Monday, May 28, 2012

Inspirations for The Seven Tales of Trinket: Banshees

When I was in fourth grade, I did a report on banshees.  No, I wasn't really a creepy kid...just curious.  I am not certain where I heard about them, actually.  Perhaps an old folktale...or maybe I saw DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE at a tender age (although I don't remember seeing it until it was on HBO and I was in highschool...and that banshee scene is Terrifiying!!) but maybe we went to the movies when I was too little to remember.  Regardless, I was intrigued.

The banshee (or bean sidhe) is a sad creature who roams the night, shrieking and wailing when death is near.  The legends say that if you hear her, death will visit either you or someone you know. They are said to comb their long white hair with silver combs. Most kids would be fine with that amount of information.  But not fourth-grade me.

I couldn't stop thinking about them.  Did they have families?  I did one get stuck being a banshee?  Were there ever any banshee children?

Eventually, when I was writing Trinket's tale, I knew she would have an encounter with a banshee.  And that it would be kind of scary.

This banshee looks too nice to be the banshee in my book.

Nope...waaaaaaayyyy to frightening.  Great.  Now I am not going to be able to look at my own blog until she scrolls down further on the page.  Just great.

Eh...the face is all wrong, but I love the transparency of her.  Trinket could see through the banshee she meets .
It is interesting to me how the things that fascinated young me keep finding ways to sneak into my books.  Dragons and knights in the GOOD KNIGHT books, now fortune tellers and banshees in THE SEVEN TALES OF TRINKET.  What will be next?  (Oh...and there are SEVEN tales...and I have only told you about two....more to come!)

What inspirations from your childhood keep finding their ways into your writings?


Sunday, May 20, 2012

What I Get Myself Into Sometimes...

1st annual pizza eating competition.

Notice the pre-event stress etched into my brow?  That's fear, folks.
That's because the guy next to me, "The Tsunami" was trying to psych me out.
He was successful.
So, yeah, a weekend filled with pizza eating contests and silent auctions--all to raise money for my school.  This year, instead of auctioning myself off to appear at a child's party, I created a one-day, one-fee, writing workshop for kids.  I'll let you know how it goes!

I had a lovely letter last week from Dolly Parton. (TRUE! I think she really, actually signed it, with a real pen!) She let me know that TAKE CARE GOOD KNIGHT has been chosen again for their Imagination Library.  I can't tell you how happy this makes me.  My lovely knight and his little dragon friends will be helping even more children learn to read!
And hopefully, those dragons will learn to read, too!

I began a new middle-grade book (Yay!).  I am not very far in, but it feels good to have a project started.  Also, I am struggling with the right endings for two picture books, so hopefully one or the other will fall into place soon.  TRINKET has received two excellent blurbs from some amazing authors.  I'll post those as soon as I am able.  But I have to tell you, the thought of someone else reading TRINKET is a little freaky.  My stomach gets all butterfly-like, probably because the story is so close to my heart and all.  But a story kept inside of oneself is no story at all.  It must be set free to fly off into the world, to live its own life, etc...

Or so I keep telling myself.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

What Really Freaks Me Out

It's no secret that I love to read other writers' blogs.  I love to hear how they get their ideas, how they grapple with the whole publishing world--the thrill of victory, agony of defeat, etc.

Except there is a time I should NEVER read writing blogs.

And that time is now.

Because I am trying to start something new.

Sometimes, reading a blog about writing is like being pregnant and everyone around you who has ever given birth tells you their labor battle stories and you wonder what have I gotten myself into?

For some reason, I keep stumbling into blogs (or tweets) that remind me how HARD writing is...ooooohhhh, the struggle!!  And it makes me afraid.

I don't want to be afraid to write.  Writing brings me so much joy.  I need to read the posts that remind me of the awesomeness of it.  I need to read about the wonder of  THE FLOW--that magic time where words just begin to seep out of you in perfect order...*sigh*.

But instead, I keep finding the exact opposite. The Woes of the Struggle have no end.

Perhaps that's the lesson.

We don't begin a writing project because we think it will be easy*.  We go in, knowing that there are, in fact,  serpents hiding in the forest, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Waiting to test the very mettle of our desire to seek the truth of the story. Waiting to bite.

 Yet we still go in.

We do it anyway.

Okay...I guess I am ready now.  Hand me my sword, will you?


*Let's be honest.  Sometimes writing really is easy.  Everyone who is a writer has had that story, that book, that whatever, that was easy as pie to get down on paper.  Maybe that's why we keep at it--the hope that once again we'll find the easy way!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Star Wars Day--Belated Version

May the Fourth was a busy, busy day!

So, in an attempt to  make up for the lameness of not posting, I am treating you to a photo-extravaganza of my adventure at the STAR WARS exhibit at the Discovery Cube in Orange a few weeks back. Cali agreed to accompany me and was quite a good sport about it.

It was so awesome!  They had the actual costumes, props, etc from the movies.

I might not yet have recovered.

Prepare to be....well, whatever.

Okay, so not that long ago...and just 45 minutes up the coast, actually.

The Falcon!!!  Um...WOW!

Uglier and scarier in real life.

Landspeeder model.  Eleven-year-old me would TOTALLY have played Barbies with these guys!  (Actually, they kind of look like they are on the prowl from some dates...)

Help me, Obi-wan...your costume is so spectacular I might faint!

Glass too thick for me to break in and borrow him...but he wanted to come home with me.  Can't you see it in his eyes?  (Or, "See it in his eyes, you can.")

Roboting it out with C-Threep. (That's his cool rapper name.)

"Luke, I am your father. also happen to be in the refrigerator...."

STORMTROOPER: Excuse me, ma'am?  MA'AM?  THOSE ARE THE DROIDS WE ARE LOOKING FOR!                    


I beg to differ, Han Solo, but lightsabers ROCK!

Let the wookie win. Especially if there are two of them.

Ah, memories.  I dressed as Princess Leia as a sophomore for Halloween.  Used a sheet and my own hair...sigh.
So, yeah.  Wish I could have stayed forever.  Unfortunately it was over Spring Break and there were 1.5 MILLION other families there.  That being the case, I really didn't end up wanting to stay forever after all.

So, May the Sixth be with you!

(Doesn't have the same ring, does it?)