Friday, April 25, 2014

Twitter

I resisted Twitter for so long, but finally joined the crowd recently. I dare say my mother would be disappointed. In my ears, I hear the echoing strain of "Just because everybody jumps off a bridge, doesn't mean you should, too." But what I found out is that the water is amazing. Seriously. It's been fun and has none of the drama of FB. I actually think I may like it better than FB, in fact. I find I don't get sucked into the endless "newsfeed" reading like I do on FB. FB is great, but Twitter serves a completely different purpose for me.

I also stumbled across a Yahoo MN SCBWI writers group this week. What a gift! While I still haven't found a local critique group, this is the next best thing. It involves a bit of driving to meet up, but since they only meet once a month, I think it'll be doable. I believe what's blown me away the most with Twitter and SCBWI is the overwhelming support from other writers, a palpable feeling that they are wishing you the best and will do what they can to further your progress. They genuinely want to see you succeed.

As a newbie, I've made a few mistakes, but I've learned from them and have continued to have a teachable spirit. I'm working on building a "thick skin" while being open to constructive criticism. I'm learning what it means to stay true to yourself and your "inner" voice, yet hear what wiser, more experienced professionals in the field have gleaned.

Making one's dreams come true may sound like a fairy tale, but I think it reads more like a graphic horror novel with much blood, sweat, tears, and anxiety. However, somewhere along the way, fear and blind effort are (magically?) transformed into knowledge, perseverance, and confidence. The menacing shadows are dispelled by the twitter of birds and the sound of joyful splashes in the water. Are you with me? Tweet me @AngieCherney.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Creativity

I'm sitting here in front of my laptop sighing contentedly. My little big boy, now 5, walks purposefully past behind me. From the dining room, through the kitchen, and then out the front door he goes, a Smiley fry in his hand. He discovered the leftovers from lunch still sitting on the dining room table. Of course, it's only just one hour before supper and he's hungry now. "Smiley fries is my energy," he says as he walks through.

Rather than scold him for snacking before dinner, I smile. I am thankful for these children. I am thankful for the creativity and energy they display. I am thankful that their creativity spurs mine. This past week, I've been more intentional about finding time to write. I took the hour during piano lessons to head to the library and focus on my WIP (work in progress). (Of course, that meant school corrections didn't get done, but it was worth it.)

Something I heard recently was the statement, "We all have the same 24 hours in the day." It was a golden nugget of truth for me. We're all busy. Everyone's calendar is full. But there is no one who has less (or more) time during the day than anyone else. Only I am responsible for what I do with my 24 hours. It was a statement of accountability for me. I can't complain about not having enough time to write. I have to determine what I'm going to spend my time doing. It boils down to choice. And choice sometimes leads to creativity. *Score!*

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pluck and luck

The UW Writer's Institute last week was, as last year, a treasure trove of information. Encouraging, overwhelming, and informative describes it well. One of my favorite moments from the weekend included the author panel featuring Michael Perry, Ken Krimstein, and Dale Kushner. They spoke on the topic "Publishing Your First Book." I especially appreciated the workshops and presentations that allowed for adequate question and answer time, and this one did. An obvious question asked was, "How long did it take you to get published?" It seemed like a question with a pretty straight-forward answer, right? However, there was a lot more to the answer than a simple, "Ten years."

Each of the authors on the panel shared their journey of how they became published. Three different experiences, but all three authors nodded in unison and agreement that the journey consisted of a great deal more "pluck" than luck. I respected when Michael Perry noted, too, that he gave a lot more credit to luck than was due. I believe many of us tend to do that. I think it stems from the fact that we are just so grateful to be where we are. In a way, I don't think that's a bad thing. It keeps us humble. Yet I deeply appreciated the acknowledgement that hard work (pluck) is really the basis for any success. The author panel did a great job in giving a real view of what it's like publishing one's first book.

Pitching to an agent for the first time was another gem from the weekend. I'll post more on that later after I've submitted my query. There were numerous other jewels from the weekend, but it can basically be summed up by saying it was a great weekend. I'm so thankful I got to go. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Funny






I just couldn't resist. Ahhh. If only it didn't feel so much at times exactly like this!