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INside Scoop
And The Band Played On
By Julie A. Pierce
May, 2007, 16:40

I must have been distracted by the music and the parade. Otherwise, how did we get to May already? Narrowing the focus of my reflection on time's recent escape, I realize that I have to take responsibility for the choices I made every day along the way that got me to this present feeling of "what the deuces!"

Yes, it was I who made other things a priority over my writing. It's an undeniable fact that I need to get the bills paid and spend time with loved ones and occasionally eat and sleep. But after those, I should be doing nothing but writing. This is the only approach that makes any sense considering the dedicated writer I wanna be.

Hmm. Yes, I see. I'm a wanna be. Until, I'm actually doing it, I'm simply wanting to be a dedicated writer. The intention is mighty, but it has not proven its strength against the distractions and demands of everyday life.

Well, I'll start again with bolstered intention. I'll re-tune my frequency to the channel that plays my personal drummer and piper. If I change the channel to music that makes me dance with "real" life, it will be only briefly, with vigilance and closely monitored consciousness. Perhaps this approach will get me to the pinnacle of writerhood.

Somehow, I don't think that's a realistic approach. Have you been through this exercise yourself? Then you probably already know such extreme rigidity is no good for creativity. Discipline is important. Prioritization is key. However, engaging with life is critical to the mulch from which your creative seeds grow to full bloom.

This edition of IN delivers great nourishment for your creative seeds. For starters, we present Robert R. McCammon as our cover author and interview. We like to consider ourselves his friends, so we'll refer to him as Rick. His career has been one of interesting turns and the demonstration of an admirable sense of self. My favourite quote from Rick's interview is, "I just do what I do."

INside Authors introduces Constance Wimberley, a children's book author, and Bob Jamison, a nonfiction religious writer. For both of them, the writing life came as the next phase while moving through life's changes. You see, it's never too late to be a writer.

As usual, our columnists serve up a satisfying buffet. Anne Allen demonstrates a balanced meal of hooks, loglines, and pitches, while Jennifer Edelson brings her series on fact checking to a close with a broad list of resources.

Peggy Bechko guides us to smoother writing with six editing hints, and Ken Robinson entertains us with the image of trying to type while wearing ski gloves. He's hoping he's hit bottom and the only possible way now has to be up. Helen Dunn Frame deepens our understanding of how to be effective with description and good background information.

Do you struggle with the linear nature of outlines? Do you believe that you must start at the beginning, fill in the middle, and then conclude? Find relief from these hang-ups in Kimberly Dawn Wells explanation of why it's best to follow your inspiration and then come back to fill in the gaps.

If you are as big a fan of our furry friends as I am, you're going to love the article by Lori Myers in which she attributes her creativity to a critter named Willy. Perhaps you can be the animal writer in your local press.

We all need to feel appreciated, and the hardest person to appreciate is often yourself. Char Milbrett gives us a Top 10 about appreciating your writing ideas. Joan Neubauer sets us straight on getting the word out about your book's new ISBN and explains the nuances of retail pricing in relation to print on demand. She also makes suggestions about building your collection of clips.

In the first part of a two-part series, J.R. Kambak takes us through the steps of hitting key plot points and leaves us with an exercise to apply what we've learned. His review of Christina Hamlett's Screenwriting For Teens is insightful, and Anthony Ackerley is back with reviews of two very different writing books. His opinion and description of what they have to offer make it easy to understand if you should check out these titles or not. Also from J.R. Kambak, we have a report direct from the FADE IN: Hollywood Pitch Festival. I believe you'll find this fascinating even if you don't have a script to pitch.

In Items of INterest, Judy Adourian coaches us to a place of rational confidence to say, "I am a writer," when asked, "What do you do for a living?" This is a must read and re-read for all of us who are not writing on a steady paycheque. Stan Grimes pushes us to get on the Intrnet and grab an audience, and Amanda Eaton has a fun game of incentive that she plays with her rejection letters. Perhaps you'll adopt this game or make up one of your own. And Christina L'Homme helps us remember Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya as she is posthumously awarded the UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

There you have the inside scoop on IN. Read it, digest it, and go out and be what you wanna be.

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Julie Pierce
Inkwell Newswatch (IN)

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