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2016 (or what’s left of it)

So I have a few projects that are wrapping up as the year wraps up, so here’s a summary of what you can expect (other than sporadic posts and an ever-changing website) from me this year.

Heroes: NZ Young Writers’ Anthology 

The entrants have all been notified whether their stories will be included (yay!) or not (sad face) and I’ve started formatting. The aim is to launch it at the NZ Book Festival on the 5th of November this year. I’m not sure whether I’m going to seek sponsorship or not yet – but if you’re keen, please get in touch.

I am an Artist 

I am SO excited about this book! Anna is almost finished with the illustrations and the draft is 99% complete. Formatting is the next job, and it’s a big one! I’ve never done anything with so many photos before, and a background. Eek! I’m hoping to publish this around November.

Once Upon a Time: Artweek Auckland 

This was a last-minute decision, but I’m looking forward to it. It’s a giant colouring in exhibition which will be held at my workplace, the Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop. I’m also going to publish it as a colouring book. I’ve only done one page so I better get a move on – it’s due in a month!

Broken/Beautiful 

This is my first painting exhibition, which will be held at Youthline’s gallery space. I chose this venue as my paintings have a strong theme of mental & emotional well-being. I’m looking forward to sharing my work with my friends in Auckland before I move.

Those are the biggies 🙂 I’ll also be promoting the NZ Book Festival, doing a bunch of craft markets, and packing / de-cluttering.

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Crossroads

Over the past several months, I haven’t felt 100 percent sure about what I want to do with my life. It’s shown up as slumps, procrastination, side projects and general busy-ness. But I couldn’t get to the bottom of it because I was avoiding what I knew was the truth.

The truth is that the stories I like writing are not stories that are mainstream, popular fiction. Which is fine, but it also means that they’re a lot harder to build a career upon.

Sure, there’s a lot more I could do to market and promote them, but I’d much rather spend that time (and energy) on projects I like doing, or with people I like spending time with.

So this is me saying I’ve tried this author-with-a-capital-A thing and realised it’s not for me.

I’m not giving up. In fact, I have a sneaky suspicion that this will mean I’ll write more than ever! We’ll see 🙂

That’s all for now. I’m scheduling a couple more posts this week letting you know what to expect from me for the rest of this year, and where I’m heading next.

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In the studio: Immersing myself in my unique purpose

Heads up – this is a LONG post! There’s a lot of learning going on in my life, all the time. But from time to time I have an aha! moment, when something that’s been simmering percolates into a tangible, understood idea.

I’ve said several times, to myself and in conversations, that when I focus on my own work – and the purpose behind said work – then I’m happy. I have an unfortunate habit of letting other people’s ideas get in the way sometimes, and waylay my enthusiasm.

Recently I saw an old post on Facebook:

Capture

The two important bits:

  1. Use of the word fun.
  2. The apparent creative energy.

Well, those two things have been evading me lately, though I’m sure they tried. I just wasn’t a willing recipient. Well, now I am, and it’s precisely because of one thing: I’m focusing on MY purpose.

Why am I making this project? Who is it for? That’s what matters.

I’m writing I am an Artist because I want to de-mystify the artist career, and show it for what it is: something anyone (who wants to) can do, at any age, in any situation. It’s for children who kinda sorta want to be an artist but don’t think they can, and adults who used to be that child.

I’m writing my fiction series to get all these crazy – and important-to-me – ideas out of my head, in a tangible form, for other people to interact with. They’re for children who are tired of being spoken down to, but still want an exciting read. They’re to get people thinking and creating and philosophising.

I’m painting to share my emotions, my losses and my spiritual journey. As Louise Phyn said in the latest (wo)manpower zine: the more personal you make something, the more universal it is. So I’m going deeply personal for my own sake, and to resonate with the emotions of others. We are not alone in the world.

I’m making my (wo)manpower zines because I like the idea of fanzines, but I’m way more impressed with women I know in my life than I am by celebrities, and I reckon you guys should know about them too. Not only are they talented, strong and creative, they’re also inspiring, humble – and just plain nice.

I’m doing the annual NZ Young Writers’ Anthology for similar reasons to I am an Artist: there is no reason why children can’t be writers now. Their work has a different quality and style to adults, and is often more raw, but that’s exactly what I love about it. Let’s forget this ‘when I grow up’ business – we all know that we don’t really ever grow up, anyway.

There a couple more projects I haven’t touched on here, but I think this is enough for one day!

And now, back to writing.

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Out & About: Facepainting at the Mt Eden Craft Market & diversification

This month at Mt Eden, one of my regular craft markets, I’m going to have a go at face painting! I’ve done a little bit before, helping out Fairy Jane at Parnell Trust, but I thought this would be a fun addition to the market.

I feel like I’m diversifying a LOT this year, but in some ways I had planned for it. The main reason I didn’t choose the title ‘children’s author’ or ‘author’ (except in context) is to allow myself to explore and experiment without having to build a whole new website – and everything else that goes with it.

So I’m allowing myself to have fun with things, and see where they lead. It’s as good a method as any!

PicMonkey Collage (4)