Friday, December 11, 2009

Nathan Bransford's Literary Blog

Friday, December 11, 2009
If you don't know it already, check out Nathan Bransford's literary blog... listed as one of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" by Writer's Digest in both 2008 and 2009.

Bransford is a publishing agent at Curtis Brown (and an author in his own right), who offers wide-ranging topical information--from the latest controversy surrounding e-books to current trends in the publishing industry, including a categorical breakdown of his recent author queries. He is also full of creative tips and insights!

Thank you to my dear friend Lisa Cron for the tip... a stunning writer and story expert whose "Inside Story" class at UCLA Extension Writers' Program I highly recommend!

SOS ~ kg

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Writing & Quilting

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two of my mom's quilts: Yankee Doodle Quilt (left), Ohio's Bicentenniel Quilt (right)

My mom is a quilter. I know this because my childhood bedroom is now abounding with all sorts of colored patches of fabric and works in progress. I hadn't ever considered the similarities between our creative processes, until I came across this musing on storytelling and quilt-making - enjoy!

- A quilt takes months.
- A story takes months.

- You choose a pattern, something formal or an idea to cobble together. 
- You choose a theme, ideas that you will piece together.

- You try to think how much fabric you will need…
- You try to think how much material you will need and how long your story will be.

- Cut out fabric into required pieces…
- Write out the material into required blocks of text.  You can fill in the gaps later.

- Fit these [blocks of fabric] together in an agreeable way…
- Fit these blocks of text together in an agreeable way.

- Baste together with big stitches…
- Baste your writing together with rough transitions.

- Then you can quilt.
- Then you can draft and re-draft.

- Make the tiny stitches which draw the layers together and create texture.
- Make tiny edits which draw the layers together and create texture.

Then be sure to share your creation with others.  Hang up your writing, share it with everyone who will listen.

Authored by Kari-Lynn Winters; inspired by Theresa Kishkan's book Phantom Limb.

Friday, July 24, 2009

William Zinsser on Memoir and Truth

Friday, July 24, 2009

A thought-provoking interview with William Zinsser - author of “On Writing Well” - about writing memoir and the elusive nature of truth. He says the writer’s *intention* is perhaps the most important aspect to consider.

SOS ~ kg

Credit: NPR’s All Things Considered, April 13, 2006 

* if you cannot play the audio, be sure to refresh the page.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

She Writes

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Calling all female writers!

Check out this new social networking site “She Writes.”

I am very new to it, still figuring it out. I know, I know... yet another FB, Twitter, etc. Something else to eat up time and distract us from far more worthy creative endeavors and face to face connections. However, some of my dearest mentors, also stunning writers, are active on it.

More importantly...

In this new era of marketing, authors are finding themselves without much support from the publishing houses, so SheWrites is looking to create a grassroots network of salons in cities across the country to help promote the books of its members.

It appears to be a worthy resource. And growing.

Come join me!

SOS ~ kg

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rosa Parks 'Cause & Effect'

Sunday, June 7, 2009
A mighty little story - and a great example of 'cause and effect'.

Photo credit: Larry Hirshowitz

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Grover "Near and Far"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Here's a great example of character. This guy will do anything to reach his goal... to the brink of collapse!

SOS ~ kg

Monday, May 25, 2009

Writing a Children's Picture Book

Monday, May 25, 2009
As I’m working on my first children’s picture book, I checked out my all-time childhood favorite from the local Santa Monica Public Library:

“Corduroy” by Don Freeman.

It turns out the 40th Anniversary edition includes correspondence between Freeman and his editor Annis Duff - in addition to a copy of his original manuscript with the editor’s penciled notes in the margins. Amazing insight to the story-editing process!

For anyone interested in writing for children’s literature (from picture books to YA-Young Adult novels), I highly recommend joining the online Yahoo Group for children's writers and Illustrators.

This wonderfully supportive virtual community is a rich resource for information. The 2600+ members will answer most any question you have, no matter where you are in the creative process. Many are published veterans.

May I one day join their lot!

SOS ~ kg

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing:

   1.  Never open a book with weather.

   2.  Avoid prologues.

   3.  Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.

   4.  Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.

   5.  Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.

   6.  Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."

   7.  Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.

   8.  Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.

   9.  Don't go into great detail describing places and things.

  10.  Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

 My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

 If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ira Glass on Story

Friday, April 10, 2009
The great Ira Glass, host of NPR’s ‘This American Life’, discusses the building blocks of storytelling.

Elizabeth Gilbert On Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling memoir ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, offers some thought-provoking ideas on where *creative genius* comes from... It’s “on loan” to us, she says.

Check out her TED talk below.

SOS ~ kg

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Storytelling Around Town

Thursday, April 9, 2009
Where do you find your source of inspiration? Many people find it through books, movies, etc. For me, my muse most often comes through real life experiences--my own experiences as a human being in the world, and hearing others talk about their personal journeys.

For the last seven years, I have been helping produce a spoken word series that does just that... It creates a space for people to share their stories. True stories from their lives. Over time “SPARK Off Rose” has become popular through word-of-mouth. We don’t advertise and yet we sell out our black box 80-something-seat theatre nearly every month. Why? Because people are yearning to hear others’ talk about their life experiences -- and they are needing to share their own.

To hear and be heard.

If you haven’t already, come check us out sometime. I will post the upcoming show on my home page, or you can also email Spark Off Rose to be added to our mailing list.

Personal storytelling has exploded across Los Angeles, each venue with a different twist on what is essentially a re-invention of oral tradition. If you live in the area, here are some other storytelling events happening around town:

Four Stories and a Cover @ UCB Theatre

WordPlay @ The Fake Gallery

Sit ‘n Spin @ Comedy Central Stage

Tasty Words @ Every Picture Tells A Story

The Moth Story Slams

SOS ~ kg
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