Lupe Fiasco's song Superstar has a line in it that always gets me motivated to keep pushing myself in my writing:
"The world brought me to my knees
What have you brung you?
Did you improve on the design?
Did you do something new?"
Doing something new can sometimes feel impossible when it comes to writing picture books. I mean, how can there possibly be anything new to say about bears?? But still authors find a way. This year's SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalists for WWA alone include 3 picture books about yes, bears!
Ingenuity in writing is all about twisting the boundaries of creativity, testing the limits of your imagination and trying to see your world upside-down, topsy-turvey, from innovative new perspectives. What can you bring to the writing world that is uniquely yours?
Your voice, your art, your vision.
So bring it!
If you need some creative inspiration I say revert back to your favorite childhood activities~
try finger painting, the messier the better; or mold something out of clay; jump on a trampoline; ride a bike; skip; sing out loud; DANCE; build a fort; go fly a kite; just do something FUN and unexpected, get yourself out of your comfort zone and let the creative juices flow...
This poem was forwarded to me from the wonderful Tina Hoggatt (http://tinahoggatt.wordpress.com/, and twitter @tinahoggatt), and in honor of her Inspiration Wednesdays I wanted to re-post it here. It was written by a survivor of the disaster in Japan. Our hearts go out to the country that has suffered so much recently.
Carry on Living
Facing overwhelming power of nature, we lost ourselves.
Then, do not go against it.
You crossed the boundary to the place where you can’t find any single word.
But there you will find “something” which you couldn’t find if you were not
It’s not just nice words.
It’s not just a despair.
Everything has returned to sea and dust.
Stay feeling lost, grieving.
This may be the good reason for something to
We have lost so many, but something will come into the world from Here.
Stay in this moment.
Do not overstrain yourself.
so that you will catch the sign.
Wake up in the morning and get a breath of fresh air.
You will strongly realize that you are given your life today.
At the end of the day, take a breath.
You feel safe returning home.
Exciting news! For my manuscript consultation during the SCBWI Western WA conference I will be meeting with author Rosanne Parry. When I came across her website, I was delighted to learn that her dream as a child was to be a circus flyer- what a perfect fit for the story I submitted, Fabien the Circus Flyer! It just felt like such a good sign that our meeting was meant to be. She is the author of Heart of a Shepherd, Daddy's Home, and the upcoming Second Fiddle. Check out her website http://www.rosanneparry.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter @RosanneParry
In honor of Inspiration Wednesday (thank you Tina Hoggatt! http://tinahoggatt.wordpress.com/) and a wonderfully rejuvenating SCBWI meeting last night led by Janet Lee Carey and Grace Wong, I'm posting an old Disney favorite to brighten your day...
"When there's a smile in your heart
There's no better time to start
Think of all the joy you'll find when you leave the world behind
And bid your cares good bye-
You can fly! You can fly!
You can fly! You can fly!"
In your creative process remember to let yourself breathe. Get back in touch with your inner artist/ storyteller/ creative center, she needs to be continually embraced, nurtured, and Loved :)
Wishing you peace in your process, whatever form it may take
Ever since Nellie was a baby we have been attending the NE Library's toddler story time in Seattle. It is one of the best (and most crowded!) around, and we just love the children's librarian, Erica. She brings fun and enthusiasm to every story and song, and can keep a roomful of kids entertained. Its a great way to introduce reading as a fun, special time for you and your child.
I just mailed in my submission for the SCBWI Barbara Karlin Works-In-Progress Grant for unpublished picture book authors. Send all your positive thoughts and goodluck wishes towards Cali on those Santa Ana winds, and bring me back a win! Here's hoping!
Also mailed in my First Pages (Session A Picture Books) for the SCBWI Western WA Conference in April. As well as my picture book for my personal manuscript consultation. Feels good to get things done and off in snail mail. Makin progress on the way to achieving my goals!
Today is Dr. Suess' birthday! Celebrate Read Across America Day :)
"So we'll go to the top of the toppest blue space,
The Official Katroo Birthday Sounding-Off Place!
Come on! Open your mouth and sound off at the sky!
Shout loud at the top of your voice, 'I AM I!
And I may not know why
But I know that I like it. Three cheers! I AM I!'"