Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Art: It's in the details

My art teacher (Hillary Hogue) tried to explain to us that we are drawing too quickly. We need to slow down. She said, "Beauty is in the details." She explained this by stating there are many shapes within one's eyes, maybe thirty or forty details just in the eye. You can't capture those details if you're going quickly. Slow down; look; see. Then draw.

About writing, John Gardner in The Art of Fiction says, "In all major genres, vivid detail is the life blood of fiction." ...vivid detail... Have I been writing too fast? Am I visualizing, seeing, my characters, inside and out? Am I seeing my scenes in full color? Am I choosing words that show, that bring to life, yes, bring to life, my story? After all, isn't that what the reader wants, something that lives?

The differences in the arts aren't necessarily that different after all. We're all trying to get at the same thing: that which is real, that which lives.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Art: It's About the Journey

I'm currently taking a drawing course--the first I've ever taken, a basic course.

Last night I was talking with my teacher (Hillary Hogue) about the drawing I was working on in class--a self-portrait (all the students were doing self-portraits)--and I had a few questions. She could tell I was focusing on the outcome of the drawing. She explained that drawing is about the journey. When you go on a journey, it's not about the photographs you bring home, it's about the journey. Drawing is about the journey, the getting there, not the final product. Drawing is being in the moment. It's the experience along the way that counts.

I took what she said to heart, using it the best way I could. Low and behold, my self-portrait turned out to be a pretty fair likeness of myself. From now on, I'll try to be in the moment when drawing. It's about the experience. That's the joy of drawing.

Isn't that also the joy of writing? It's the experience along the way, the being in the moment, that matters.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gearing up to get an agent: meet and greet

Questions for the Meet and Greet

Hello to you who are part of this venture. Let's hope we all succeed in getting an agent.

-Where do you write?

Most anywhere. I often go to the public library or the college library near my home. Yes, I often write in longhand. But, I also work at my computer at home. I took my laptop to the library one time and decided it was too much to carry around. I've written in doctor's waiting rooms, fast-food restaurants, sitting in my car. You name it, I've probably done it. Oh yes, writing while lounging by my swimming pool is best.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?


-Favorite time to write?


-Drink of choice while writing?

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I prefer silence, but when I do feel like listening to music, it's classical music I like.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
That's a very long and complicated story. Long story short, it grew out of another book I wrote.

-What's your most valuable writing tip?
Don't wait for inspiration to hit to write. Write everyday, if you can, and write as much as you can.

Short bio:
I'm a 65 yr-old retiree who's raising his now 3 yr-old grandson. I've read a lot in the past 40 or more years. Most of my reading now is non-fiction. I really enjoy a good biography. I also enjoy art, and am now taking a drawing course. I've self-published a couple of books.

Good luck to you all.