Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Virtual Blog Tour Today!

Virtual Blog Tour

I was asked by my friend and fellow creative, Kathryn Dyche  Dechairo, to participate in a virtual blog tour. Its goal is to introduce talented bloggers and have them share insight into their writing and creative process. You can visit her tour post at The Edge of Silence - See more at: http://confessionsofalaundrygoddess.blogspot.com/#sthash.fZmpB1Dk.dpuf
I was asked by Laurie Kolp to participate in a virtual blog tour. Its goal is to introduce talented bloggers as they share insight into their creative process and current projects. I' have known Laurie for several years and have seen her blossom as a writer.  You can visit her blog tour post at http://lkharris-kolp.blogspot.de/2014/05/virtual-blog-tour.html.

Here's Laurie's bio (but to really get to know her--which you should because she is amazingly talented--you should check out her work in journals online and visited one of her blogs). 
Laurie Kolp lives in Southeast Texas with her husband, three kids and two dogs. She serves as vice-president of Texas Gulf Coast Writers, and contributes monthly to the online communities dVerse Poets and Poetry Jam. Laurie’s first full-length poetry collection is Upon the Blue Couch, published by Winter Goose Publishing in April 2014.
I've already received and read my copy of Upon the Blue Couch and hope to write a post about it in the future but if you can't wait (you know what a lazy Blogger I am lately) then just go out and buy it! I recommend it.
Now, on to answering the four questions.
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What am I working on?
One too many things. I have so many ideas and notes jotted down that I often don't know where to start. The next piece I hope to start is a creative non-fiction piece about a gift my brother gave me to me when I was little. The idea came to me while sorting through old things in the attic. It will be fun writing this story, and since it is one that is dear to my heart I hope that when I've completed it that I'll be able to find an editor who will publish it. I also have a great idea for a picture book and have just begun plotting it out.
I've also been experimenting with haibun lately and find that it is a form I like very much. I've only written three of them but one has already been published and my latest will be featured in a journal in July. I'll post a link then. The third—well, that one needs a bit of work, but I think this form is a match for me. I'm looking forward to writing more of them.
Visually I am making a jump from photos to artwork and am creating a collage for a writing friend's upcoming chapbook. I sure hope it turns out okay and that he likes it. It's been a while since I've done something crafty.
Now, if we want to focus on only this current week, I am guest hosting over at Creative Bloomings. I needed to write a sample poem for the Sunday prompt (more on that later) and will need to write my poem for the in-form prompt on Wednesday. I'll give you a hint on the form. It starts with a Q.
Additionally, I am co-hosting a haiga contest this month. If you follow my blog or are a Facebook friend or friend in the real world, you might remember my winning the photo contest by Claudette at the blog At Home. This is my winning photo.
After being notified I suggested that it might be need to extend this and offer a short form poetry contest with the winner getting a haiga of my photo and his/her poem on it. She whole-heartedly agreed. The contest runs the whole month of June, so go check it out HERE.
Those are just a few of my creative ventures. Of course, I still have a family life and that keeps me busy, too.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
To be honest, I have no clue. I just write what comes to mind. Many people have told me they like my “voice”, that I write in a easy-going style that makes them feel as if I am actually there talking to them instead of just reading my words on paper. Okay, if you say so. As far as I am concerned the only thing that sets it apart from what others write is simply the fact that I wrote it. Haha. Maybe you can tell me what makes my work differ from others.
Why do I write what I do?
I write because I think typing is good exercise for my fingers and I don't know how to knit! But seriously, I write because I want to. Ever since I was about 7 years old I've enjoyed writing. It is just part of who I am. I've gone through long periods where I didn't write—when I was a new mother, when I moved to a foreign country and needed to learn a new language—but I've found that I am never completely satisfied with life unless I am writing. I am like a junkie who needs a fix on a somewhat regular basis. And if I am not writing, then I am either out taking photos or, more likely, reading.
How does my writing process work?

Well, folks, that is a loaded question, because I don't have a typical routine. I tend to get most of my best ideas while lying in bed at night staring into the darkness, while in the shower, or will riding the bus around town. I've learned to keep a tiny notebook nearby to jot down ideas and phrases, sometimes general plots. But sometimes those ideas come at times when I least expect them.
The writing part? That seems to work best late at night when my husband and daughter are asleep. Quiet and no chance of interruptions is the key for me. Though I must say that when I am having difficulty working out a story or finding the perfect description or wording, I often ask my husband the next day. He's quite helpful. His input might then start new sparks and before you know it I am writing in the afternoon. There is just no consistency to what or how I write.
Then the "why" part of writing comes into play. Often my writing process is spurred by a prompt or deadline. In April many of my poems were written due to April poetry prompts at Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides and other sites with April challenges or contests. Plus, there are opportunities, such as my guest hosting at Creative Bloomings. Each Sunday a prompt is posted and Walt and his co-host post an example poem for the prompt. This week the prompt is: Think of some reasons we wouldn’t be totally truthful to someone. Choose one and write a poem debunking that reason.
I received the prompt on Tuesday or Wednesday, collected a few ideas up until Friday and then finally sat down to write on Saturday. My muse was active but not giving me any good lines. Then I had what I thought was an excellent idea for a haibun. It just came pouring out of me. I made a few changes and knew it was close but not finished. I was completely satisfied with the prose but that darn haiku/senyru at the end is always the hardest part for me. Then I did something that is often part of my writing process. I sent it to a writing buddy of mine.
I have a few writing and critique groups—one for children's lit, one just for rhyming work, one for any type of writing, and also individual friends who write that I know can help every now and then if the need arises. I chose this person because she specializes in Japanese forms and is the editor of a journal which publishes such work. AND she is a totally awesome and loving friend. She looked it over, suggested a simple fix for the end, and then said, “It's good. Email it to me and it will be in the July issue.” My heart did a flitter. I've tried twice to get into her journal without success, and this time I wasn't even trying. I immediately sent a reply notifying her that it wasn't available, that I needed it for a guest post which would go public in less than 12 hours (and I had to go to bed soon).
Then I rethought things. I sent a message saying “If I can come up with something else for my guest post within the next hour, this piece is yours. If not, I'll have to try my luck with something else at a later date.”
Then another common part of my writing process kicked it...pressure. I can be a serious procrastinator at times so having deadlines and knowing, in this instance, that I MUST send something off and soon, my brain suddenly started throwing around a million ideas. I started and scrapped a few then my funny bone kicked in and I decided to let loose a bit and go for humor instead of depth. After all, who doesn't need a good laugh. In the end, I had a new piece within the hour, explained the situation to Walt and asked if the silly rhyme would work and, being the great guy that he is, said “by all means let the journal have the haibun and we'll run with this.” Thank you, Walt!
Now don't think that things always work out like the example above. Writing a haibun and having it accepted the same day is not the norm. There are times I have no good ideas to even begin with, times I begin and never finish a piece, and times I finish but it is so bad I can't send it off anywhere. There are times I have brilliant ideas and plots but can't seem to put the words on paper in a way that expresses the idea clearly or in an interesting fashion. Other times I revise and revise and revise and never make progress. There are plenty of time I fail. That's part of being a writer. 
In fact, I did a major fail with this post. I am supposed to find other writers to whom I pass the torch to in this blog tour. I asked over 20 people and came up short. Not a one! The majority of my friends have already taken part so the playing field was limited. Others just don't have the time. Either they are busy with other writing ventures (like making final edits on their upcoming books),  are focusing on matters in their personal life, or they just weren't interested. SO...
if you want to take part in the blog tour let me know. I will add you to the list and you can answer these four questions on your blog next week and put a link back to this post. And if not, I thank you for reading until the end of this long post. You are wonderful!
As another alternative, here are two links to others who are participating.
If you like wordplay and enjabment, check out De Jackson HERE. She's a great PoetPiratePrincess.
A great nature writer to check out is Hannah Gosselin. And she is such a sweety that many of us call her "sweet Hannah". Read her blog post HERE


De said...

Love this, Linda.
So great to follow your process.
I, too, have a precarious Procrastination/Pressure balance, constantly. :) I need the deadline!

I can't wait to see your projects take shape! Keep us posted!


PS: Thanks for the shout out. ;)

Laurie Kolp said...

I really enjoy reading your words always, Linda... I think your fresh, conversational style is what sets you apart, too. Congrats on the haibun... that's awesome. Thanks for taking part in the virtual tour.

Michelle said...

Loved reading what you've been up to Linda! Congrats on your Haibun acceptances! So awesome!

PSC said...

Enjoyed reading about your "writing process", Linda. Congrats on that quick (& unsought) acceptance! It's so interesting to discover the similarities & differences in folks writing experience. Thanks for sharing this!

Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik (PKP) said...

Hi Linda - First of all you didn't "fail" at anything... not being able to find others willing or able to particpate (who have not already done so cannot be a failing of yours)... Okay, now that that's out of the way, I agree that your conversational style of writing is wonderfully engaging and delightful to read about your process.... Good for you for particpating even though you couldn't find others to jump on board ...