“The Ocean Under My Bed” in Spider Magazine! And other updates…

I am delighted to announce that my story, “The Ocean Under My Bed”, is in the July/August 2015 issue of the award-winning children’s magazine, Spider, under my other name, Adrienne Wood. Stephanie Dehennin created the most beautiful illustrations to accompany it, for which I am so grateful. My thanks also to editors Margaret Mincks and Danny Resner for their work in bringing the magazine to press. This ocean-themed issue (with a fabulous pirate ship on the cover!) also features the work of Pamela Dell, Charles Ghingna, Barry Gott, Dagmar Kost, Jada Rowland, Robyn Opie Parnell, Dan Krall, Robert Scotellaro, Mike Wohnoutka, Joan Peronto, Denise Plauche, Elizabeth Armstrong Hall, Anna Eidelman, Dom Mansell, and Michael Chesworth,

I subscribed to Cricket, the original magazine of Carus Publishing, years ago and still have over a decade of back issues on my shelves, and my children have progressed from Ladybug to Spider and now Cricket. I’m thrilled and honored to be published in their pages and in such amazing company.

Once I finish weaving my way through the technical difficulties, I will have a real, official author website at adriennewood.com.  I have several children’s projects underway, including further stories in this series, and look forward to announcing those as they are completed. (If you’d like to be added to the mailing list for updates, please email me at ebbablake (at)gmail (dot  ) com.)

Finally, the long, long overdue Zip-Code Project (now titled _Here:This_) is nearing the end of an insane combination of technical difficulties and family crises (and crises, and crises and a few more crises just for fun). I’m done jousting the four horsemen–I hope–and should be making that announcement soon as well. Whew. My immense gratitude to the various contributors for their patience. The end product is a fabulous collection of pieces that beautifully illustrate what it means to be Here, in this one patch of ground.

Dillard: Push It. Examine All Things…

Push it. Examine all things intensely and relentlessly. Probe and search each object in a piece of art; do not leave it, do not course over it, as if it were understood, but instead follow it down until you see it in the mystery of its own specificity and strength.

Annie Dillard

Pickert: If You Believe You Can Do It…

If you believe you can do it, you are more likely to do the necessary work to become ABLE to do it.

Lori PIckert

Earhart: The Most Effective Way To Do It…

The most effective way to do it is to do it.

Amelia Earhart

Heinlein’s Rules and Thinking Out Loud

I’ve been re-listening to Dean Wesley Smith’s Heinlein’s Rules and Practice Lectures, and the applicability of H’s rules to all forms of creativity really struck me. You get better at it by doing it and getting it out into the world. Don’t worry so much about it, ignore the perfectionism demons, just do it and get it out the door. You learn by doing, so following H’s rules gives you the nudge to practice, practice, practice: something I need right now.
It comes at the same time as I’m realizing that I need to learn to think out loud again, or, maybe more generally, think outside my head. In the (gulp) fifteen years since college, I’ve gradually let that part of me atrophy. Just like I now ache if I have to sit cross-legged for any length of time, I struggle to fully develop ideas on paper or in conversation. I can think through things–stories, or arguments, or learning something–completely inside my head, without recourse to writing or talking. And it was fine to do that, because I was busy with other things, like a couple of small children. The kids aren’t so small any more, and I can see the rapidly-approaching day when we will need to start having some pretty in-depth conversations about a whole lot of topics. I feel unprepared for that, which worries me. Simultaneously, I’m re-engaging with my love of words and writing, stories and ideas. I used to be able to toss off a twenty page paper in a few days: the idea makes me shiver now. But having that facility with getting words and ideas out of my head and in the open will help me immensely. And that requires practice, which means getting words and ideas out of my head and in the open on a regular, frequent, basis.
And that is, fundamentally, what a blog is. If I ignore the rules (Heinlein notwithstanding, I hate rules) about how to create a popular/successful blog (posting frequency, including pictures, staying on-topic…), it would be a great tool for me. The trick is to, of course, write things down, and put them up on the blog. Looks a lot like Heinlein’s Rules.

Williams: Luxury Is The Wolf At The Door…

Luxury is the wolf at the door and its fangs are the vanities and conceits germinated by success. When an artist learns this, he knows where the dangers lie. Without deprivation and struggle, there is no salvation and I am just a sword cutting daisies.

Tennessee Williams

Richardson: Nothing Important…

Nothing important comes with instructions.

James Richardson.

Merton: Finally I Am Coming To The Conclusion…

Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am.

Thomas Merton

O’Connor: I Can With One Eye Squinted…

I can with one eye squinted take it all as a blessing.

Flannery O’Connor

Godin: An Enemy of Fear…

…an enemy of fear is creativity. Acting in a creative way generates action, and action persuades the fear to lighten up.

Seth Godin

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