Busy, busy bee…

Writing Rambles

busybee

Much of my creative energy has been going to actually writing. No, plotting. No, thinking. No, all of the above. These last few weeks have been full, to the brim, overflowing. I would like to say I am not kind of person who likes to be busy, that busyness pulls me from a carefully constructed shell where creativity is guarded, but that’s not entirely true.

As a writer, time alone with my thoughts is valuable. Necessary. The only way actual words get down. As a person who edges easily toward the OCD overpass right off anxiety highway, alone time (when not actually writing or doing something I see as productive) is a slippery slope. A carefully constructed busy can be the best possible way to jumpstart my creative, while also maintaing my sane.

Last Thursday I went to an author signing and panel in Frisco, TX featuring the fabulous talent of Tessa Gratton, Myra McEntire, Tara Hudson and Sonia Gensler. Before the event, my dear friend and 2014 debut author Lindsay Cummings signed us up for a Fresh Fiction organized dinner with the authors. I was one of the very few writers present at this dinner that was unagented or unpublished. I don’t say this for sympathy, being in the company of these many talented women was inspiring. Lindsay and I were seated with Tessa Gratton, who I heartily recommend you follow on Twitter, buy her books, and generally adore. She said something at dinner about writers commonly being introverts, and that she has learned to play the extrovert for the purpose of promoting her books.

tessa

I would agree with her, most writers are introverts. I am not. I am also not a people person. I don’t love everyone. I don’t get along with everyone. I define friendship, at the most basic level, as a connection born from mutual interest, mutual respect, or mutual benefit…or all of these things.

I do well in social situations where there is a common love of storytelling, whether that mean they’re filmmakers, writers, of fans of Dr. Who. I will not (happily, without much resistance) entertain a conversation about breast milk, or Obama, or baking. (Though, if you are a baker who likes books, I will love you forever.)

What does this have to do with busyness? There are inevitable times where we are more productive, more creatively affluent, more stimulated and therefore more in demand. This can mean professionally, personally, emotionally, but rest assured whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you will have to conquer your inherent inner monologue to succeed. I enjoy socially engaging. I am a bit of a performer. I am a fan of banter. But at the end of the day, I’m a writer, and in order to succeed I have to will myself away from the lure of the spotlight or the joy of connecting socially, to connect with the creative ability inside.

When I was a girl, my uncle who likes to recite limericks of all kinds, used one in particular on me and my brothers. The Busy, Busy Bee.

The busy, busy bee he circles all around; the busy, busy bee, he needs a place to land, he’ll circle round your nose, he’ll circle round your toes, he’ll pull out his stinger, and he’ll get you in the seat!

Life is a balance, between our desires and our fears, between what we know we can do and what we long to conquer. Busy is a poor descriptive word for searching, and as you search, you start to connect.

Irving Library Beneath the Surface Author Panel and site of utter fangirl overload

Reviews or Ditties about others, Uncategorized

Nova and Me

It is hard to know where to begin this post because I am still mulling over my magical evening.

Last night, we assembled (we being a bunch of readers from North Texas) to soak in the glorious genius of: Nova Ren Suma —lovelier than I even thought possible and so filled with knowledge and incredible stories, Tessa Gratton — hilarious and witty and I’m glad she is not a politician, Ransom Riggs — very tall and not terrifying like his book but undeniably interesting, Tahereh Mafi — stunning and engaged to Ransom Riggs but is an elegantly normal sized wordsmith, Rae Carson — blows me away with her awesome and is a reformed beauty queen who loves Star Wars and the intersection between literary and commercial fiction so…good taste, and Aimee Carter — accessible and honest and dry, which are some of my favorite things. The panel was wonderfully moderated by local author, Jenny Martin, whose book Tracked debuts next year.

The Irving Public Library is sprawling book-haven. I’m accustomed to libraries being a normal size and I always find my way to the end of them before I’m ready. Irving impresses. The event featured tons of freely given swag, a tower of cupcakes and a candy bar. My phone was nearly dead because I used the voice prompts in google  maps to get to Irving, and earlier in the day I was compulsively checking email because…well, I do that…so I took almost no pics.

You can take my word for it, and also, Twitter has pics. I wanted to buy all the books, but alas money and responsibility prohibited. I did get a handful for signing, which was giving me social anxiety during the panel. I was determined to quell my urge to be nervous and weird.

Before the event, I planned to meet up with Nova, but her travel arrangements went haywire and she barely made it to Dallas in time for all the Library revelry. Timing was on my side, as well as nature, when I stopped into the bathroom and in came all the authors —including Nova — freezing me by the trashcan. We laughed and gabbed and talked about how sucky Delta Air is and how wonderful it was to meet, and she graciously introduced me around and exclaimed positives about my book.

It is almost too exciting to write about, that I really, just, can’t.

Author panels are always incredibly fascinating to me. As an aspiring author, I watch and learn from them. I glean knowledge about the business I want to be a part of as well as the task of writing books readers will love. But as a reader, I gush and laugh and want to jabber about the books they’ve written that I love and will love in the future.

One of my favorite moments during the panel was when they each told their unique “road to publishing” story. Some had always known novels would find them, some began in screenwriting, pursuing film, pursuing extensive education, pursuing politics and world-changing and wizardry. For most, it was a road littered with rejection and agony, as well as a road of self-discovery.

The panel ran long, but not a single person in the room cared. I was sad it was ending, actually. And then, even though it went late, the authors kindly chatted and listened to all of us thank them for their books and pose for a picture and tell them about our Twitter. (Me, I did that. Because I am hopeless.)

I got to hang with friend and 2014 debut author Lindsay Cummings and fellow bookworms — particularly Cherie, a girl almost as tall as Ransom Riggs who I’m nicknaming, ironically, Little Libba — and talk only books. My favorite kind of talking.

Support your local library by going to events such as this one wherever you live. A huge shout-out to Half-Price Books for selling me too many things, and all the clever booknerds I met last night in Irving!