Monday, July 31, 2017

For the Love of…Feathers

I feel it stronger than I have in quite some time—the creative connection between painting and writing. So, I’m entertaining it. I’m witnessing the cranial Pop Rocks sensation that happens whenever I pick up a paintbrush. For the sake of my writing. And, well, because I love how I feel when I paint. I love how it magically disintegrates stress, while simultaneously opens my mind to new possibilities.

In the past week I’ve gravitated toward feathers. Here are some that floated from my head to the brush.



 
Writers write, yes. (I’m still hard at it on the editing and writing side of things.) But we also get intentional about following the creative. And my creative seems to be released with every glide, small stroke, and wisp of a feather lately.

In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more about the novel I’m releasing this fall, 
THE AFTER GLIMPSE. 
I can’t wait!!! 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Full Life



I saw this while walking around one of my favorite local shopping centers. 



  
It embodies so much of how I aim to live.

Know that I realize I’ve been somewhat quieter lately. It’s funny in a way because as I’m getting ready to release a new novel this fall I’m finding I have to gear up, I have to ready myself to reenter the noise.

It’s not like I haven’t been busy this summer. In the past week alone I’ve given feedback on two novels for critique partners, as well as a non-fiction health book my friend is publishing soon. I’ve signed kids up for dance and soccer and am still in shock I’m preparing them for school in one week (big change from going back the first week in September). I said goodbye after my mom visited, met up with a family from Connecticut, attended a dynamic dinner party, gone on six mile walks with my husband, painted more drywall (because I really can’t stay away), and worked with the cover designer on my new novel. I wrote 5,000-words of one novel, while editing major sections of another. Oh, and I signed up for a writer’s conference in November. So, yes, I’m keeping active. Behind the scenes for now.

Much like an athlete, I’m feeling myself stretch and prepare to get back out there. It’s been years since I’ve released a book. Even with all of the preparation, it’s easy to forget how daunting it is.

So, when the world rattles or my confidence wavers, I try to remember one thing.


I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. And my life is full.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Can Travel Spark Creativity?


I’m going with a resounding yes. We’ve bounced around our share this summer and every time I find myself in a new city I’m met with surges of fresh ideas. Some of these thoughts involve characters, some plot twists, some career moves, and some promotion, but I’m not sure any would have come to me had I not physically moved to a different location.

I could write a year’s worth of blog post reactions about the book I’m reading. IMAGINE by Jonah Lehrer is my kind of book. It stretches the way I think about how I learn, and how I interpret the world.

I was particularly amused by the section about travel and how it influences our ability to create. Why so fascinated by this? Because in addition to our big move, we’ve also done a load of traveling over the past few months. And I’ve found every time I leave our house I open the door to new material. It’s wild. It’s wonderful.

Lehrer writes, “We need to leave behind everything. One of the most surprising (and pleasurable) ways of
cultivating an outside perspective is through travel, getting away from the places we spend most of our time.” He goes on to say that when we travel ideas that were previously suppressed have an opportunity to surface. New surroundings inspire new thoughts. Travel also encourages us to become more open-minded, or as Lehrer suggests “alive to ambiguity, more willing to realize there are different ways of interpreting the world.” Yes. Yes. And yes.

I still think part of the reason I write stems from my time growing up in Germany. My mom loves to share how as a young kid I’d look at people in an elevator and excitedly speak my own interpretation of German (I was a special child). As an adult, I love learning about other cultures and other ways of living. I no longer go up to people who speak a different language and spout Gibberish, trying to engage in conversation with them. My husband stops me before I try.

I buy into this concept entirely. And I’m not convinced we have to fly to Paris or Rome to thrum the creative juices. Simply stepping out can do wonders. This is why walks can be so instrumental when I’m brain-blocked.

Every time we leave our comfortable nests we’re forced to view the world through a fresh lens.


Traveled anywhere lately? Have you experienced a heightened sense of creativity when you’ve stepped out?

Monday, July 3, 2017

New Digs + A Marvelous & Stirring Summer Read

I moseyed over here the other day to check on a few things only to experience instant shock. The place had been ransacked. Well, not exactly. Spammed is more like it. The second I saw what was going on I knew I needed to swing into action. Which is exactly what I did. And this—what you see around you—is the result of a little rearranging. Now it feels like home. Much like me, it’s a work in progress. Hope you’ll grow comfortable will the new surroundings soon enough.

Now it’s time to tell you about a book I met. Met? Yes, that’s exactly what I meant. Years ago I had the honor of befriending a like-minded author who shares my passion for the craft. I cheered on Emily Bain Murphy from the moment I heard about her story. I encouraged her, and she encouraged me in turn, as we both navigated this grueling industry. I read chapters. We brainstormed plot twists and character motivations. I celebrated when she signed with her agent, then a publishing house. And then came the cover . . . what a stunning work of art! It perfectly suits this marvelously stirring tale. 


Excuse me as I feel a bit like a proud aunt, watching my niece step out for her first dance. She’s going to wow the crowd, this much I know. And here’s the real kicker—it’s because I’m aware of exactly what’s inside. I’ve been incredibly moved to see just how much her mom has poured into her so she’ll turn out this way. With such integrity, finesse, and grace.

If you’ve visited here long enough, you know two things. 1. The place has an entirely new look today. 2. I don’t gush about a book unless I really mean it.

This book will change you. THE DISAPPEARANCES accomplished a magical and rare thing so few books are able to. I entered a world I didn’t want to leave.

Here’s my Goodreads review ~

Seldom do I encounter such a remarkable and stirring book. I can’t decide which aspect of THE DISAPPEARANCES I’m most in love with—the gifted storytelling, the lovable characters, the unique concept, or the way I felt moved along as I read, as though carried upon water.

I can imagine so many things regarding the future of this book…required reading in schools, a movie, babies being named Aila all over the world, or even simply the smiles on people’s faces as they delight in a truly magical and transcending read.

Emily Bain Murphy has created a masterful work of fiction. This mesmeric novel will engage you in a way that will stay with you forever.

Emily, you did it!!!



*see you back here July 17th. Go buy THE DISAPPEARANCES.


Candid

My husband and I love to joke how in the 80s people didn’t care near as much what they looked like as they do today. Just watch 80s TV. H...