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…

Sheep closeup
A sheep, one day before shearing.