for the Creatives

How I became a bookworm, an author, and generally obsessed with creative fashion

The start of struggling to read…

Last year I wrote about how my love of reading almost died as a kid. There was a time you probably would have thought I’d never become an avid bookworm. I couldn’t make the jump from short kid books to chapter books. Until I did.

The start of ignoring any sense of fashion…

Similarly, there was a time you wouldn’t have pegged me as an artistic fashion enthusiast. I would have told you I didn’t care about what I wore or how I looked. A clashing and frumpy and bland wardrobe. But let’s not relive those days. Moving onto later, now, when I actually have my own unique outlandish style.

The start of pushing down my writing interests…

Author of quirky, imaginative fiction. You may not have guessed that either. Sure, I wrote on the side all through childhood. Loved it. But for a good while I was adamant that I wouldn’t be an author, didn’t want to be. Instead, I wanted to study fiction, get my English Lit degree, not an English Writing degree. Until one day.


Looking back, my life started out in all these areas as things I outwardly said I didn’t want, didn’t care about, wasn’t interested in. While inwardly, I think a lot of it was actually doubt that I could do it up to my own or anyone else’s standards. So I gave up.

The turnaround…

The common strand in these stories is other people supporting me. My mom finding small books I’d be interested in. Friends to shop with that didn’t mind my outlandish creative fashion interests. Writers who saw the value of my stories and wanted more.

I learned that I didn’t have to live up to these hypothetical “other people’s standards” I was imagining. I hadn’t known there was another option. That I could carve out my own, and that I would find there were others in my corner who value the same stories, the same style, that I treasure.

And there wasn’t a timeline on it. Just an opportunity. I realized, if I really wanted it, I could do it. I could put the work in to create what I hoped for.

And now…

  • I like big books. I cannot lie 😛
  • I’m a published author of introspective psychological stories, studying my craft and coaching others wherever they’re at in the process.
  • I wear artistic fashion that brightens my day and those around me. It’s not what everyone else wears, but it’s unique and creative and interesting, and it’s me.
peoria il arts community, wishing tree, communal art
Central IL

Ignite Peoria & 500 wishes

Ignite Peoria is a creative arts event in my city. It’s happened a few years now, but this was my first year attending.

Of course I had to dress creatively for the event, and had to get a picture of my fun outfit:

20729164_10100536521076232_6294366939650719732_n

It’s not quite like most creative arts fairs where you attend and look at artists booths and buy so many beautiful things. It has that aspect, but it’s more interactive.  There’s speakers and performances. My friend Kim and I enjoyed learning about whips – and of course discussed how to implement that into our stories 🙂

I don’t actually know how many people attended and hung wishes on the tree, but about 1000 were “Interested” in the event on Facebook, and about 500 clicked “Attending” on the Facebook event. So I figure 500 is a good estimate.

As you entered the event, there was a breathtaking display with a Wishing Tree and tables and tables of trinkets to create a visual representation of your hopes and dreams:

 

20800270_10100536519010372_8323350138011829594_n

20800239_10100536519893602_97814682173654164_n

 

 

Kim and I created our trinkets and hung them, but the end result of so many Peoria wishes was stunning:

20799074_10100536519948492_2411217037653569401_n

All in all, we had a blast and can’t wait til next year. We met some great people and had a great time exploring so many of the art forms:

 

Oh, and of course there was this gorgeous floral backdrop, and Kim insisted “We have to get a picture of the back of your head there!” She knows my brand, and let that be a branding lesson for you all 😉 haha

 

Exclusive Content, for the Creatives

The super simple way to build your creative community

This post is top secret content for my most raving fans. There are two ways to get in on the fun:

  1. An abridged version of any new post is sent to those who receive my posts by email. You can sign up for free at the very bottom of my webpage. 
  2. The all-access pass for the archives and any future exclusive posts is available to paying patrons for just $2/mo. You can sign up through the below link to Patreon.com/AmyLSauder
The only question is, which will you choose? 
To view this content, you must be a member of Amy L. Sauder's Patreon at $2 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.
for the Bookworms, for the Writers

DNA of a writer: how my reading affects my writing

Last week I shared my top 10 books and their commonalities. Now you get to see the top 3 elements that are in more than half of my favorite books.

*Props to Maggie Schoepke guessing there’s a supernatural element in my fav books.
I don’t specify it that way here, but that’s definitely related to these.*

Are you ready? 🙂

The halfway point: Huge cast of characters forced together towards a common goal

  • 6 instances in 5 books

A slew of characters stories intersecting towards one common goal. Often by force, involuntarily, or unwittingly. Often that means multiple protagonists, multiple storylines (see above), etc. If you like stories that span many different characters and their own stories being intertwined, half of my reading list is for you 🙂

 

Very prevalent: Two different worlds

  • 8 instances in 6 books

This element ties in well with the above one, so it’s no surprise that it pops up again and again. Two different worlds doesn’t necessarily mean fantasy (although there is that in my list.) I have so many different genres in my list of favorites, but this theme came into play in different ways: fantastical world, parallel universe of the real world, psychological world versus real world, dual timelines, two perspectives of the same story, etc. If you want to see things from more than one lens, you might like some of my favorite books 🙂

 

The most common element {brace yourself…}: Blurred line between what is real & what is not

  • 11 instances in 7 books

If you choose to read one of the books from my list, you will statistically speaking likely see this element in play in some way 🙂

 

Though I have so many different genres represented in my favorites, there is a blurred line between real-world and not-real-world in many of these. Sometimes it’s a magical universe or an alternate reality. Sometimes the reader is unsure if it’s all in the character’s head: dream, imagination, or madness. Sometimes the story leaves the reader questioning if something magical is going on or if there’s a logical explanation that’s hidden. Sometimes there’s 2 different realities and no idea as to which one is real. Many of my favorite stories leave the reader unsure – sometimes until the end of the story, and sometimes the question is never even answered. If you want to question reality, my favorite books list might be for you 🙂

 

10351330_330111313807089_3061428391021722970_n

This reminds me:

636028406905523050-1310144539_supernatural pic

 

Did any of the above sound familiar?

Three of my favorite TV shows share the above elements to some degree:

  • LOST
  • Heroes
  • Vampire Diaries

 

 So I think I’m onto something here 🙂 

 

Now that I have my list of all the things that I really love in books (and also apparently TV shows) and how that may affect my writing style…

What I tend to write – #MyWriteDNA if you will:

I write quirks, obsession, madness, misfits, strangers, and unbelonging. I write bigger than life stories….where small nuances change everything. I write community. I write to connect: characters to each other, disparaging ideas, and narrator to reader. I write awe and surprise and emotion and detachment. I write stories of questioning realities. I write lies and truth. I write the horror between the lines. I write unease and tension. I walk the line between reality and enchantment. Magical realism. Hope, crushed and fulfilled.

 

Blog Signature - Crisper