The Creativity Corner: Summer 2017

Summer ends tomorrow, and what a busy season it’s been. Traveling, sightseeing, getting a head cold (OK, that wasn’t fun, but it did happen), and through it all I managed to get a lot of writing and reading done. So despite the busyness, it was a productive and satisfying summer. ūüôā

Without further ado, let’s launch into the Creativity Corner for a recap of what I’ve been writing and reading, and other related happenings, since the end-of-spring edition in June.
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The Creativity Corner: Spring 2017

Can you believe that summer is here? ūüėģ It still feels like I was in Iceland last week. How on Earth has time zipped by so quickly??

Since a new season has begun, it’s time for an update on the past season’s creative happenings. And after a winter where I struggled with anxiety for a few weeks and my confidence in my writing hit rock-bottom,¬†I’m happy to say that spring was a more productive, inspiring, and emotionally healthy season. It wasn’t free of bumps, but I’m moving forward and focused on new projects.

New projects?? What about¬†The Keeper’s Curse? Or the novella? Yeah… I’ll explain what’s happening with them, too. But first…
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The Creativity Corner: Winter 2017

It feels weird to post¬†a wrap-up of a¬†winter’s worth writing, reading, and other creative happenings on the second day of spring. (This is the new “writing monthly update” series I had mentioned last month, btw.)¬†But the truth is, I’ve procrastinated on this post for a couple weeks now, and not due to lack of time. Instead, I’ve been feeling anything but enthusiastic or confident about writing lately.

(Btw, my latest DIY MFA post went live last week. Something funky happened with the blog post announcement, so click here to read the article at DIY MFA.)

The good news is, I’m now taking steps that can hopefully help me regain that confidence and lead to a better, more productive spring. I’ll touch on¬†that, as well as the progress I’ve made so far¬†with The Novella (my new writing project) and the books I’ve read so far this year. Also, since this is the first Creative Corner, any feedback on the content and/or setup will be greatly appreciated. ūüôā
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What Do You Think?: Asking for Your Feedback on My Novel’s Blurb

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I’m in the middle of finishing new articles for DIY MFA and Writers Helping Writers. So I thought I’d do an “easy” post this week, and one I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Your feedback has been so helpful in the past with website changes, blogoversary celebrations, and excerpts on my YA fantasy novel The Keeper’s Curse. I’d like to ask for it again today, on a component of the novel-writing process that’s more important than we might think: the blurb.

Wondering what a blurb is? Or why it’s important for writers to start working on one before their novel is published? I’ll answer those questions briefly, then give you a chance to offer feedback on the latest blurb for TKC.

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New Interview at Little Novelist

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Today I’m over at Little Novelist, talking about blogging, novel-writing, and general inspiration for my projects.¬†I also share one of my favorite pieces of writing advice, and confess as to why I don’t have a truly specific “blogging niche.”¬†(*blushes*)

Click here to read¬†my interview at Little Novelist. Make sure you check out Rhianne’s other content there, too. She has a lovely variety of posts on reading, writing, and¬†“the writer’s life”; and also offers a story¬†idea generation workbook¬†and an online shop with various e-book resources.

Feel free to comment on the interview, by the way! I’ll be checking the post periodically to respond to anything there.

The Author’s Oracle Writing Tag

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I spotted this tag at Faith Rivens’ blog not too long ago and absolutely¬†knew¬†I wanted to do it, too. It’s inspired by the Major Arcana, the first 22 cards in a tarot or oracle card deck.

Now, I’m aware that not everyone believes in the accuracy in tarot or other divination tools. But being a believer isn’t necessary here. The following questions take each card’s themes and applies them to your WIP or your writing process. So, this is¬†a more “inclusive” tag than you might think. ūüėČ

Any story-specific questions in this tag will focus on my WIP,¬†The Keeper’s Curse. To learn more about this novel, you can either¬†read the current draft of its blurb¬† or¬†visit the Chronicling The Craft series. Continue reading

What Do Your Favorite Stories Have In Common?

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“What do your favorite stories have in common?”

This was the question that fellow¬†writer Elizabeth Rawls posed at her blog last year. I loved the topic so much that I wanted to respond right away, but I couldn’t. Figuring out what your favorite stories have in common¬†is¬†like playing a writer’s or reader’s version of a strategy game. But once you¬†put some conscious thought into it, the answers can be rather¬†enlightening.

Today, I’d like to share Elizabeth’s activity along with my own thoughts on developing a stronger grasp on the shared elements in our¬†favorite stories. As you’ll find out, those commonalities may have a greater influence on our work that we might think.

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A Character Interview with Aurek Kolsteg of “The Keeper’s Curse”

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After last year’s character interview with Eva, the protagonist of my YA epic fantasy WIP The¬†Keeper’s Curse, a number of readers asked whether I’d do another character interview in the future. Immediately I knew who our next subject would be. ūüėČ So, today, it’s time to get to know Aurek Kolsteg a little more!

Thank you¬†to everyone who submitted questions, by the way. A number of them focused on Aurek’s past and its impact on him. This led to a deep, thoughtful “conversation” with a few fun and cultural bits sprinkled throughout. (I say “conversation” because, well, it’s technically me answering in Aurek’s “voice.”) Enjoy!
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Time Flies!: January 2016

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Welcome to the latest edition of Time Flies!¬†It’s my version of a monthly update, where I recap¬†the past month’s accomplishments and articles, share¬†news and¬†random things from my offline life, and hint at¬†what may be coming in the month ahead.

Ah, January. In some ways, I can’t stand this month. It means winter – which also means¬†cold, snow, ice, and other seasonal¬†yuck. Can you blame me for counting down the days to spring? (49!!) But in other ways, January¬†was a sigh of relief. After one of the most hectic Decembers I can remember, relaxing and returning to a slower, somewhat normal routine has never been more welcome.

Olaf impaled

I couldn’t resist an Olaf gif here. XD

Before I go much further – a quick word to anyone waiting for the next edition of the¬†Character Evolution Files. It’s coming, I promise. Between three big¬†blogging commitments last month (Chronicling The Craft, a guest post for WriteOnSisters, and my next DIY MFA article), I didn’t have time to start drafting File No. 6 until this past week. And when writing lengthy articles (which often have minds of their own) and juggling deadlines, sometimes you have to reshuffle your priorities.

So, yes. Character Evolution File No. 6 should post in mid-to-late February. Stay tuned for that as well as a call for character interview questions (Tuesday, February 2nd) and the blog’s first guest post¬†(Tuesday, February 9th)! Oh, and the¬†guest post I’m working on for WriteOnSisters? Ohhhhhh I can’t tell you how THRILLED I am about it. ūüėÄ

For¬†now, let’s recap¬†January’s happenings.

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Time Flies!: December 2015

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Welcome to the latest edition of Time Flies!¬†It’s my version of a monthly update, where I recap¬†the past month’s accomplishments and articles, share¬†news and¬†random things from my offline life, and hint at¬†what may be coming in the month ahead.

Did I ever tell you that Lilo And Stitch is my second-favorite animated Disney movie after The Lion King? ;)

Confession: “Lilo and Stitch” is my second-favorite animated Disney movie after “The Lion King.”

Yes,¬†it’s me popping in! ūüėČ I’m on hiatus until Monday, January 4th, but I thought I’d still¬†post a Time Flies to “officially” wrap up the month.

How have¬†your winter holidays been so far? Do you have any plans for New Year’s Eve? I’ll most likely stay at home and call it an early night¬†(I’ll explain why shortly). The last two months have been nutty on all fronts, so it’s been nice to breathe deeply and relax the past few days.

If you noticed things were slower here than usual this month – you’re correct. I scaled back on my blogging activities in December because of all the busyness, and also to get a head start on my January posts. So, you probably haven’t missed much if you’ve been away, but here’s your chance to catch up:
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