In which I make my podcast debut on The Artist Rolls!

As I’ve mentioned before, I love listening to podcasts. One of my favorites is The Artist Rolls.
The Artist Rolls logo
On The Artist Rolls, Sean and Jamie ask their creative guests to fill out a form loosely inspired by character sheets from role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. They use these character sheets to help explore and discuss how each guest divides their time across the many different roles creative people must take on, what mediums they use to do their work, what their personal work style is, and how they view their own skill set. They incorporate dice to randomize the conversation, graphs to help visualize it, and humor and heart to bring it to life. It’s a fun way to learn about other people’s creative processes and challenges.

Sean and Jamie, the hosts of The Artist Rolls
Sean and Jamie, the talented hosts of The Artist Rolls

I was introduced to The Artist Rolls by my good friend (and amazing collage artist!) Liz Ruest. Since then, I’ve enjoyed listening to and learning from many of their chats with other creative types, so it was a thrill to be able to participate in one myself, made even more exciting by the fact that it was my podcast debut! I revealed much of my nerdy nature and consistently rolled well below average, but other than that I don’t think I embarrassed myself too badly. Check it out for yourself by clicking below:

The Artist Rolls, Episode 26 – Laurie Thompson Reminds Us to “Do Unto Others”

The writing process blog tour is here!

You may have seen this meme going around on various author and/or illustrator blogs where people answer questions about their writing process. I’ve been enjoying reading other people’s answers and learning from their thoughts about process, so when I was tagged by my talented author/illustrator friend, Jennifer K. Mann, I decided to add a post about my process here. Enjoy!

Jennifer K. Mann
Jenn and some feathered friends

Jenn has been on a roll lately! Her first illustrated book, TURKEY TOT, written by George Shannon, just came out last October. TWO SPECKLED EGGS, her first author/illustrator debut, just came out in April. And she’s just finishing up the final art for I DEFINITELY WILL NEVER GET A STAR ON MRS BENSON’S BLACKBOARD, which will come out next year. You can read about Jenn’s writing and illustrating process here. Thanks for tagging me, Jenn! Let the Q&A begin…
 

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Just keep writing, just keep writing…

Wow, have I neglected this blog in recent weeks (okay, months), or what? I’ve been feverishly focusing on knocking out the CHANGEMAKERS book, which also meant I was feverishly focusing on finding a method to the madness of knocking out the CHANGEMAKERS book. I wrote a bit about my struggles over on the Emu’s Debuts blog.
Lindt A Touch of Sea Salt dark chocolate barThanks to the support of my fellow EMu’s following that post, I’ve since hit a pretty good stride and am feeling much more comfortable about my ability to finish the book without letting it kill me. I’ve got a dandy collection of spreadsheets to track my progress by word count, by chapter, and by research. I’ve got some reward systems in place (i.e. Lindt’s A Touch of Sea Salt bars).
So, things are flowing much more smoothly now with the writing part, and I am thrilled that the interviews are rolling in as well. I can’t wait to share what some of the stories about what these venture teams are doing! I’ve known I wanted to write this book for years, but now that I am actually doing it, I’m having even more fun than I thought I would. Hearing these teenagers talk about their ideas, their goals, their success stories: WOW! It is so inspiring, and on so many different levels. Whenever I start to think maybe I can’t do this, that this book is too ambitious or the deadline is too short, I just think about what some of them have done. If they are changing the world at the age of 18, or 15, or 10, surely I can write one little book, right? And if my little book can help just one more teen pull off even a tiny fraction of what these kids are already accomplishing, then I know all of my efforts will have been worth it.
After the book is done, I hope I will be able to share with you here some snippets of the interviews and outtakes from the profiles I’m working on, because these young people will blow you away, and in the best possible kind of way. I hope my readers will be as affected by learning about these teens’ ventures as I have been.
When we watch the TV news or read the newspaper headlines, it’s easy to get discouraged about the state of the world. But writing this book is the complete opposite experience. It’s hard to get discouraged about where the world is heading when there are so many young people like the ones I am writing about out there.
And now, back to work! Please forgive me if I’m a little quiet for the next few months. 😉

Creativity Lost… and Found!

For various reasons (health, chronic pain, an aging pet, volunteer commitments, and the Pacific Northwest weather), I’ve spent the winter pretty much chained to my desk. Whenever I had a spare moment I tried to force myself to sit down and write—right now! As you can probably guess, I was supremely unproductive. And frustrated.
You know how if you keep doing what you’ve been doing you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting? Well, today I decided to try something different. I shrunk my manuscript (with the gaping hole in the middle) and my research notes so that they’d fit on one page each, I grabbed a pencil, and I went for a walk.
Wouldn’t you know it, my creativity was hiding in the woods! I found her right about here:

Once I found her, the manuscript practically wrote itself. And I got to walk (hooray, exercise!) in the sunshine.
We even stopped to make a few new friends on the way home…
Piglets
Piglets!

Sheep closeup
A sheep, one day before shearing.

Goats
Goats!

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