Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In That Place

I'm supposed to be writing at the moment, but thought I should take some time real fast to share how I feel. I'm good.
No, really. I'm good.
For some reason, the writing world doesn't seem so dark and foreboding. There's not this giant cloud of "I must get published" hanging over me which, by the way, kind of was around since I restarted writing back in 2009. I don't know why I feel this way. It's not that today was super special. I got a rejection letter and didn't fret. At all. I got a request from an editor and didn't rush to send the file. Nope. I'm just chillin', enjoying the journey. And that's what this is. A journey.
Perhaps it took me a few years to realize what I've posted in the heading of this blog. It's not a rush. Well, it's not for me. It's a JOURNEY. And for me, it's been good times.
While not evident on this blog, I can tell you that my writing has improved a lot over these past few years. That's something to feel good about. There was 20 years of rust to shake off when I resumed my passion to write. Yeah, 20 years of not writing a word. Not one. My wife didn't even know I loved writing. I had stopped before meeting her. 20 years is a long time for bad habits, poor storytelling, and everything else that can hinder a writer to set in. The rust is gone now. I feel like it is.
And I have plenty of story ideas. Lots of them. There's something else to feel good about. I'll never run out of material. Never. If I were to drop everything else in my life and just write, I'd be busy for years with all of the ideas I have notes for at the moment. I'll get to some. Perhaps. Or I'll write something else.
That's the last thing I want to share tonight. Writers write. We know that. Others know that. It's true. It's all I do. Once the kids are in bed, I'm plotting or writing or editing or something. There's always a gear turning the writer's mind inside of me. Writing is what I do. And that makes me happy.

~ Jamie

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

After Storymakers

Have you ever attended an event so wonderful that the crash of reality leaves you longing? Yeah? Me too.
I’ve attended the LDStorymakers conference the past few years and this year’s conference was the best. When I say the best, I mean it was better by a grand margin. The other conferences didn’t even come close. Okay, I’m sure I’m exaggerating—but it was a great conference. In fact, I’m getting all tingly just writing about it.
The classes were fabulous. I found myself undecided at times as to which course to take, because there were so many good ones, and was always pleased with the information given. It was as if the speakers had prepared topics that I needed to hear and learn from right now—like they knew what I was looking for. And they delivered. Again, fabulous.
One highlight from this year was the writer’s boot camp. I’m been focusing lately on getting back to basics, working on the craft of great storytelling, and signed up for the boot camp to get fresh perspective. I am so glad that I did. It was a wonderful experience and opened my eyes to a few things I’m missing in my writing.
Then there was Anne Perry. (Excuse me for a moment while I sigh with elation.) Anne Perry. I didn’t know who she was before the conference, but now I’m a fan. She was fantastic. I’ve never learned so much from a writer before. She is a master. Her words opened my eyes to concepts I never dreamed could be applied to the art of storytelling. Listening to her speak was worth ten times the cost of the conference to me and the highlight was hearing her read from her own works. I feel like I’m a better writer just for being there. Yeah, she’s that awesome.
So the conference was great, and the people I met were amazing, and the experience was one that I’ll cherish forever. Now I’m here, back on earth, working and living and surviving the inevitable crash that comes after such a wonderful event. I’m going to write, and write, and write some more, and do my best to meet the standards of excellence set into my mind from Storymakers.

~ Jamie

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Writer's Voice Entry

As part of the process to move forward with my newest project, I’ve entered a couple contests. One contest, The Writer’s Voice, randomly selected 150 participants who will have the chance to receive feedback and guidance on both queries and the first 250 words of a manuscript from some wonderful coaches. I have been selected to participate and am thoroughly thrilled at the opportunity. This is my first time dabbling in a contest like this, so I’m a little nervous; however, I know I’ll be in good hands.

Okay. The contest is over so I'm removing the details of my entry. Hopefully,  we'll all get to read the first page in print one day. Congrats to all the fine folks who moved on and received requests. There were some great entries. 

~ Jamie

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

10 Things NOT to do at Storymakers

Next week is Storymakers! I know, I know, this is my second post about it in a week. I’m excited. Can you tell?
I’ve been preparing for the conference by painting my car windows and ironing my socks and such. Just kidding. I'm a procrastinator. I still haven’t printed my pages for bootcamp. I have, however, been thinking about all the good times in store. I love going to writers conferences and can't wait to interact with everyone.
In honor of the event, I thought I’d throw a little bit of fun your direction. It's strange and goofy and off the wall, but it's me. Here are ten things not to do at Storymakers:

  1. Wear a cape and a mask and dart from corner to corner.
  2. Put windshield repair flyers on all the cars in the parking lot.
  3. Introduce yourself using an opera voice.
  4. Wear a pair of puppy hand puppets and have conversations back and forth.
  5. Yell “Amen! I believe.” after every speaker.
  6. Randomly pick a person and loudly announce to the conference that it’s their birthday.
  7. Whistle the Andy Griffith theme song nonstop between classes.
  8. Spray Lysol everywhere without an explanation.
  9. Constantly laugh like that little guy in Jabba’s palace.
  10. Raise your hand to answer a question, then share a story from your mission.

I promise: I will not do any of these at Storymakers! See you there.