A couple of new things in the works – one is definitely happening, and one is actually pretty unlikely…
First the easy one. The event that’s definitely happening is an upcoming brainstorming session on The Roundtable Podcast. The RTP is a podcast for writers in which the host and guest hosts help a guest writer to brainstorm a story that (s)he is working on. They bring in a writing professional, and a guest writer (in this instance, the guest writer role will be filled by yours truly), and brainstorm a story idea the writer wants to flesh out.
In my instance, I’m pitching the basic synopsis for Warrior Clan. We will discuss it, pick it apart, find the holes in it, and put the pieces back together in such a way that those holes get filled in and (hopefully) improve the story. I’m really looking forward to the process. There is a problem I have at the beginning of the plot and I could really use more metaphorical eyes on the issue.
Anyway, the test run is tomorrow at noon. Recording the actual brainstorming session is supposed to take place this coming Saturday. We don’t have a firm time yet, but I imagine I’ll find that our during the dry run tomorrow.
I’m incredibly stoked about this, and just know I’ll get some great ideas from it.
Now, in the “highly unlikely” category… I’ve applied for a writing fellowship with the Tulsa Artists Foundation. A friend sent me a link last week, saying she thought it might be something I would be interested in (thanks Betty! ). At first, I didn’t think I would apply. As I said, the chances of my being selected are pretty slim.
But the more I thought about it, the more I began to question myself. Was I once again playing the role of my own worst enemy? Was I pulling the warm and comfortable blanket of imposter syndrome around my shoulders, as I so often do? I wrote about it in “WW29 – Moving, Writing, and Paranoia“. (Ironically enough, The Dead Robots’ Society podcast discussed the same thing just a few weeks later.)
So setting doubt aside, I said to myself, “Self, why not apply anyway? What’s the worst that can happen? They tell you ‘no’ and you move on about your business.” Besides, as slim as my chances are for winning the fellowship, they’re infinitely worse if I don’t apply at all. So I applied.
And I’m glad I did. The application process was enlightening. It’s not that it was actually difficult, but it forced me to review my reasons for why I write some of what I write. For instance, besides the normal requests for references and contact information, there was “What would an opportunity like this mean to your career now? How would you hope to engage with the Tulsa community?” (Oh, and by the way… please answer with 100 words or less, and 600 characters or less…)
That one stumped me for a while. I mean, what do I have to offer the local community? Specifically, the local writing community.
Ad the “Artistic Statement” that asked for my “Explanation and vision relating to (my) writing overall and the work samples provided.” (And don’t forget that 100 word, 600 character limitation…)
But they made me reflect for a bit, and that’s a good thing. Especially the request for an Artistic Statement. But after the initial deer in the headlights reaction, I realized that I had already answered this question in earlier posts here on the blog. I just had to condense my response to the 100 words or less format.
Interested? (I’m going to assume so, or you wouldn’t still be reading. So here goes…)
I want my readers to question themselves and the world around them. My characters are often non-traditional. I eschew the typical damsel in distress in favor of women of strength. I want my readers to understand that people of all ethnicities and sexual orientations are seldom defined solely by those traits, and that strength is more than a physical attribute. I want readers to relate to the weaknesses that we all have within – to show them that we can be flawed, yet still have the strength of character that will allow us to persevere in the face of adversity.
That’s it. When I think about my main characters, (Leeland Dawcett from Half Past Midnight, Kenni Anderson and Mark Roesch from The Road to Rejas, Amber Payne from Streets of Payne, Sima in Ghost Story, Layla Golden from The Burning Land…) all of them embody various characteristics of that statement. And I have to say, that makes me happy.
So whether I get the fellowship or not, applying for it has been an eye opener.
And that about covers the “unlikely” side of things.
So back to work. You guys stay safe, and I’ll talk to you next week.