My latest for Art Focus Oklahoma is out today. We have incredible skies here and one artist spends his life capturing them:
Yesterday was just amazing. The Story conference was a huge success. I want to thank everyone who came, who helped to organize it, and who appeared or promoted it. A list is on my Facebook page. What great information and insights.
I also want to thank you all for your ongoing support for my books, articles and poetry. I’m pulling back from pretty much everything just now, including most writing. Just too dizzy and too much pain. I hope to be back soon.
So many of you have enjoyed the Art Crawls I put together in the past so I thought it fitting to show how I feel by sharing a work of art from one of them (Sept.) This is from the Clayton Brothers. Click to see more of their art.
The thing is, I’m not doing great and my recovery recently took a nosedive. It might take a while for the doctors to figure this out. I don’t know much except how I feel. My thinking is completely warped and confused. I ‘m tired. Though I know other brain patients read this and I should write more, I just can’t. I recommend the Acoustic Neuroma page (see index to the left) and for feelings you might relate to, this post: Sept 14, 2013
Tomorrow is our Story seminar here locally and I’m so excited to see it coming together so well. Our thanks to KOFM, Enid News, Pegasys Television, My Praise and the Route 60 Sentinel for their great coverage. It’s going to be so much fun to chat with other writers and learn from each other.
I know some of you have said you wanted to chat there, so
i do have to share that ?i likely will only be there for the Opening Story panel which I am chairing. My renewed vertigo and brain swelling have made it impossible for me to attend the full seminar as planned.
But I will be at coffee hour and the opening and do hope to see you all there. In the meantime, have a great write!
Originally posted on Portable Magic:
The internet (and particularly the Twitterverse) is all abuzz about the new, developing-as-we-speak Amtrak writer’s residency program, a program started in large part by a simple tweet. You can read the story on THE WIRE here, but in a nutshell New York writer Jessica Gross, after reading an interview with Alexander Chee, in which he said “I still like a train best for [writing]. I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers,” tweeted out to @amtrak, who set her up with one — a New York to Chicago round-trip. Now, Amtrak is moving forward with offering train residencies to writers, for free (or at least cheap). How cool is that?
And how obvious, once you think about it. I love train rides, and I love writing on the train. There’s something about it that stimulates creativity, harkening back to a simple, more romantic time, to a time when writing was a calling, when locomotion was king. And it triggers thoughts of fun fiction: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, the train ride to Hogwarts, 3:10 TO YUMA, heck even THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE. Trains, unlike planes, don’t conceal the fact you are traveling long distances. The world rushes by in a train, and you are part of it. In a plane, the world is distant, conceptual, and you hover above it. Trains are an adrenaline rush, planes are somnolent.
The truth doesn’t make you rich or famous. It isn’t glam or simple. But truth will set your soul at ease. Finding the truth can be a challenge. Entire journalistic careers have been built or broken on the ability to unearth true facts, yet how often does the apparent truth turn out to be an illusion.
Marcua Aurelius said, Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth,” but I couldn’t disagree more. When you really look deep, beyond the distortions of unobjctive viewpoints and outright lies, the truth is laying there, quite plainly. The question is, now that you found it, do you really want it?
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the thuth.” -Buddha
That’s why I found the concept of Buzz Books USA’s latest YA title Kiss and Tell by Sandy Green to be so interesting: What if your lip gloss told you the truth? Would you want to know?
In KISS AND TELL, the book alternates between JENNA, a contemporary teen, and VERITY, a former ancient water spirit paying penance as Jenna’s truth-telling magical lip gloss.
After a life of lies and deception, Verity has been transformed into a Sibbecoss – the Kiss of Peace – and permitted to offer and reveal the truth to the ones with the courage to hear it. When Verity reveals Jenna’s painful and shocking past to her, Jenna forgives those responsible and forsakes those who would control her. But that isn’t quite enough to save Jenna from deadly harm.
Verity has one last chance to ultimately atone for the horrors she caused in her past and repair the link between her and Jenna. Will Verity find redemption and peace in the present by protecting Jenna’s future?
I think it’s brilliant! Here’s some reviews:
“Plunge into the spellbinding tale of Jenna as she discovers she was never who she thought she was. Unearthing the truth leads her into the bewitching realm of a past never found in history books! Sandy Green’s Kiss and Tell enthralls you from the very first page.” – D. S. Milan, author of A Year of Starless Nights
“Sandy Green has woven a brilliant tapestry of mythology and contemporary YA in her novella, Kiss and Tell. The essence of the story is cleverly disguised in the title, so subtle, and yet revealing.” – Gayle C. Krause, author of the SCBWI Golden Kite Nominee, Ratgirl: Song of the Viper
Because if you think about really, the truth does always come out. We so often just try to ignore or deny it. Facing the truth is everything. I asked Sandy Green about the truth theme of her book:
In KISS AND TELL, even the name of one of the characters, Amélie (am-a-lie), reveals the main conflict and importance of truth in the story. As a long living water naiad, Amélie spends the first part of her substantial life in a self-serving existence. She lies to her sister naiads, a handsome shepherd, her cloud goddess mother, and ultimately twists the truth in such a heinous way, as retribution, she’s transformed into truth itself – Verity the Sibbecoss, the Kiss of Peace.
As the Sibbecoss, Verity realizes that truth can hurt others, or even the truth-seeker, as much as a lie. But in her final act of contrition, where there is no alternative than self-sacrifice, she is permanently freed.
Today’s the last day for early registration for The Story. This con focuses on the craft of writing and features NY Times Best Selling author Jamie McGuire, the PresIdent of the Western Writers Association Dusty Richards, Harper Teen YA author, Tara Hudson and many more. I’m leading the opening panel. It’s quite a bargain at $30. If you’re within driving distance, make a positive investment in your career. I’ll see you there.
Thanks everyone again for all your fab support while DISTORTION ambled on the top 100. even the top 10 murder mysteries on Kindle. It’s still on 99 cent special through this weekend so this is a great time to recommend it to friends.
I want to congratulate my friend, Peggy Chambers and Airship 27
Productions on the great new pulp novel, The Apocalypse Sucks!. Here’s a link to all the particulars. Congratulations!
So if you did your homework, you have written a query, you have written a synopsis, and you set aside your novel for a week. After a quick read-through, just reading, not editing, you are ready to revise Act 3.
What are your goals here:
1) To ensure that you harvested the potential of your original premise
2) To successfully translate the character arcs to the page, not just develop them in your mind.
3) To bring forth a climax that feels satisfying in the end.
One recommendation I have is to keep your narrative flowing at this point, don’t dissect or chop it. In other words, if a scene in Act 3 needs some revisions, lock yourself in a room, close down the internet, and rewrite it from start to finish. Narrative flows better when it comes streaming out. Keep that stream flowing throughout Act 3.
After you have tightened your third act, I want you to o one more revision yourself before sending this book to betas. We’ll talk about that later this week.
Good luck and congratulations, Recruit. You’re in the home stretch.