Sunday, November 27, 2011

Want to have an Enchanted Conversation?

Once upon a time, Kate Wolford started a delightful online magazine called Enchanted Conversation for all of us fairytale lovers who had grown up but can't let go of our addiction (as proof, with some of my first money earned as an adult, I bought volumes by Hans Christian Anderson, the Brothers Grimm, and Andrew of my personal favorites...and they grace my shelves as they had for the past 30 years).

Alas, Enchanted Conversation is closing its doors, but I have been incredibly lucky to be chosen to do a guest blog post. It's up right now! Go on, you know you wanna read it. It has food, childhood memories, fire hazards, brave hero gone nut-soid, his beautiful wife, and a couple of magical moon bunnies. Almost as exciting as The Princess Bride! Ok, not really, but it's a cute story if you like multicultural myths.  :)

I know many of us will miss Enchanted Conversation and the twists on fairy tales that it offered, but I wish Kate the best in her new venture, Nostalgia. Edited. and invite you to join her there where she has lots of fun things planned!

"There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day." – Alexander Woolcott

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to inspire Teresa

...which is me, in case you hadn't noticed where you are on the internet.

While other writers may have muses, I have only my foggy brain and killer wit to inspire me. And probably not the latter either. I'm a writer; I make things up and think I'm funny.

So, this foggy brain o' mine is not exactly good at coming up with great ideas at a moment's notice. But thanks to my Spec-Fic critique group's slave-driving dedicated leader, Russell, I'm expected to produce a story for the group to critique once every seven weeks. Where the heck am I supposed to come up with that many stories a year?  Sure, I could edit some stories and re-submit to the group, but since I'm not writing novels, seeing the same short story more than three times in a year can get pretty boring.

What to do? What to do? While perusing my over-stuffed bookcases, I found this little gem:

So I flip through it, having no memory of buying it, and a lightbulb goes on! Heeey, I write Speculative Fiction; I should write a short story on every topic in that book. Perhaps in alphabetical order? 

It beats standing on street corners and panhandling for ideas, or trying to win the idea lottery.

I think I'm going to do it. I love giving myself challenges that make me pull my hair out. I know how to have fun!

What about you? If you write, how do you come up with ideas one after another?

"There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day." – Alexander Woolcott

Monday, November 7, 2011

Refreshing, rejuvenating, remarkable retreat

The only "re..." word that I can't use is "relaxing."

I just spent the weekend at a writers retreat offered by the Indiana chapter of SCBWI and my head is a-swimming. Kristi Valiant and Alina Klein did an incredible job organizing this event. I hadn't been to an SCBWI event in probably 6 or 7 years; I think I've been missing out.

There were roundtable discussions on doing revisions, marketing, and networking. There were also extremely helpful critique sessions - the critique group I was assigned to was nothing short of amazing and comprised of Alina, Julia Karr, and Christi Atherton.

While the work I turned in for this retreat was less than stellar, the group helped me re-think the story, and helped me split it into three different potential book ideas! Three for the price of one: how's that for getting my money's worth?

I settled on one of the potential ideas and have begun to work on it. These lovely and talented ladies promised me they'd critique a couple of chapters for me when I have those done, even though they're no longer bound to help me. I am one lucky gal, and I look forward to many, many years of friendship with them.

But now, it's back to *real* writing.

If you're a writer and haven't gone to a retreat or conference, I heartily recommend saving the money to attend one!

p.s. yes, I am totally lame and didn't take a single photo even though we were staying at a pretty state park.

"There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day." – Alexander Woolcott