Advice, create create create

It’s been a while hasn’t it? I’d like to say that I’ve spent my time away from the blogger-sphere creating, unfortunately it’s been much more mundane than that…surviving if you will. (I’d say living but that implies a certain zest that these droll winter months haven’t much afforded me.)

But this morning, a deary day with nipping hints of Persephone’s legacy swirling around my face, I stumbled upon this and decided today would be a beautiful day to rededicate myself to writing¬† and to the world at large.

In short, I’m back. And if you have had a creative drought or are feeling your work isn’t up to par, please take a minute a listen to the video below.

A minute can reset your life after all.

Kickstart my heart? (hope it never stops…)

woman-sitting-silhouette-clipartI’ve been slowly formulating a kick starter campaign for one of my children’s projects. And it is completely never racking. I haven’t yet launched it. This is odd because as any artist I am used failure. It is my friend, a chance for me to rise like the phoenix and dust off the prose that sully my wings.

This though is never-racking.So I’m asking for advice? What would you like to see in a Kickstarter campaign? What has or has not worked for you? what other funding tools have you used?

My new montra: find the writer

findthewriterAshy: How have you been?

Me: My week hasn’t been too bad, keep kinda thinkin’ heavy thoughts but that happens every so often doesn’t it? Oh moody artist

Ashy: Life’s heavy. Use your heavy thoughts and put ’em down on paper ūüôā

The shot in the foot text I needed. You see I’ve been in a funk- the heavy, can’t catch your breath in a crowded night club sort. And understandable burden since the death of my father, but, usually I’m able to¬† make my way through and catch my breath if only for a second. This though, is constant. But perhaps the problem has not been in the sorrow, its depth undeniable, but rather in my schedule which has precluded me from writing and myself who has as of late, found it more appealing to surf the web or spend time on the blackhole of facebook, rather than explore the tangle of my thoughts, a dangerous web to be sure, but one which left to its own devices will continue to expand.

In short, I needed to just do even if I didn’t want to, even if it sucks.

And so in the last two days I have: found a collaborative paying writing effort (nothing big or very profitable but something that will get me writing.), advertised for an artist again for my comic idea, and started (though not finished so it is not yet posted) a kick starter campaign for another children’s book I have started.

Life is and I suppose always shall be amazing, beautiful, sad, horrid, immortal and terminal and it is I who will have to just learn how to weather each storm.

Dating advice from literature

I won’t lie. I have had a pretty miserable dating history, an innate ability to find the losers in the crowd and hitch my wagon to them, only to find myself, a year later single, facebook stalking my ex and wondering how I could have dated such a tool.

I asked him to act like he loved me. This is how my ex responded....cute or indicative of his tooliness. (fyi it was the latter.)

I asked him to act like he loved me. This is how my ex responded….cute or indicative of his tooliness. (fyi it was the latter.)

But¬† this history of heartbreak and kissing frogs has given me a great appreciation for literature’s taken on love.

Most people spend a life looking for love. If you are lucky, you may find one love that last. A beautiful and torturous gamble.

I stumbled upon this page a few weeks ago,  30 pieces of dating advice from literature.

Commonsensical,¬† witty and sometimes profound, it’s definitely worth the few minutes of your time to explore (though I won’t lie, I skipped over the 50 Shades of Grey link).



Why 4th graders are better poets than you (and me)….

If you haven’t yet figured out, I have a preoccupation with childhood and art.¬† It is my believe that most of us are naturally artists but as we grow,¬†we are conditioned to lose this.

I stumbled upon an article about fourth grade poets that you should read on the topic.

Let it inspire you. Forget what you know or what you are taught and write, write, write.

I learned a trick from Lynda Barry, about the process of unlearning for art. (This is a short explanation of the writing process, check out her work for a much better explained and more detailed process)

  1. Pick a topic to write about
  2. Set two alarms, one for a minute and another for six.
  3. For the first minute doodle a circle on a piece of paper, concentrate on your circles.
  4. Once the first alarm sounds, start writing and don’t stop until the second alarm rings
  5. If you can’t think of what to write, write the abc’s or numbers until it comes to you (repeat every time you run out of things to write.)
  6. When the alarm sounds, set aside your piece for at least 24 hrs before editing.

Its amazing what comes of it.

We are all artist, don’t let society teach you otherwise!

Maybe I’m just chicken shit (pondering self-publication)

When my friends and I turned 16, we came up with the brilliant idea of night car surfing. Our night-blind friend would drive her Eclipse  down the winding back -roads of our hometown, while one friend sat out of  the moon roof and the other (usually I) sat out of the window, legs dangling, only holding on by the fat on our bottom.  The wind rushing through my hair, stars twinkling above mixing with the danger of deer and speed bumps brought out the best and worst in me.

When you’re a stupid, daring stupid teenage, people often think you are fearless.

But I was far from it.

I am far from it.

Behind the girl who would sled down cliffs only because her friends broke bones on it was a girl striving for perfection, desperately afraid of rejection.

This doesn’t go with being an artist where rejection is a daily part of life.

And for that reason, I pushed my art aside year and year, until, no matter what I did, I couldn’t deny what was part of me. I’m not happy if I’m not making art. And what good is art if no one else sees it?

I’ll just have to deal with rejection (again and again).

But it still isn’t easy.

Nor is this.

I have a collection of stories ready for self-publication, and though I have done some research, I wanted to ask you, my readers, if you have a preferred self-publication sight/method?

I need to stop making excuses and just do it!

What is the worse that could happen, right?


Two things to brighten your day

Two things to brighten your day:

1)There is a very awesome web series I have stumbled upon, thanks to Vintage Books and Anchor Books facebook page,¬†“Writers on Writing”. Below is one of my favorite ones. There are 32 in all. (I know I’ve just consumed your day.)

2) The best advice on how to open a new book.


So you wanna be a writer……

5 things I wished I’d known starting out as a writer………

5) Rejection will hurt a lot more than you think it will.

I always knew as a writer, as any artist, that rejection is just a fairly regular part of life…for every one publication comes rejection after rejection. But pouring your heart and soul into a project, until it’s your baby, and then having someone tell you that it isn’t good enough or right for their magazine, just flat out sucks.

It will hurt. Even after you get used to it, some days when you get that letter or email that says we don’t want you and it will still put you in a crappy mood. ¬†There will be days you will want to give up.

Most people don’t make it right away. Most people spend years of getting rejected before they ever make it. ¬†Oh and by make it, ¬†I mean published, not you just wrote the next ¬†Harry Potter……

4) Enjoy the  successes

Every time you get a success, a publication or anything else, savor it.

In a world of rejection, you need this and you deserve it.

Pat yourself on the back. Toot your own horn and don’t ever let anyone give you flack for it. ¬†No matter what anyone says, art is hard work, you deserve it.

Don’t focus on your next project through it either, just take a deep breath and suck it all in.

3) People won’t consider your art a “real job” until you have GREAT success.

“You ¬†write. You submit. It takes like what five minutes?”

“You are only doing this because you don’t want a real job”

Even a part-time writer spends a huge chunk of their life for art, from the pre-thoughts, the drafts, the revision, and submission process. It takes up a lot of your life. And since, for many people it doesn’t pay well or quickly, it’s a job that takes up a lot of your life without providing you with monetary reward.

However, there are people out there who are just going to think you are a no good hippie, who doesn’t do real work.

Embrace it, laugh at it, and use it to fuel some awesome stories.

2) Writer’s block can last a long time and it will really suck

Writer’s block can be all-encompassing, ¬†to the point that you can’t even look at a page without becoming despondent, and can last for months even years.

The best advice I can give you, just keep on writing, even if it sucks. And it might suck. It might really suck. I’ve spent many a month working on projects to get me out of this zone only to look back at all of it and realize that it is utter crap. However, it keeps you writing, and that is what you need. So if all else fails, schedule a time in and write about anything and everything.

Nike said it right, just do it.

1) Keep Writing

I had a poetry teacher would told me that he thought I had the potential to be a great poet. I asked him how he could be sure. He said,  well in 30 years if you are still writing, I will know. Whatever your craft, if you truly believe in it, keep with it.

Keep on writing. You can find success. And even if you don’t become¬†Hemingway, your art can have great impact on yourself and on life.