Make it wild.
Make it experimental.
Make it fun.
Make it imaginative.
Make it risky.
Make it yours.
My Patreon is for two types of people.
If you’ve been following me awhile, maybe you’ve bought in wholeheartedly to what I’m doing. Maybe when you say you believe in me, you actually believe in me.
If that’s you: Do you believe in my dream, like that my work is worth more than a box of mac n cheese? You can invest in that dream. Buy me mac n cheese & I’ll mail you an autographed copy of the Cast of Characters for my book.
Then once I’m a big deal, you sell it on ebay for even more $$$ & we laugh at the scoffers who’d rather have mac n cheese now than fortune later (although really, who can blame them…)
Do you need motivation & tips to get your dream moving forward? Good news! I now offer creative coaching for just $2/month (coincidentally, enough for me to buy a box of mac n cheese.) You can see what other clients have to say about my creative coaching, then hop over to my Patreon and invest a little bit in your dream.
Psst… I’ll tell you a secret since you’re my people: For now, you can sign up & trial run, then back out before the 1st if you don’t think it’s worth the mac n cheese you’re missing out on.
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:
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:
Kim and I created our trinkets and hung them, but the end result of so many Peoria wishes was stunning:
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
Creativity isn’t finite. The more you give, the more you have. That’s a philosophy I want to live by, and Ksenia does too.
Ksenia Anske sends cards with personalized stories to her readers. So when she sent one for my writers’ group, I volunteered to facilitate our writers prompt and had everyone write her a story back.
Because stories are meant to be shared, and a writer can only hide their stories for so long before some need to spill out, even if it’s in short form 🙂
And now we’re going to share those stories with you, stories to encourage you to create.
“With this final bit of paper and fragment of graphite I beg of you to continue on what I can do no longer. I brought their gruesome reign into the world and now with these last meager strokes I must pass the mantle onto another. They came from my mind you see, in murderous retribution. The misshapen wolf-child led the way howling in agony that I had abandoned him. My mind had pulled the sparks of his essence together but I had trapped him there. But he escaped, and he brought the millions of forgotten characters with him. The creatures control my mind, and have managed to get a link to every human brain. If I stop writing (I haven’t much longer now) without another to take my place the world ends. Pick up your pen. Go.” – by Jenn Wieland
“There once was a woman who decided to try writing. At first she was thrilled and excited, but then she met the rejection monster who gnawed at her amazing manuscript.
The brave writer stabbed the dreaded monster with her mighty pen. The monster shrieked and died at her feet. The amazing writer skinned the beast and made a cloak that she wore in the frigid winter.
The amazing writer walked proudly down the published road with her rejection coat wrapped around her shoulders.” – by Kim Kouski
“Once upon a time a young girl named Ksenia yearned to be an author, a writer. Over the years she succeeded but oh, she grew so weary and discouraged. Then one night she had a dream. She seemed transported into fairyland, with castles and dragons, knights – and a blight – a blasted desert where nothing lived. She asked a handsome knight, ‘Why? Why is fairyland blighted?’ He said sadly, ‘Those are the regions of fairyland where our goddess Ksenia has never written about.’ The end.” – by Andy Zach
“Once upon a time, there lived a sixteen-year-old girl who found a book buried beneath a pile of ruins… The girl had never seen a real book before, let alone written words and paper. This book had a red toy train on the cover.
Books were only something people have heard about – a distant memory for few. And here it is… the last book in existence wedged between her fingers. ‘Our race can be saved!’ the girl thought. ‘Finally our world will not be mute and the curse will be broken.'” – by Yasmeen
“As the dancer danced, flowers popped up around her toes and danced with her. They danced the words – the flowers and her – until a flower castle appeared. The dancer danced the word “wing”, and up sprouted the wings and lifted the word dancer to the tippy top. ‘I will make my home here,’ she danced.” – by Amy L Sauder – uhh, me 🙂
So that’s the stories. Now go out and make your own creations! And then share it with the world, give it away in some form somewhere 🙂 Pass on Ksenia’s enchantment <3
(Psst! If you want to know more about Ksenia who started this story card thing for me, you can see her website, social media, and read about all the ways I want to be like her when I writerly grow up.)
My friend was going to do a writing experiment, but was worried I as her writing coach wouldn’t approve. So I sent her a comprehensive list of all the experiments I disapprove of. If you’re thinking of experimenting with your writing, here’s a cautionary look at what experiments to avoid.
If you get any idea from this list, know that if you have a writing experiment in mind, I probably wholeheartedly embrace it! In fact, I think the best stories come from being innovative, playing with words, and experimenting.
If you’re looking for permission to think outside the box, the building, the rules of story, the world of writing, consider this your invitation. Dabble all you want. Just keep writing 🙂
Unless you’re in the Incredibles of course 🙂
When my sister said it was superhero day for my Lil Niece (world, meet niece 1 of 3), it was way past halloween and she was just going to drop by the store and look for a cape the night before. Of course they don’t have a pink batman cape readily available year-round.
Auntie to the rescue! …see, some superheroes don’t wear capes 🙂 hehe.
We found the following quite quickly:
Then it was just a night of cutting, gluing the seams, and painting the batman symbol. Now Lil Niece is off to the rescue!
She didn’t win for best costume because some girl wore a cop costume and said her daddy was her superhero (yeah, sweet, cheesy, and heroic, but not superheroism…mehh…) Still Lil Niece won life with a determined mama, creative auntie, and rockin’ diva cape! She swooped around the house to save the day and loved her cape. And I have leftover material to make a matching one for Baby Niece when she gets older. Squeal! 🙂
I love finding a creative solution in everyday life. I’m no seamstress, I’m no painter, but it doesn’t turn out bad if you try.
I found this at a thrift shop and couldn’t just pass it by. But it has obvious probz. Wanted to reach out to you creative souls and brainstorm a fix 🙂
Difficult to see in the pictures, but there’s been some sort of dye spill (the color shows up purple, but it looks like it came from the color of blue ink from an ink pen) that spilled on it. Any ideas how to dye the entire jacket that color without a huge mess? Or to hide the ink spill? I’d love to craft this into something wearable again, so throw out ALL your ideas in the comments, please!
Note: the problem areas include lower back, chest and waist, armpits, and sleeves. Basicly splotches throughout.
I don’t need an Elf on a Shelf. My Christmas tree is my own gift guard, and she makes less of a mess. Meet Delilah. You can see her adventures (or misadventures) on my facebook and twitter under #DelilahTales.
Delilah’s Christmas tree outfit didn’t just happen. Last year I had a test case (that turned out gorgeous!) and wrote a post on how you can make your own Christmas tree dress form too. This year, Delilah decorated herself, as you can see by the string of lights in her hand. (Yes, this is my cop-out – since it’s not the fanciest tree yet, she gets the credit 😉 ).
Maybe next year I’ll get better and have it more elegant. Maybe next year I’ll find some way to make the skirt cover all her legs to be more tree-like. But for now, I’m so proud of my tree. Talk about a conversation piece! 🙂
If you want your own conversation piece, maybe see how I made mine and get started on your own. Then comment and let me know what you came up with!
Already have a creative tree? Why don’t you share in the comments? I’d love to see other creative holiday decor!
If you were around the interwebs leading up to Christmas, you probably saw the mannequins-turned-christmas-tree. Here’s one example.
When a friend shared this with me, I was quite excited to try it out myself, but all of the how-to’s I found had elaborate steps with obscure materials I didn’t have the time or know-how for. This is how I went about creating my own, just so you all have another option. Whatever you have to work with, I bet you can figure it out with a little persistence and creativity 🙂
My Main Supplies
I saved the Dress Form from the junkyard, got an old tree from new friends, and got the top & decor by thrift shopping. Hopefully you’ll find everything as easily as I did, but in case you need help with the dress form and have some money to spare, you can always buy one here: http://www.mannequinmadness.com/collections/dress-forms
Step 1, detach the tree branches.
I was lucky enough to be given an old tree with hooked branches. Like so:
The branches were attached to the tree, not just hooked on, but thankfully I had a boyfriend handyman who used a drill to detach it.
See that wire fake-tree garland wrapped around the middle bar? That’s important! I saved that too.
Step 2: Get that fake-tree garland off the bar
This part wasn’t supposed to be difficult. It certainly wasn’t supposed to be tedious. Just untwist it, right? Wrong. Ya know how they keep it all on there? Hair. Okay, maybe that’s not really what it is, but just look at it. Appearance and texture of hair.
After much cutting, detangling, unknotting, and unwrapping of all this hair, I would be blessed with some tiny fluff branches (also important) and the garland.
This is the approximate ratio of hair-to-branch:
Step 3: Compile the tree-skirt
This is the main work.
At this point my tree looked something like this:
Step 4: Decorate
Then it’s just the final touches. Fluffing out branches that lie flat, or pushing down branches that jut out weird. Adding ornaments or ribbon or accessories to give it some final flare. Making the tree look something like this. Isn’t she a beaut?
I thought it fitting that I start this blog with an explanation. The book A Year of Writing Dangerously is full of inspiration for writers and ends with a list of 52 writer’s prompts – one for each week of the year. Number 12 asks to write about why we want to write.
I want to write because I want to create. I want control. I want to be okay with losing control.
I want to write because I want to escape. I want to explore. I want to imagine.
I want to write because I want to have deep relationship without risk. I want to know and be known, even if I have to fake it through characters.
I want to write because I want to be heard. I want to write because I want you to see me. I want to write because I don’t want to be me.
I want to write because I want to read. I want to understand Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Gertrude Stein, and Neil Gaiman. I want to write because I want to learn. I want to be a lifelong student, no really.
I want to write because I want to teach. I want to write because I want to think. I want to write because I want to feel.
I want to write because I want to be a part of something bigger. I want to be someone of lasting significance, if only to one person.
I want to write because I have a story. I want to write because I have many stories no one else will have, and all must be told. I want to write because I want to work with words and talking doesn’t work so well.
I want to write because I want an explanation for my quirks. I want to write because I want to have a reason for the pain. I want to write because I want to say, “I told you so.”
I want to write because I hate routine. I want to write because I want to live.
If you’re a writer, why do you write? If you’re a reader, why do you read? If you’re neither, why do you do what you do? Comment below to join the conversation.