Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekend Links: Memorial Day Tribute

The video above may seem an odd tribute for Memorial Day, but it's speaks to the idea that we all have a story. And the story of our nation was written by all the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. Thank you!

And by the way, my brother was one of the artists whose drawings you will see in this. Yet another reason this video is special to me. Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Importance of Community in Writing

Books by Dianna Hutts Aston

I had the fortune of meeting some writers through PiBoIdMo, run by Tara Lazar, who lived in the same area as me, so we started a Facebook group to keep each other informed of writer's events in our area. Word of our group spread, and we grew from a handful of members to over 30.

As I added the people requesting to join the group, I realized how many of them had amazing credentials. It made so much sense to pool that local knowledge, so we decided to have our own mini-workshop.

We had the first one, of many I hope, a week ago. About 13 of us, and the presenters, met in a library (the rooms of which you can usually reserve for free) and listened to award-winning author, Dianna Hutts Aston, talk about her inspiration, where her stories came from and how she got her start (She even talks about money in the full presentation for those who are curious about that aspect of publishing.). 

We were then treated to a tour-de-force presentation, by Marcie Flinchum Atkins, on using mentor texts to guide your writing. I've heard Marcie speak on this subject before, but I still learned so much. 

I put their full, well mostly full, presentations on YouTube (included at the bottom), but above are two very brief videos that showcase just a bit of what they talked about.

Besides learning how to improve my writing from these talented women, I also learned that a gathering of writers can empower an individual. We learned from each other as we exchanged ideas and knowledge, and offered suggestions and insights to those seeking ways to overcome a specific writing hurdle. 

I'd highly recommend forming smaller groups within your communities that you learn with and from. It's a more personal way to strengthen you in your writer's journey.

Have a great weekend and please see below for the full presentations.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Weekend Links: The Heroes Journey, The Benefits of Anti-social Behavior, and Ancient Teens

In a previous post, I mentioned that I'm taking Emma Walton Hamilton's middle grade writing class. I'm learning so much. One of my favorite lessons dealt with the plot device called the heroes journey. The video above explains it nicely.

The video below will make you feel so much better if you are even slightly anti-social.

 And finally, if you're planning to write a book for ancient Roman teenagers, the next video is for you. Okay, seriously though, it's a great look into the life of a teen--the differences and similarities over time. The stuff that many good modern novels are made of.

Have a great weekend. I'll have some fun news to post soon, so stay tuned.