Road Trip Book Tour: Part Two

  WINNER of the ROAD TRIP book contest is DEBBY DODDS (how in the world could I resist a book about John Waters hitchhiking?). ~      ~      ~ The first Road Trip Book Tour post was more about the Road Trip, this post is more about the Book Tour itself. Even if you never plan to go on a book tour in your life, the information may be helpful in other ways. I’ve been book touring for six years. And for many years before I started, I led workshops in schools, conferences, and festivals, performed live spokenword, and produced literary arts events. I was used to organizing events, traveling around, and speaking in front of others. But doing these things may scare the pants off of you. It doesn’t have to. My tours are set up in collaboration with my publisher in...

The Art of Uplift (aka – Be a Star Among Stars)

up*lift verb 1. to lift up; raise; elevate. 2. to improve socially, morally, or the like. 3. to exalt emotionally or spiritually. 4. to become uplifted. noun 5. an act of raising; elevation. 6. the process or work of improving, as socially, intellectually, or morally. 7. emotional or spiritual exaltation. For the past few months I’ve been thinking about the ideas of UP and DOWN in terms of language, emotion, and physicality. When we are UP we are high, exalted (“closer to the heavens”), floating, light, standing tall, open. We love looking up – – to the sky, birds, clouds, sun, moon, future. When feeling liberated, joyous, elated we throw our arms up. We want to “reach for the stars” not “dig ourselves”...

The Fears That Bind Us (aka You’re Gonna Die)

A wise friend of mine once observed: Every action we take or don’t take is driven by one of two things: Fear or Love. I’ve been sifting through this idea for a few years now, wondering if this were actually true (being the “inward bound” workshop/personal development/human potential geek-junkie that I am – and yes, I am the kind of person satirized on shows like Portlandia). But I’ve discovered that whenever I break my actions or inactions down to the basic essence, my wise friend is right. I just have to be brave enough to tell the truth about it once in a while, especially when it comes to the fear end of things. I’m quite good at justifying my fears. I also think that there are levels of fear, and I can always tell when I get to the fear behind the...

Getting to the Story

I am developing an online course called Getting to the Story to begin in February 2015. This blog post features a sample from the coursework. If interested in taking the class, contact me HERE. ~   ~   ~ According to NaNoWriMo stats, about 23% of their participants finished their 50,000 words by the end of Nov. If you were one of them, congratulations. You have a big pile of words to play with! And if you were one of the 77% (hi there!) who didn’t finish, whatever you wrote you still have, and whatever you learned you’ve still got on your tool belt. The joke around here is that my NaNoWriMo became a DecNoWriMo, and now I’ve succumb to the fact that it’s really a JaNoWriMo. But that’s fine by me, because when I started my NaNo this...

NaNo – – No

(scroll down to skip straight to the Weekly Workout ) I came to the realization last Friday that I’m not going to be finishing my NaNo this year. Of course, a tiny piece of me keeps saying, “You can do it! Wake up at 3 am! Power through!” but that’s just because I’m stubborn like that. I really hate to lose, especially when it’s just to myself. My hope had hung in there for a while, because last year I managed to pump out 30,000 words in one week… but I was on a porch swing in Hawaii at the time. Right now I’m working full-time on a movie, house-hunting for an upcoming move, and involved in a major protest on Burnaby Mountain. So, life has been a bit cray-cray (wait, are women over 40 even allowed to use that...

Starting From Scratch: The Clown Challenge

NEWSFLASH: This weekend I will be at Geek Girl Con in Seattle. My publisher (Hydra House) has a booth (#309) and I will be presenting “Imaginary Worlds for Kids” in Rm LL3 Sat at 11 AM & Sun at 3 PM and doing a signing Sat at noon wherever signings are. Probably by the book tables. ~     ~     ~ Up for the Clown Challenge? Where do I Start?   I love a good challenge. Especially a writing challenge. I’ve completed NaNoWriMo twice, dozens of “10 day challenges” (writing a short screenplay, short story, or poem each day for 10 days), or doing themed challenges. It’s how I wrote my first (and only) literary zombie story. I saw a challenge. I saw a way to push myself in a new and unexpected direction. While I was...