Saturday, February 8, 2020

Imagery & Writing

I'm late, IWSG!

I know, and I'm super sorry about that. I sat down to write up a post, life happened, and then my aging memory totally forgot about it. #slapsforehead

This month's IWSG question is all about the visual. 

Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

When I do classroom Skype visits, one of the first things I share with the kids is that I consider myself a visual writer. Lots of my inspiration comes from flipping through family photos, images of nature on the internet, or fantastical drawings or paintings. I'm also a huge history buff, so sometimes I even search out events in history to scan through old photos or depictions that had been captured by some long-gone soul.

So, yes, I'm very inspired by the visual. And, yes, my stories have all been inspired - to some degree or another - by what I see. 

This image inspired the relationship between Fleishman (one of my middle grade character's in Motley Education) and his legless lizard Nigel. It didn't inspire what Nigel would eventually look like, but how the lizard felt about his owner, and how his owner would grow the feel about him. Anytime I wrote a scene where the two were together, I'd stare at this image first. It got me in the emotional mood I needed to carry their sweet relationship from my brain to the page.

The visual life is a great tool writers an utilize. It's all around us . . . all the time. We just have to pay attention.

A big thank you goes out to this month's co-hosts! Sorry I can't link you here. I visited the site, today, and your names were already gone. But you RAWK! Also, sending Alex J. Cavanaugh lots of writing mojo for all his efforts with the IWSG. 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

New Year, Same Old Thang - NOT


What is one of the most common questions people ask when a new year rolls around?

Can you believe it's the beginning of another year? Where did last year go?

This can churn all sorts of emotions: joy, excitement, growth from reflection, and sometimes angst in the gut - especially for writers. All those goals you set the previous January are now starring you down, boring a hole through your confidence and asking you why some didn't get accomplished. And the ones that did don't seem as important now as when you reached them.

That is just wrong, right? #lifeangst

Is it that you'll never be satisfied with achieving a goal? Or that the goal was a mere stepping stone to the next goal, which makes the first goal seem . . . yeah, fair-weathered? Or could it be setting goals at the beginning of the year, which gives these particular goals so much value? I mean, you set and reach goals everyday. You decided the groceries need to be done and you go do them. You have to drive kid#2 to practice, so you make that happen, too.

Yeah, little decisions are setting little goals that lead to something more complete.

Think of your writing life like that.

This month's IWSG question: January 8 question - What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just "know" suddenly you wanted to write?


The awesome co-hosts for the The awesome co-hosts for the January 8 posting of the IWSG are T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!

Wishing you many blessings and growth throughout this new year!


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