Monday, June 16, 2014

Spread the Love (Blog Tour)

My daughter, Jamie Bagley, who is very talented, was instrumental in helping me to start my blog. She has just published an ebook entitled Book of Hours:In Shadow and Sun. Recently, she took part in a blog tour answering some questions and then tagging three other people to continue the tour on their own blogs the following week. Well, you guessed it, she asked me to be part of it, too. So here goes:

1. What are you currently working on?

Right now I have several things going. I have started a children's fantasy story, which is a new thing for me. It's coming along slowly, but I'm making some progress. There is also a poem I wrote a few months ago that I want to make into a children's book complete with illustrations. This was a suggestion made by some story sisters during a virtual retreat. My thinking would be to have each stanza a page with an illustration opposite or a double page illustration with a stanza overlaid on each side. Right now this is still in the idea stage. The poem can be read on an earlier blog post.

My ongoing project is taking nature photographs to use in my blog or to overlay with quotes or original poems. It seems lately that many things inspire me to write poems. I have been slowly going through the book  THE ARTIST'S RULE by Christine Valters Paintner, which has given me prompts for various poems and art journaling.

A new found interest begun this year is working on an art journal. I try to fill in pages at least once a week, although sometimes there doesn't seem to be an opportunity for it.  My journal pages take on different forms like found poetry, collages, painting, zentangle, or illustrated poetry, to name a few. Here are a couple of examples:
My memoir is coming together in spurts as I am inspired to write stories or poems about different times in my life. One idea is to share them in separate stories on the blog maybe once a month in hopes that things in my life will encourage or inspire someone else. By publishing them on my blog it would give an opportunity for my children to add things they remember in the comments.

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

My work doesn't necessarily fit a particular genre because I do a variety of things. Poetry really calls to me and I often find myself writing poetry when I don't even plan it. Children's literature interests me, but I also write to encourage other women, to inspire people of all ages, to share parts of my life that may help others who may be going through some of the same things that have impacted me.

3. Why do you write/create what you do?

I write/create because I enjoy it very much. It seems like my writing, photography and art journaling have opened up a whole new world for me which is very freeing and life giving. It's as if I have to create, because if I don't I feel glum and dull, maybe even a little depressed. When I write or do some other form of art it gives me an outlet to record my thoughts and ideas so as not to lose them.

Also, I believe my love for God inspires me to create. He as the great Creator has made me and all humans in His image, which includes the ability to create. I believe everyone has the capacity to create in some way or another no matter how small. We all need to encourage those around us to step out and experiment with writing, with paints, etc., and maybe we will be surprised at what we can do individually and/or collectively. It is never too late to try, no matter what age we are.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?

At this point I don't really have a particular schedule for any of my creative pursuits. What is slowly becoming a habit is for me to spend time at my desk in the morning after breakfast, after the goats are milked and I can take some time to relax. Most of the time, though, I just write/create when something inspires me. Since there are several different projects going I will work on whichever one seems to call me at a particular time. I have several different journals that I jot things down in. Here's a glimpse of my desk and some journals I use.

If I take time each day to walk outside observing things, taking pictures, breathing in the fresh air, I seem to have more of an urge to create something new whether it be poetry, story or art. I like to take lots of pictures and then when I'm working on a blog post I have a variety to choose from to see what might fit. Of course, reading and looking at the work of others is also very inspiring to me. This blog tour has been fun even though I haven't read all those before me. I can hardly wait to share with you the three lovely ladies coming up next week.

Stacey Lozano has been blogging for over ten years, much longer than I have. She is very talented and I'm sure you will enjoy reading her words.

Emily Miller is a journalist based in Chicago. She manages social media for the Chicago Sun-Times and also writes for RELEVANT and other publications. Emily is a seeker of truth reporting what she finds.

Trina Holden has been blogging for many years and has written at least four books, one of which is a cookbook I use practically every day called Real {Fast} Food. Watch for her newest book to come out soon! She is an inspiration to me and I know you will benefit from her wisdom.

I met Stacey and Emily online through Story Sessions, a lovely collage of women writers who encourage, support and rally around each other like no other group I have seen. They truly provide a place for sisterhood and growth.  I met Trina through her blog several years ago when I won either a phone call or a skype session with one of her giveaways, but instead of that our family actually visited them and were able to enjoy her family and their wonderful hospitality. All of these women are unique as each of us are as individuals created by God. I look forward to reading their posts. 

Join me next Monday, June, 23, as we continue this fabulous blog tour.

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