couple years ago I read a Mo Willems story about how adults should draw more.

My writing partner started a Draw Something game with me because she says it is good creative practice because 1. You draw things, sometimes multiple things. 2. you get to pick what you want to draw but you can only choose from three things. 3. You get to see your friends drawing and see what techniques work and learn new tricks.

And I was like well Mo Willems says people should draw more.

I never really stopped drawing. As a matter of fact when my friends kids were younger and I did more babysitting one of my favorite things to do was draw. When the kids were two and three they thought it was pretty cool that I could draw a fire truck, dinosaur, or Grumpy Bear.

So my new Creative Practice thing is Draw Something. I try to get all my creative type friends to play because it is good to draw or doodle.

I've noticed that since I've started playing I've become better at drawing or sketching out ideas for people. My drawing has improved- OK so I'm really just drawing on the iPod/iPad screen with my finger but still I've come a long way from the stick figures of a few months ago.

I've become more courageous in my creativity. One of my co-workers often asks input from other people about my drawings. Not because they are awful but because this friend isn't the best at pop culture stuff which I totally rock at. So not only is the person guessing my drawing seeing it but a few other co-workers might see it too. Somehow the fact that several people might see my creative endeavors on the iPad has made me feel bolder in other parts of my creative life.

Are there any games or things you've found to help your creative/writing life?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Creating change

Last week my Facebook feed was full of news of people taking sides on an issue. Many people posted of de-friendings and anger over this issue.

People felt like they had to take a side because clearly not taking a side and posting what side you are on is like supporting the other side.

I confess I tried to sum up my feelings in a status update or a blog post. But then I remembered that as a writer I have the power to create. I knew the status update would likely lead to one of those energy sucking Facebook discussions/debates.

Instead I turned my energy to my own writing. Instead of posting my side on the issue I remembered how important it was to me when I was a kid to see families like mine represented(my parents were divorced) in the stories I read and I revised a story to include a GLBT family.  

As writers we have the power to create a world as we'd like it to be in the stories we tell. We get to ask the what if questions. We can create stories that celebrate diversity, peace, justice. We get to write the story where the geeky girl gets the guy or the skinny orphan with glasses defeats the bad guy.

Words, books and stories are read and passed and shared. I feel like writers and artists have the ability to create real change. Not just by posting a status update or blog post that gets shared by everyone but by creating stories and art that changes people.

I'm not sure if the story I revised last week will go out into the world and be read by other people and maybe lead to a more accepting world but at the end of the day I feel I made positive progress as a writer and I spent my energy writing.

How do you create a better world in your writing? Diverse characters? Justice? Ice Cream with no calories?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

RTW- Best book of July

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 is: What was the best book you read in July?
This is so easy. I finally read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus

I love the world that is created in this book. This book appealed to the night owl in me with the midnight dinners and a circus that performs only at night. 

Books with a theatrical element always work well for me because they are set in a world I relate to very well working in theater. I was hooked in the first chapter and then when a character walked by dressers and stagehands(my people) on their way backstage I knew that I was going to love this book.

July has been so busy. I've been working on Roman Holiday which is a big show with lots of people in it. I've been writing, working on a draft of my wip and a PB idea for the 12X12in12 Challenge and an personal essay.

What was your favorite book of July? What projects did you tackle in July?