Why hello there! It’s a new year and I have many gloriously ambitious hopes for the year ahead. (Don’t we all? It’s January!) But sometimes those dreams fizzle out by June (I’m looking at you, screenplay).
So instead of resolutions this year, I’m inciting revolutions.
Wait, scratch that.
Heck, I’m just going to try to make it to February.
No, seriously, I will be Renovating both my house and my old picture book manuscripts, searching for the diamonds in the (very very) rough (drafts).
I will be Relegating my inner critic to the Back Seat (of my mind) and pursuing grand new adventurous topics with abandon, even if I don’t have any expertise in them and don’t know what kind of rabbit holes they might send me down.
And I will hopefully be able to act on some Revelations that I’ve had recently about how much I enjoy writing nonfiction, about what it will take to get more of my writing out there and in the hands of you wonderful readers, and that one Eureka moment I had about dunking a Snickers bar, churro-like, in some Spanish Hot Chocolate (you know you want to try it now).
So I hope you’ll join me in looking forward to all that 2020 has to offer. I promise I won’t be this perky all the time, just when the caffeine kicks in.
Thank you to Manland Primary for inviting me in for two days of classroom visits! This was a belated, rescheduled #WorldBookDay visit due to a crazy two-month hearing-loss incident (a story for another time!)
The kids were incredible — receptive, engaged, and so, so, SO creative! We discussed favourite words, perseverance, talking pineapples and spy pigs. The workshops I ran with the older kids were a pure treat! They spun the idea wheel with vigour and came up with some great stories. The younger kids loved dressing up in very serious outfits and petting my book mascots.
A fun few days had by all! I forgot to take photos but hopefully I’ll get some copies of the school’s pictures to add to this post!
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately in which authors who are on blog tours are asked a lot of serious questions about their craft, their process, their writing preferences.
Granted all these solemn questions are important to understand the hard work and dedication that it takes to be a writer, and others can learn a lot from the answers, but holy hell some of the questions make me want to snooze!
Yes, yes, there are no stupid questions, yatta yatta.
But everyone knows that the sillier the question, the more the reader catches a glimpse into the actual personality of the writer.
James Lipton was on to something when he added Proust’s (really Pivot’s) questionnaire to the end of Actor’s Studio:
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
What turns you off?
What is your favorite curse word?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
(There is a great article about these questions if you’re interested in the backstory, here.)
So, I’ve come up with a list of questions to ask writers (or anyone really), to get to know them better. (I’ll fill it in myself for my next post.)
What book or movie has made you pull your hair out, scream at the screen, jump up and down and generally obsess over for weeks on end until you start to see people rolling their eyes when you bring it up for the hundredth time?
Speaking of obsession, what’s one thing you are or have been completely obsessed with?
Name one thing you hoard or collect (come on, you know there’s something. Besides rejection letters, that is. 😉 )
If your writing style were an animal, which would it be? (Are plotters elephants? Are pantsers meerkats?)
On days when you want to say “Sod it all! I give up!” A) what would you rather be doing, and B) what helps you get back in the writing groove?
My favorite way to procrastinate is…?
Singing in the shower. Your thoughts?
How would your children describe you?
Food that you absolutely couldn’t live without and would fight tooth and claw to consume, even if that meant stockpiling it before Brexit, or hiding it from your significant other in a top secret desk drawer and not feeling an ounce of shame about lying about it when asked point blank whether you have any.
Oh yeah, and tell us about your new book.
What questions do YOU want to be asked while on blog tour?
I love entering contests, and I like all things short, so this competition is right up my alley. Author Vivian Kirkfield has challenged writers to use just 50 words to write a story.
It’s the old Green Eggs and Ham challenge but using ONLY 50 words rather than 50 distinct words to make up the book.
I’d been mulling over whether to write a book called Brave Chicken for a week or so now. (That’s what my daughter calls our cat. He really is one courageous scaredy cat.) I love the title but it’s already being used by Scholastic for an educational program that they run, so I figured rather than a picture book, I’ll use it here. Enjoy.