Monday, November 15, 2010

Recent Writing

Ok, so I humbly admit that last brilliant idea is still safely tucked away in my notebook, until I decide what to do with it.  I still think it has potential ... I'm just not sure it's what I should be doing with my time at the moment.  But in evaluating the worth of my idea, and in the process reflecting on my goals and desires in life, I did a lot of soul searching (and talking) about what to do with my desire to learn, express ideas, debate, inspire, empower others and reflect ... of course whilst refusing to compromise in my other roles!

I decided NOT ...

*  to launch into Nanowrimo (fun and enticing, but at this point too self indulgent) 

*  to execute my ambitious plan to publish the above-mentioned book by next November (since I can't commit large chunks of time to a project unless I believe without a doubt that the world needs it now, that I'm the only one who can deliver it, and that the opportunity cost is worth it ... never likely to finish anything with those standards am I?)

*  to go back to Uni (physically or online) to get formal recognition for the research and learning I am unofficially undertaking.  I don't mean this to sound arrogant, but I decided I'm too busy learning to be limited by conventional studies.

So, lots of 'NOT's ... but I have been writing.  Even if I don't often have anything to show for it.
I've written ...

*  in my journal:  thoughts about faith, physical and mental health, adjustments to my diet, thinking patterns and lifestyle
*  home ed. lists, plans and ideas, to help me compare and prioritise goals, resources and practicalities for future years
*  essays and articles ... home education, gifted education, why underachievement is over-rated
*  encouragement for writers
*  dreams for an alternative education community resource centre
*  various exercises from an old favourite writer's resource, "The Writer's Path"
*  my own eulogy, after watching this last night!

I don't know what, if anything, will ever come of my writing.  But that's beside the point ... it's just something I love to do.  It's part of me and the way I think and express myself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

From go to gold!

Splendiferous news here today!  I've been mining my imagination for stories, plots and ideas for several years now ... hoping to find a book in there somewhere.  I've found all sorts of adventures, crafted many stories children would probably enjoy ... but nothing promising enough to justify the time it would take to process and polish to perfection.  I loved my 'inklings', as I call them, but try as I might, couldn't raise them to maturity.  Aside from a couple of favourites which I did submit to publishers, I couldn't clearly imagine them in print, in the hands of readers.

How I have yearned for that moment, for that book.  And now, I think I've struck gold!

I'm fairly protective of my inklings before they hatch.  I will say my new work is inspirational, motivational non-fiction.  I am writing for teens and adults.  I think it matters.  I'd love to outline the book, along with the marketing plan and extra dimensions I've planned ... but not yet.

For years I have wanted to write fiction, for children and teens, just as I love reading it.  And writers write, right?  So I have written ... about 30 stories, from first to third drafts and a handful of thirteenth drafts.  I received just as many rejection letters from publishers.  These are apparently important stepping stones on the path to publication, so I feel privileged and professional to have them.

I always thought my non-fiction bits and pieces were just training ground, something to tap out while I wrestled to pull together the threads of my 'real' stories.  Non-fiction came naturally to me, probably as a result of writing countless highschool and university essays.  In recent years I played with writer's tip-sheets, snippy heckler articles and of course countless teaching documents, both necessary and superfluous.  It's kind of funny (but predictable) that my first potentially publishable book would be non-fiction.

I've had a fantastic writing apprenticeship thus far.  I've been helped along the way by how-to-write books, websites, magazines, occasional writer's groups and e-zines.  A few web-based classes gave me food for thought, such as Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake method and Marg McAlister's  Writing 4 Success courses which also came with detailed feedback. 

When I was writing more prolifically a couple of years ago, I was wonderfully, informally mentored by children's book authors, Dianne Bates and Margaret Watts.   I met Di Bates through correspondence about a writers newsletter she produced, and visited Di and her also-writing husband, Bill Condon, with my young family.  Margaret Watts was a childhood friend of my mother in law, an accomplished writer and teacher, who happily corresponded and encouraged me.  The friendship and advice these ladies provided was remarkable.  It means a great deal to me that two accomplished authors took the time to nurture my budding talent.  I intend to be just as welcoming and generous with the people who come into my life.  That is, in part, what my new book is about!

So.  I have a goal.  I have a plan of attack.  If I have 5 minutes here and there, an hour or two once in a while, I can do this.  When I'm writing fiction, I lose touch with reality, crave hours of solitude and feel like I'm neglecting my loved ones ... I love the escape and indulgence of writing, but it's not conducive to being a good parent and wife.  Other writers and parents can do both, but I can't do both properly at this point in time.

This project is uplifting, energising and inspiring.  I know why I want to write this book and what it might mean to my readers.  Hopefully, that's enough to keep the spark burning until I'm ready to write it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Drifting in ... the dream

I imagine myself alone on a big bamboo raft, drifting on a gentle current.  
The sky is bright with just a hint of cloud to inspire wispy daydreams.  
The water is clear and shimmering with promise.  

The swell gently guides me to the shore.

On soft white sand I sit and watch, timeless as waves lap and retreat. 

Perhaps I'll explore a rocky headland, 
a warm tide pool, 
a mystery hidden by nonchalant palm trees. 

This is my island  

A place to write and dream.
A place to share my experiences, thoughts, abstract ideas.  
A place to think out loud.  

Ink Island
where my thoughts crystallise into words on the page 
and my pen gives ideas space to grow.