Welcome to this Saturday Edition of What We’re Writing and Reading.
We’re taking a little detour on the weekends now to share some of what we’re up to with our writing (when we’re not here) and what we’re into with our reading (around the web). We’ll also pull back the curtain a little to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what went into a piece.
We hope you enjoy this little diversion and encourage you to share your own posts and picks in the comments.
Happy writing! Happy reading!
What I’m writing: Registration opened last week for The New England Crime Bake mystery writers’ conference. I’ve been writing a lot of e-mails to registrants and updates to the committee (I’m the conference registrar). It’s a lot of fun and the conference is 50% full.
I have a YA novel started that I’m excited about, tentatively titled “Gramps.” The idea has existed for a while, but my trip last week allowed me to reconnect with the main character and the story (takes place along the Atlantic coast).
What I’m reading: I just finished a fabulous (to me) book called “Sail Away Ladies: Stories of Cape Cod Women in the Age of Sail” by Jim Coogan. I’ve always been drawn to the sea – there’s just something calming and invigorating about it – and while vacationing last week on Cape Cod I found a local historian with a few books about the area. This book has 12 stories based on journals and accounts of women who sailed with their husbands and fathers in the 1800s. I’m amazed at the strength and perseverance they had and the stories gave me ideas for my fiction.
What I’m Writing: I’m starting to rewrite my novel (again) and I’m doing some writing prompts and creativity exercises to generate ideas for another project. I have a bunch of writing books and I keep choosing random writing exercises from different books. It’s been a really fun way to get some writing in and eventually I’ll look back at what I’ve written and see what the themes are.
What I’m Reading: I just finished my third book by Brene Brown. You can check out all her books here. She’s totally amazing and her books are well written. She delivers a lot of great information with a lot of humor and great stories. The only fiction I’m reading right now is The Magic Tree House series, which my son and I listen to in the car. Each story (there are at least 50) is set in a different time and place and it’s been fun to hear how the author changes the dialogue to signal different settings. For example, my son recently told the babysitter “night is almost upon us,” after we listened to “Christmas in Camelot.“
Another week has flown by and Memorial Day is bearing down upon us like Hercules from The Sandlot - slavering and slobbery, bringing heat and humidity and wistful thoughts of autumn. (At least for me. Can you tell I’m not a summer person?)
What I’m Writing: I’m starting to write some of the “foundation” documents for my relaunch of Suddenly Marketing. I’m working on my perfect customer persona, mini manifesto, and so forth. This project is at least three years in the making, so I have many (many!) pages of notes to review. It’s been an odd trip down memory lane as I read through things I wrote in 2010 and think either, “Man, what was I thinking?!?” or “Wow. Nothing’s changed.”
I also managed to find time to write a post for my Suddenly Marketing blog – another (I hope) inspirational piece about some of the most common challenges people – especially artists of ay kind – have with marketing. Here’s a quick excerpt:
Here’s the thing – in my heart I am an artist, and as the stereotype suggests, I have a built-in aversion to anything that resembles commercialism. I’m not going to go too deep into all the misguided beliefs that are wrapped around my unease about selling and asking people for money. (That’s a post for another day.) So, how, you may ask, did I wind up making my living as a marketer and, more importantly …
… what the hell does my epiphany have to do with how YOU feel about marketing?
If you are an artist, a writer, or a creative in any other sense of the word (spiritually, artistically, entrepreneurially), it’s probable that you are saddled with the same misconceptions and discomforts about marketing.
You can read (or listen to!) the rest of How to love marketing (even if the very word makes you cringe) over at Suddenly Marketing. (And, yes, I did edit the picture of the dolphin to include a line from one of my favorite books.)
What I’m Reading: Once again, time to read for pleasure was scarce this week, but I did manage to squeeze in a few posts from my favorite writing blogs:
- The Hook and the Hitch by @demianfarnworth – A gem of a flash fiction piece that he later uses to illustrate some copywriting techniques
- Episode 9: Defamiliarization [podcast] by @bradreedwrites – If you missed it, please check out my glowing review of Inside Creative Writing
- How to Get Things Done (A Flowchart) via @99u - a tongue-in-cheek diagram that made me giggle
- 21 Great Reasons to Keep Blogging by @craigmcbreen - I especially love 3, 8 – 10 and 21.
- 25 quotes on writing & creating like your cash flow depends on it by @NikkiGroom – Because, who can resist a good quote?