Monday, September 08, 2014

The creative process blog hop

Well, it looks like I've been tagged again. I've not been tagged this often since on the grade school playground! Last time, it by the lovely Catherine Johnson (here's the post). This time, it's my dear friend and critique group buddy, Sylvia Liu.

1. What am I working on?

Right now, I'm 
a) putting finishing touches on two stories for upcoming anthologies for my sci-fi critique group, The Minnows Literary Group. We publish science fiction anthologies of different themes and donate 100% of profits to Doctors Without Borders. So far, with our first two anthologies, Out of Time and In a Land Far Away, we have donated close to $5,000.
In "That Way Madness Lies," to appear in Centauri Station, a space-travel themed collection, I quote Shakespeare and put my poor main character, Nathan, in peril. 

For our second time-travel themed anthology, I'm writing a story called "Occupational Hazard" wherein Bertrand and Alexa face a time travel disease that may end up being a cure for loneliness.

b) finalizing three picture book manuscripts for my agent

c) revising a sci-fi short story that I want to submit to Writers of the Future. 

d) working on illustrations to prepare a portfolio and samples for art directors.

e) editing a middle-grade humorous sci-fi novel

f) doing research for, and writing, a young adult steampunk novel

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre? 

Science and science fiction guide pretty much all my writing (and some of my art).

I had a much better answer last time:
Aside from having a voice that is uniquely my own, as every writer does, I tend to weave science facts into my work. In the adult pieces that I write, I sometimes make people work a little bit to "get" the story. For example, in In a Land Far Away, some of the things I mention in "Three Long Pigs" will make the story much richer if you looked them up.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Because it gives me joy and I hope it gives others joy too to read my stories or to see my artwork.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

In fits and spurts, between harvesting and processing veggies in the summer, and homeschooling my kids year-round...tucked between my various other creative endeavors, and spurred on by the fires of Hades deadlines.

For writing, when I get an idea, I just open up a new document and do a brain dump. I need to work on being a plotter, though, if I hope to write novels that make sense.

For art,  I think about what it is that I'm trying to draw or convey, and then like with writing, I dive right in, sketching either with graphite, charcoal or digitally (I just started using the ArtStudio app that Sylvia had told me about; it's marvelous for beginning digital artists). After I'm happy with an initial sketch, depending on what kind of art I'm trying to produce, I will either work tight or loose with colors. My favorite are chalk pastels, water-media (either watercolor or tempera), and colored pencils.

Some of my current digital art can be found at

I normally don't tag people, but there are some folks whose creative processes I'd love to know more about. So, Steve Long, if you are up to the challenge, I'd like to see a blog post from you. No pressure! ;)

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams