Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Fictional Fun: Pinning Inspiration

When I write, I need visuals for inspiration. I keep notebooks for each of my stories, and inside I outline, plot, and create a character analysis for my main characters. There are also sections for settings, research, and play lists. I gather images to inspire me and help create the tone of each story.

Recently two of my writerly peeps encouraged me to join Pinterest and create online boards for my stories. I was reluctant at first, and my first thoughts were why & ain't nobody got time for that

My notebooks are sufficient. Right?

As an author, my notebooks are perfect. But what about my future readers? 

I don't know about you, but when I find an author I love, I want to know everything about them. Their other novels or books, hobbies, interests, and their inspiration, especially for the book I fell in love with. I want to know the music they listened to (if any) and how they came up with the idea for their story.

Well, I've discovered...

Pinterest is the perfect place to create an author's idea notebook online. I LOVE it! It's fun and functional! 5 words of advice: It can be highly addictive. These past two weeks, I've used my boards as a reward, like chocolate. When I get my daily writing / revising done, I get 30 mins. to play on Pinterest.

Here's a link to my page. Candi's Pinterest Boards. Feel free to browse. Keep in mind, they're a work in progress (pun intended).

Have any tips about pinning? I'd like to find boards created by my favorite authors. Any suggestions? 

If you pin and would like to share your boards, leave your link in the comment section.

Have a writerly weekend, y'all~

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Writerly Wednesday: Do You Have Business Cards?

As writers we attend conferences, book signings, critique meet-ups, workshops, meetings with writing groups and / or societies, etc. We bring along notebooks, writing utensils, and all the things necessary for each event. But what if someone asks you for your card? 

Recently I attended a writing event and gave out my contact information to about ten writers. As a writer, I was not prepared. Thankfully, I had yoga business cards with me. I felt foolish and unprofessional. 

I've been writing seriously for five years now. Why do I not have business cards? Well, I think it's high time I act like a professional. 

So last week, I designed my author business cards from Vistaprint. They were not only affordable, but simple & fun to create. I started with one of their templates, changed up the design, picked my fonts, sizes, colors, and viola!

Do you have cards? Do you think they're necessary? I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Fictional Fun: Using Music To Create Picture Book Magic

As a children's writer, I'm constantly on the lookout for inspiration. Music stirs emotion in me, and often times I'm struck with story ideas while listening. I came across an article about songs that would make good kid's books. You can read it HERE. Interesting concept, which of course, spun my mental wheels.

Here are a few I came up with. 

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. The song speaks to me about the weak rising up. Being strong. Maybe an anti-bullying themed story.

Don't Worry, Be Happy by Bobbie McFerrin. This one doesn't need any explanation about theme. It's simple. Don't worry, be happy. An interesting take on this one could be how kids deal with their problems or anger. Sometimes worrying just makes matters worse. A turn-your-frown-upside-down book.

Car Wash by Rose Royce. What a fun concept for a picture book. I can imagine great illustrations and onomatopoeia. Maybe written for younger kids to get over a fear of car washes.

Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin. The song itself speaks of a father and son's relationship and how the son grows up too fast. I love all the nursery rhyme lines in this song. 

Thriller by Michael Jackson. You know me, I <3 monsters. Monsterly picture books, what's more fun?

Imagine by John Lennon. Is there a better song? World peace. Getting along with others. Acceptance. It is multi-themed for me. Maybe a neat kid's non-fiction story about different cultures.

Umbrella by Rhianna. I love this song about friendship. And umbrellas are simply fun. Colors and shapes. The illustration possibilities are endless. Just listen to the chorus:

When the sun shines, we'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out till the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella 

Don't Rhianna's words make you smile?

Does music move you in creative ways? Try it! What songs do you think would make a great kid's book? 

Have a writerly week, y'all~

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Writerly Wednesday: Everything's Popping Up Monsters

The universe is nudging me. I've been seeing monsters this week, everywhere I turn. Even Google's Doodle on Monday made me grin. It would've been Mr. Sendak's 85th birthday on Monday. Happy Birthday, to the illustrator and author who introduced me to a world of monsters, so long ago. 

I read a fabulous interview by author Tara Lazar, who happened to have her adorable picture book, THE MONSTORE published this week! Congrats and can't wait to get my hands on it!

Interview with author and illustrator and Inkygirl HERE.

I would kill for the illustrator of THE MONSTORE James Burks if I ever have any of my monsterly picture books published. I <3 his work!

Or, maybe my own daughter will be ready...

She has a new hobby. She's refurbb'ing old oils from garage sales and thrift stores with monsterly charm. She's done seven so far, and this week, she had an offer to put one in a furniture gallery on display... yes, mom is proud! 

This one happened to be one of my oils I painted when I was in high school. She painted it for my yoga studio. We're calling it Be the Tree. 

So, if this isn't inspiration to get my butt in the chair and work on those monsterly stories, I don't know what is. 

What has inspired you to write this week?

Have a writerly week, y'all~

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Fictional Fun: Do You Have INSOMNIA?

I'm positive I will tonight. Moments ago, I purchased J.R. Johansson's debut novel, INSOMNIA. Release day is today, woot!!

Check out her cover... Creepy!

It's a YA supernatural thriller, no doubt right up my spooky alley. I'm stoked, beyond my wildest dreams, to read my sister-client's first novel! Sister-client as in we belong to the same Kathleen Rushall / Marsal Lyon Literary Family.

I can't give you my own personal review because I've only read the first line, and an amazing first line it is! But don't wait on my account, get your own copy today! 

Visit her website on the link above to find out all the great ways to order you own copy. Read a blurb of INSOMNIA and a super review here. 

I got my copy on my Kindle HERE.

Way to go, Jenn!


Here are some fabulous author blurbs about INSOMNIA:

“The perfect blend of everything I love in a story. I hope a sequel comes soon!” –James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER

“Completely unputdownable. I’ve decided to nickname Johansson: Scary McScarypants, because she spooked me in all the best ways.” –Carrie Harris, author of BAD TASTE IN BOYS

“Cleverly written and dangerously dark, Insomnia will take you to the brink of insanity. A must-read for thriller and romance fans alike.”—Elana Johnson, author of POSSESSION

“A riveting story of terror and despair that will keep you up long past your bedtime.”—Jennifer Bosworth, author of STRUCK




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June IWSG: 5 Tips on How & When to Critique Other Writers

1.) Do Unto Others...

Critique other writers how you'd like to be critiqued. Simple. 

2.) It's Not Open Season...

Whatever you do, please don't open fire a critique at an unsuspecting writer. At a table full of other writers having lunch, it's not okay to clank your glass with your fork, announcing that the writer sitting across from you has a typo in her published book or story. 

3.)  Don't Slap Someone Across the Cheek Unless They Ask For it...

Calling you the b-word for no reason deserves a whack. A writer making an honest mistake, does not. Yes, mistakes need to be corrected, but for us writers, it needs to be done in a kind & gentle fashion. Thick skin takes time to grow. Unexpected slapping is not okay.

4.) There is a Time & Place...

Critique sessions are an excellent place to give constructive criticism. I've been to several open, gentle critiques and they generally work well. But one on one critique sessions work even better. The receiving writer will be less defensive (And we're always defensive, even if just a little.) if approached alone.

5.) Play Nice...

This one goes along with tip # 4. Remember playground rules. It's not okay to call the writer out on the grass, in front of all the other kids, and stick your tongue out w/ a "Na-na na-na, boo-boo!" and tell them all the things wrong with their story. It's mean and ugly, and we know better.

Here's a great article I read yesterday. Most of the critiquing advice out there is plain common sense. Think before you speak. As you may realize from the mood of my post, I recently had an interesting situation happen to me.

This weekend, I'm attending a SCBWI "Critiquenic" in Austin, TX. I'm looking forward to the event dedicated to teaching writers how to critique and why it's so beneficial. 

If you're interested in joining the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. We meet through our blogs on the 1st Wednesday of the month for support and camaraderie.

This week, I'm borrowing my good blog buddy & fellow Insecure Writer's sign-off tag line. Randi Lee, every time I read your last line, I smile. Today, it really resonates with me. Hope you don't mind. ;)

"Stay classy, blog-o-sphere!"