Archive for category Guest Writers

Fanning the Flame

The Source of the Spark

This is what I think about inspiration: that it happens all the time. We have these tiny spark moments where we think, “What if…” or “I wonder what that would be like?” Sometimes I see new books on the table at Barnes & Noble and think, “How weird. Here’s an author who must wonder the same things I do.”

Now there’s a scary thought.

So inspiration is happening all the time. But what I think people are really asking when they ask about inspiration is how you fan those sparks into something that can become a story. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Writers: Tosca Lee

Photo credit: Michael Gomez

I am pleased and very excited to introduce a new guest this week. Tosca Lee is the award-winning author of two novels (with two more soon to come). Havah is the story of Eve from a first-person point of view. Demon: A Memoir is a tale about a man who is stalked by a demon whose goal is to solicit the authorship of his own story – a tale that begins before the creation of the world. Forbidden, a collaborative series with Ted Dekker, comes out in September of this year. Rumors are that this story will eclipse Dekker’s wildly popular Circle series. Iscariot, Tosca’s third stand-alone work, will be available in 2012.

While Tosca’s prose is poetic and often ethereal, she is as down to earth as they come. She’s the originator of the “Writer Cam” on her Facebook page where you can see her at work via photos of the unglamorous side of writing (the mundane and grueling) as well as her humor and triumph along the way. (Loving this concept, I’ve adopted it with my own album of writer-at-work photos you might have seen on my Facebook page.)

Tosca keeps a blog on her website where she explores ideas about writing, spirituality and where the two converge. Watching her at the daily grind through Twitter and Facebook, Tosca has been an inspiration to me in my own writing.  Be sure to come back on Thursday for a glimpse into her life and to gain some insight from a successful fellow Creative.

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Inspiration from the Uninspiring

Hauptweg und Nebenwege (Main Path and Side Paths)

Greetings, Becca’s readers! Thanks for letting me share creativity with you today. And many thanks to Becca for inviting me here! Her blog is a source of weekly inspiration and thought-provoking challenge, so I feel honored that she’s asked me to share some inspiration in return.

A Creative Journey and a First Step

As some of you might already know, I grew up in Germany and attended German schools. My last two years of “high school,” I was part of an art program that required 3 hours and 45 minutes of classroom work (5 class periods) per week. It was intensive, challenging, and explosively inspiring.

Explosively? Well, in the sense that, within a few weeks after the first class met, my brain was exploding with new, creative ideas. I hope you read Becca’s recent post about left and right brains; let’s just say that these art classes pumped a gazillion watts of energy into my right brain!

A few weeks into our third semester, our teacher, Herr Ripp, took us on a day-trip to Köln (Cologne), about two hours by train from our city of Darmstadt. We got to do some sight-seeing, which was fantastic — but the main reason for our trip was to visit an art exhibit on Swiss-German painter Paul Klee. The exhibit featured several of his works but focused on his famous Hauptweg und Nebenwege (Main Path and Side Paths). This was the painting Herr Ripp really wanted us to see. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Writers: Courtney Cantrell

Courtney Cantrell, Photo Credit Julie V. Photography

This week I am pleased to welcome a dear fellow Creative to share some of her own inspiration. Courtney, the Vice President and Head of the Writing School within the Consortium, has a passion for creating. She has been writing since second grade and completed her first novel at age fifteen. In 1999, she graduated from Oklahoma Christian with a BA in English/Writing. To date, she has written eight novels, one of which will be published this spring. Plan to pick up a copy of Colors of Deception, available at Amazon.com April 2011.

Courtney’s talents transcend writing. An artist from birth, she’s been painting even longer than she’s been writing – as far back as she can remember. In college she discovered her medium of choice: oils.

On Thursday, Courtney will share how one artist’s work transformed her own method of painting, inspiring her when she least expected it. Come back to find out who that artist was – and to catch a glimpse of some of Courtney’s awesome work.

Until then, check out her blog at www.courtcan.com to whet your appetite.

 

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Capturing Inspiration

Inspiration is a tricky thing. I’ll always remember the night I finished my first novel. It was a meandering, unplanned, angsty beast I spent most of my high school career working on, and I really had no idea where I was going. Then, one Friday night, I watched Empire Records for the first time. As soon as the credits started I turned off the TV, walked over to the computer, sat down, and finished my novel.

That ending took me nine hours and came out to about 15,000 words. By the time I finished, the sun was already shining on Saturday morning. I went to bed, woke up sometime in the afternoon, and realized with a feeling of great accomplishment that, after four long years, my book was finally done. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guest Writers — Aaron Pogue

Photo Credit: Julie V. Photography

Some of us have a hard time coming up with ideas. The blank page. The pristine canvas. That dreaded waiting, blinking cursor. But there are others with no shortage of ideas. Maybe you’re one of them, drowning in so many projects (and potential projects) that you can’t possibly complete all of them in one lifetime.

Maybe you’re deep into your work-in-progress and suddenly inspiration hits, plopping a fresh, new project right down into your lap like good ‘ol Mr. Stork. What do you do? Drop your W.I.P. or put the new bundle of promise on the shelf? If you decide to trudge onward, how can you gracefully capture the flood of infant ideas and preserve them for later use? There aren’t many things worse than birthing a brilliant idea for a story or book but failing to write it down. Ever killed a grand idea via forgetfulness? It’s tragic.

Aaron Pogue is one of those Creatives with no shortage of ideas. But he knows the value of protecting those precious gems. Aaron is author of sci-fi thriller Gods Tomorrow (released 2010) and Expectation (available February of 2011), the second book in the Ghost Targets series. He also maintains Unstressed Syllables, a website that provides writing advice for authors and other professionals. The founder and president of the Consortium, his passion is to support artists to be professionals within their own craft.

Along my journey of writing and editing my first book, Aaron has been an immensely helpful source of information and encouragement. Come back on Thursday to hear his strategy for preserving those bundles of joy and organizing your fountain of inspiration.

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The War of Art, Part 3: Invoking Your Muse

I’ve given you excerpts from Steven Pressfield’s cut-through-the-crap-and-get-busy book The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles over the past few weeks.  Today, I leave you with a final installment, and I hope that you will run your little fingers over to your favorite book-purchasing website and pick it up for yourselves.  The few bits that I have shared are only a snippet of the wealth of insight and the injection of courage that awaits you in this awesome book. Read the rest of this entry »

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