Happy March everyone! So much has happened since my last update. I’ve been writing, I’ve been painting and I’ve been doing a lot of reading. It’s all been very exciting. Let’s dive in!
On the writing front, I’m in the process of outlining three new books: Wall of Bones (the fourth book in the Vampire Skeleton series), the second book in Cora’s story (untitled as of yet), and The Cat Who Stole Time, the second and final adventure featuring Maple and her trickster friend, Orro.
As we enter into March, two of these projects have progressed beyond the outlining stage and into the actual writing. While I usually have several projects on the go at once, I’ll be choosing one of these to finish throughout March and April. I’m also working hard on my dissertation which has taken up a portion of the time and space I usually reserve for my creative work. But since creativity is so vital for my well-being, I’m working hard to maintain the balance between doing creative work and doing academic work.
This was something I struggled to do last year, and it definitely had an impact on my writing output. Not a bad one, of course, but definitely an impact. For example, instead of writing larger projects, I found myself working more on short stories and poetry, many of which I really loved. Enough that I plan to gather them all together and assemble them into a short story collection along with some of my small paintings and sketches—which I realize now were always meant to be their companions.
Formatting & Editing
I have two projects and a short story to edit over the next few months. The two novels are called, The Fortunes of Ithaca and The Whirlwind’s Prophecy and they both belong to the Fortune & Fall series. And honestly, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The cover art for The Fortunes of Ithaca is just so beautiful. I can’t wait to share it. As for the short story, that’s for another project that I’ll talk about in a few months :).
I’ve also begun formatting the children’s book, The Tiny Queen. It’s a little celebratory chapter book about birthdays, treaties and adventure. Here are a few of the pictures from this book so far:
As always seems to happen once I sit down to write this update, I'm feeling so happy for the presence of all these stories in my life. It can be easy for me to feel sad about the fact that I'm not yet able to work on my stories more between work and school. Especially since I've come to learn how alive stories are. You really do build relationships with the characters and the worlds. I am so grateful for the characters in my story and I want them to always feel like I am making time for them. And soon enough, I will be done my doctorate work and I will have even more time to devote, which will be amazing :).
Audio Books & Podcasting & Film
I really want to do a podcast. I'm getting closer and closer to starting it. It's going to happen. This year. Stay tuned. I'm also determined to make audio books and a film of one of my short stories. I’ve been reading books, and taking master classes, and it will happen, and it will be awesome.
Art & Illustration
Art has helped me so much over the last two years. I don’t know where I would be without it! As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, my artwork is really geared towards learning and teaching myself how to illustrate. As a result, I’ve been trying to deepen my practice and will continue trying to do so over the next several years. At some point, this might mean taking more formal training, but for now it means trying every day to create something—no matter how small. A scribble. A sketch. A painting.
This year, my focus is to introduce new elements and style into my work and also, to continue taking the course that are available to me. (Right now I am taking a lot of online classes and tutorials through Creativebug and Skillshare). Most of all, I just want to take time to enjoy the process. I’ll continue to experiment with different styles and materials this year—including doing a lot more digital work.
I have to say that I am in love with the both my iPad Pro and my Wacom. I find digital work really helps me create without fear and allows me a tremendous amount of freedom to just experiment. For someone who suffers from time to time with excruciating self-doubt, this is a really cool way to try and work through some of those common creator feelings and build up confidence in my artistic choices.
How about you? What creative projects are you working on right now?