Posts Tagged: artist’s way

AFTERLIFE tour dates reminder, and Lucas doll winner!

Posted on March 6, 2011 | 3 comments

We have our fourth and final winner of the EVERNIGHT doll — a miniature Lucas is now the property of Jensine S.! Congrats to Jensine, who had a very eloquent entry about why Lucas should be hers, though tons of you had great reasons. Some of those included:

1) He would be a source of inspiration to never give up.

2) He would be well taken care of, as indeed he sorely needs just after HOURGLASS.

3) He would serve as protector against any possible incursion by hostile vampires.

4) He’s hot.

5) He would fuel rich fantasy lives. (Is that the same as the above entry?)

6) He would make any room more splendid. (A Lucas goes with everything.)

What would he make of all this? I think it’s time for a Lucas interview!

From Destiny S.: “Lucas, if given the choice again, would you become a vampire by choice rather than lose Bianca to the wraiths?”
Lucas: “If that was the only way — yeah. But I think I’d make her swear to stake me before I woke up.”

From Ellen C.: “Lucas, exactly what went through your head the night you saw Bianca drinking Erich’s blood on the roof of Evernight?”
Lucas: “I nearly lost it. I mean, I was already so crazy about her — Bianca was the most amazing girl I’d ever known. Ever. And the thing was … I felt like I was living a normal life for the first time. Like I was getting to just be a guy and be with a girl and actually get to act on how I felt instead of being a fighter every second. So when I realized she didn’t have anything to do with “normal” — I don’t know. At first I felt really betrayed. But I also knew right away that she wasn’t just a monster. I knew some of what Black Cross had always told me was a lie, but I didn’t how much or what it meant. So I didn’t know where the hell my head was for a while. I got over the betrayal first; it’s not like I wasn’t keeping my own secret, you know? Beyond that, all I knew was that I had to get back to Bianca again.”

From Camille: “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Bianca’s name?”
Lucas: “Her smile.”

From Kirsten B.: “I would ask whether he truly thought that his situation living freely with Bianca in Hourglass would last, or if he had any idea of what was to come.”
Lucas: “We were making it up as we went along — I knew that from the get-go. But I truly thought I could take better care of her than that. It all just got so damned complicated so fast.”

From Anne H.: “What is so horrible about becoming a vampire?”
Lucas: “First off, you’re dead. Second, you want to drink blood. I’ve tried drinking blood. Remember? It’s disgusting. Third — and this is the main part — I’ve seen a lot of vampires who know how to handle what they are. I’ve learned that’s possible, now. But I’ve seen plenty of vampires who don’t. They become monsters like Charity. They take pleasure in being cruel. They kill. I’d rather be dead than turn into that.”

From Eniyah W.: “Lucas, at what exact moment did you finally decide that you were so deeply in love with Bianca?”
Lucas: “I don’t know if it comes down to ‘deciding,’ but I realized it on Christmas Day that year. Black Cross doesn’t exactly make a big deal out of the holidays. I was imagining how different things would be if I were with her, how it would finally feel like the kind of Christmas I’ve seen in movies, and I just didn’t give a damn whether she was a vampire or not. And I knew that could only be love.”

From Aurora M.: “Lucas, is it better to follow your heart or your head?”
Lucas: “Follow your heart, but use your head along the way.”

From Jackie M.: “After all the pain & suffering, has it been worth to be with Bianca?”
Lucas: “Absolutely. I’d do it all again. I’d just plan further ahead next time.”

**

I hope to get all the dolls in the mail to you guys tomorrow morning (I just got them from the designer last night), but it might be when I return — the tour is coming up fast, and there’s still much to do! AFTERLIFE is coming out Tuesday! Want to know if I’m coming to your area? Check out the dates below!

Tuesday, March 8
Phoenix, AZ
7:00 PM
Reading/Q&A/Signing
Changing Hands
6428 S McClintock Drive
Tempe, AZ 85283

Wednesday, March 9
San Diego, CA
7:00 PM
Reading/Q&A/Signing
Mysterious Galaxy
7051 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92111-1040

Thursday, March 10
Dallas, TX
6:00 PM
Reading/Q&A/Signing
Barnes & Noble
Stonebriar Center Mall
Frisco, TX 75034

Friday, March 11
Charlotte, NC
4:30 PM
Reading/Q&A/Signing
Park Road Books
4139 Park Road
Charlotte, NC

Thursday, March 17
Minneapolis, MN
7:00 PM
Reading/Q&A/Signing
Dark Days of Winter event w/ Kimberly Derting and Courtney Allison Moulton
2100 North Snelling Avenue
Roseville, MN

Friday, March 18
Chicago, IL
7:00 PM
Reading/Q&A/Signing
Dark Days of Winter event w/ Ellen Schreiber, Kimberly Derting and Courtney Allison Moulton
123 West Jefferson Ave
Naperville, IL

Saturday March 19
Miami, FL
7:00 PM
Reading/Q&A/Signing
Dark Days of Winter event w/ Kimberly Derting and Courtney Allison Moulton
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL

I can’t wait to meet you guys there and to hear what you think of AFTERLIFE!

It’s a Sunday, and you may have noticed — I’ve not posted about The Artist’s Way. Though I continue leading the group, I wasn’t getting much FB from you guys. Is this of interest to any of you? Even a couple of yeses will get me posting again; just let me know.

Now, in a great hurry, I shall pack.

EVERNIGHT doll contest #4, plus Bianca interview

Posted on February 27, 2011 | 2 comments

First of all, congrats to our next winner — Sarah C., who will be taking home the Bianca doll! She has three nifty outfits: Evernight Academy uniform, formal dress and wraithly jammies (complete with coral bracelet, which is pretty important.) (The doll has these, I mean; I cannot speak to the number of outfits Sarah C. has, nor whether her jammies are of a wraithly nature or not.)

This means we have a few interview Qs for Bianca:

From Rachelle: “Does being in that same outfit (the pjs) make you crazy? Personally if it was me I’d be extremely upset that everyone would see me in my embarassing pjs every time they look at me.”
Bianca: “Well, it gets kind of old. When I turn myself corporeal, I can put on other clothes, but they just fall to the ground when I disappear, and then, boom, pajamas again. It could be worse. At least the pajamas are comfortable. What if I had to wear a strapless bra for eternity? That would suck.”

From Wendy: “Bianca, when you first came to Evernight, did you ever picture yourself where you are now? Why or why not?”
Bianca: “Never ever ever ever ever. That’s true in some bad ways — I never imagined I could be a wraith, or have Black Cross after me, and I definitely never thought I’d be separated from my parents … well, ever, but especially not as unhappily as this. It’s true in some good ones, too, though. I know I’m stronger and tougher than I used to be; I stand up for myself more, and for the people I love. And I never imagined having anyone like Lucas in my life.”

From Rebecca: “In the end would you still have risked everything to be with Lucas, even though you betrayed your parents?”
Bianca: “That’s not an easy question to answer. Well, I mean, it is — yes, I would — but I would have tried harder to get other answers first, and to try to get both Lucas and my parents to understand each other. I don’t know if I would’ve made any headway; possibly the only person in the world more stubborn than my parents is Lucas Ross. But I would feel better knowing I had really tried, and I would feel more like maybe they understood. That’s the worst part about being away from my parents like this — feeling like they’ll never understand me or accept the decisions I made.”

From Cristal: “Well, hello, Bianca, how are you doing today?.. Thank you so much for doing this Interview. I wanted to ask you, if you had a time machine, would you go back in time to change anything that has happened to you from EVERNIGHT to HOURGLASS, and if yes, what would that be?”
Bianca: “How polite you are! I’m doing very well today; once you’re a wraith, you’re pretty much okay on the average day. If I had a time machine, what would I change? I think I’d go back to the beginning, tell Lucas that I knew about him being Black Cross and start trying to find a way to meld our worlds together before Mom, Dad and Mrs. Bethany turned him into public enemy number one. I’d warn Courtney about Charity, too; I mean, I didn’t like Courtney much, but nobody deserved that. And I’d definitely figure out a better way for us to escape from Black Cross. Everything got so out of control afterwards!”

From Alejandra: “Until now we’ve seen how your unconditional love for Lucas has overcome every possible (and impossible) obstacle, but do you think it will also overcome the problems that are about to come after HOURGLASS, and will you do all it takes to save him?”
Bianca: “I don’t know how we get through this — I honestly don’t. It’s like all our worst nightmares have come true at once. But I am not giving up. Lucas is my only constant in a world that seems like it’s gone crazy. I will never give up on him, and I know he won’t let me go either. We’re finding our way through some dark times, but we’re doing it together.”

From Eibhlin: “If Lucas didn’t exist, would you have received Balthazar’s affections for you?”
Bianca: “… wow, I’m not sure. Probably yes. Would we really last, though? I don’t know. It might just have been incredibly hot for a little while… there are worse things. But, happily for me, Lucas does exist.”

From Andrea: “Do you believe in love at first sight like when you saw lucas after he tried to “save” you in EVERNIGHT?”
Bianca: “Since meeting Lucas, I think I have to believe it! But it takes so much more than that first sight to hold on to that love, and to find out who it is you really care about. I think only time can tell whether love at first sight is true. I think ours is.”

**

Only one more doll remains — and that’s Lucas! He and his crossbow long for a new home. And we have only a week and a half until AFTERLIFE comes out in the US! So surreal. Let’s find this Black Cross hunter a home, shall we?

Lucas Doll Contest

1) Send me an email with the header “Lucas Doll Contest” or something similar, at evernightclaudia at gmail dot com.
2) In this email, tell me why Lucas belongs in your home and no one else’s!
3) Also tell me a name and address I can use to send Lucas to you if you win. (And yes, I’ll ship anywhere.)
4) Do all of this before Sunday, March 6, when I will pick the winner!

I realize I owe you guys an Artist’s Way post from last week; the conference I was attending didn’t leave much free time for getting the information online. I’ll try to make up for it tomorrow.

AFTERLIFE — it’s almost here!

The Artist’s Way, Week Two

Posted on February 13, 2011 | 0 comments

This week, in The Artist’s Way:

Recovering a Sense of Identity

This week’s exercises are really all about looking at our priorities — when we say, “I don’t have time to X, Y or Z,” often what we really mean is, “I don’t value X, Y or Z”, or, even more tellingly, “I won’t let myself admit that I value X, Y and Z.”

Basically, we’re asked to make lists of things we like to do and ask ourselves how long it’s been since we did them; then we’re asked to make lists of the activities that take up most of our time. Yes, things we must do usually hit the list of “activities” that take up most of our time: school/work, duties at home, family responsibilities, etc. But when I made this list, I was struck that a couple of the things I spent the most time doing weren’t in that category OR on the lists of things I like to do. They were just time-sucks — ways I let my energy get siphoned off into stuff I don’t care about. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

Some of the things I like to do are a little more difficult to incorporate into my daily life; for instance, I used to take pottery classes and really enjoyed them. I’d love to do that again sometime, but the cost, time and materials are a major investment. But so many things were so simple! Why hadn’t I gotten my butt down to my crochet circle in six weeks? Why am I not listening to the classical-music radio station sometimes instead of leaving the TV on to blast some meaningless, useless noise? How did I let myself fall out of practice with yoga?

So last Thursday, I went back to crochet circle (and am now making myself a lovely peacock blue computer sleeve — or at least am trying). I hope to return to yoga this week. The classical music is playing right now.

How do these play into a sense of identity, you might ask? Well, I think it’s important to know what inspires and recharges us, and to invest some of our time and energy into those experiences and activities. That’s how you feed your creative side — and it’s how you reaffirm to yourself that your creativity is an important part of your life. If you want to be a writer, you need to identify as a creative person and invest the time to express yourself.

For me, because writing is now my job (YAY), I definitely do make the time to write — both the books I write for publication and pleasure writing I do on the side, because I know how important it is that I never lose the sense that writing is fun. But I was surprised how slack I’d become in keeping up the many other activities that keep me cheerful, creative and inspired. I’m grateful for the reminder and reenergized for the future.

The only thing that might keep me from yoga this week is that I may have a wee bit of a stomach virus coming on. At any rate, the nausea has now been around for about six hours, which is somewhat ominous. Here’s hoping a good night’s sleep knocks that out!

But even if I am laid up in bed for a while, I can still crochet …

And don’t forget: You have until Wednesday, Feb. 16 to enter the second EVERNIGHT doll contest! For details, check out the previous entry on the blog!

Doll Contest News, plus interview Qs and the Artist’s Way!

Posted on February 10, 2011 | 0 comments

First of all, the first doll claimed was Raquel, and her bad-ass vampire hunting self is going to the lucky Averi A.! Congrats, Averi! Raquel will be making her way to you soon, assuming the postal service doesn’t try to confiscate her weapons.

If you didn’t win this time, don’t despair: Three more dolls need homes! And we’ll get that contest started soon — but first, there are some interview questions that need answering. You guys asked SO many terrific questions that I want to get to plenty of them, so I’m just going to “interview” each character as his or her doll is given away. Which makes today “Raquel Day.”

(Note: Spoilers for EVERNIGHT, STARGAZER and HOURGLASS below!)

From Averi: “Do you think that you will be the next Buffy the Vampire Slayer; is that your MO?”
Raquel: “Buffy was banging vampires all the time. I’ll pass, thanks.”

From Precious: “What is it like being a member of the Black Cross?”
Raquel: “Well, at first it was kind of awesome. I was so sick and tired of being scared all the time, you know? Black Cross finally gave me a way to fight back. Plus, I got to be with Dana, which was and is definitely awesome. But lately — since all that stuff with Bianca and Lucas — I don’t know. I guess I’m wondering how much we’re supposed to give up. Maybe it’s too much.”

From Paz: “Now that you know that Bianca is a vampire/wraith. Will you try to look past that and still be her friend?”
Raquel: “Seeing as how I kind of totally turned her in and nearly got her and Lucas killed, I figure there’s no chance she’ll ever forgive me. So that kind of kills the friendship, huh? But I’d do it a lot differently if I had it to do over. Of course, I don’t.”

From Aranxta: “Raquel, how do you manage to always stay so strong and brave??”
Raquel: “Me? Brave? I feel like I’m scared to death half the time. But you just have to be strong enough to keep going anyway; if not, whatever it is that’s trying to keep you down — it wins.”

From Melanie: “If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?”
Raquel: “BAD MAMA JAMA. Okay, that’s silly. But I’d take it. Given how I’m feeling about Black Cross lately — maybe DOUBLE-CROSSED.”

From Harman: “Raquel, you sort of found your soulmate at/in blackcross, what do you think of her?”
Raquel: “Dana’s the best person I’ve ever known. She’s totally courageous — you should ask her about staying strong and brave sometime. She knows how to fight every evil supernatural thing out there, because she’s grown up in Black Cross — but she doesn’t let Black Cross think for her. Plus, she’s hilarious. And gorgeous. I still can’t believe I’m lucky enough to have her in my life.”

From Eniyah: “Raquel, deep down do you really, really love being apart of an exhilarating group such as Black Cross?”
Raquel: “Exhilarating? Try eating oatmeal for 30 days straight and see how exhilarating you think it is then. I admit, though – they really have taught me how to fight, and I’m grateful for that.”

From Jennifer: “It seems like you’re pretty psyched and gun ho about being a slayer but what do you not like about it?”
Raquel: “The early mornings. Oatmeal. Not knowing who to believe or trust. What they did to Bianca and Lucas. Also, oatmeal. Feeling like Dana and I never get any time to ourselves. The kind of cult-like mentality of the whole thing. And did I mention the endless, endless oatmeal?”

From Monique: “In the first books you were so scared to do anything; you didn’t talk to many people. What made you overcome your fears and join the Black Cross team?”
Raquel: “Well, I don’t know if I ever would have had the guts to leave Evernight Academy if it hadn’t been on fire at the time. That kind of simplified things. Once I learned there was actually a group of people out there dedicated to fighting the supernatural stuff that used to scare the hell out of me, though, I was in. … Maybe I should have asked a few more questions first.”

From Camille: “What would you do if the time comes that you have to kill Bianca?”
Raquel: “Oh, my God. I could never do that. Not ever. I mean, it freaks me out that she’s a vampire — I know they’re evil — but I just couldn’t. Don’t make me even think about it.”

**

Bianca, Patrice and Lucas will answer the great questions you guys sent for them in weeks to come. Beginning, shall we say, next Wednesday, February 16, when I’ll give another doll away! What are the rules for entering this time?

THE RULES:

1) Send an email to evernightclaudia at gmail dot com, with the subject header EVERNIGHT doll contest #2 or similar.
2) In this email, tell me your single favorite scene from the EVERNIGHT saga so far.
3) Also give me a name and address I can use to mail your doll if you win (and yes, I’ll ship anywhere in the world) — and tell me which of the remaining three dolls (Patrice, Lucas or Bianca) you’d most like!
4) Do all this before next Wednesday, when I’ll pick the winner at random, and answer some more interview questions.

Good luck, everyone!

(By the way, if you need to remind yourself of how awesome these dolls are, check out the original post. And for those of you who have asked: Balthazar will wait for his own doll when he gets his own book … in other words, only one short year from now. So keep watching this space!)

Now, because I somehow forgot to post this on the weekend:

The Artist’s Way, Week One: Recovering a Sense of Safety

Not every week speaks to everyone in the same way, when it comes to this book. Some weeks, the program is really dealing with an issue that strikes home; other weeks, it’s not anything you particularly need to hear.

That’s what this week was to me. It’s mostly about identifying the people who have discouraged you from being creative, but I have to say … almost nobody has ever done that. I’ve had the odd flame for some fanfiction I wrote, or a bad review or two on Amazon, but those are just nicks and scratches. This chapter is mostly about administering to the wounded, to people who have really been told that they have no creativity or that it’s a waste of time for them to express it. I know there are a lot of people for whom that’s true, and I’m glad they have the tools in this chapter to help them get past that.

But I wouldn’t say this was a waste of time for me. The chapter doesn’t ask us to only look for the people who discouraged you; it also asks who encouraged you. And I’ve been so lucky and fortunate to have people who believed in me all along the way. I really believe a sense of gratitude is one of the key ingredients of happiness, so reconnecting with that in a big way was amazing.

Onto next week, and “A Sense of Identity” —

The Artist’s Way: Getting Started

Posted on January 30, 2011 | 0 comments

So, as I’ve discussed here previously, I have just begun leading an Artist’s Way group at my church. For the next three months, way more people from my church than I ever dreamed would be interested, and I, are going to go through the 12 weeks of the program laid out by Julia Cameron in her book THE ARTIST’S WAY. The program helps “unblock creativity” — in other words, it helps people prioritize creativity in their lives, remove their inner censors and embrace that amazing creative energy that’s pent up inside.

When I first did the program, more than a decade ago, I hadn’t written a word in three years. Now I’m a full-time novelist … which might make you wonder, like one person at my church, about why I feel the need to do it again. I mean, it worked the first time, right? And it did. But I’m interested to see how different the experience will be to me now, and I think it’s important for professional writers to remain connected to the primal enjoyment of/passion for writing. That can be difficult to hold onto with the pressure of deadlines, reviews, tour dates, etc.

For each week of the program, I’m going to post here about some of the basics of THE ARTIST’S WAY and what it’s like for me this go-round. If you’re interested in following along, I suggest getting a copy of the book (it should be available in most new and used bookstores, all online venues and in most libraries.) There are lots of essays/extra tasks/etc. that the book lays out, which I think are key to success. But I’ll share a little bit each time, starting this week with —

“The Basic Tools”

Each week of THE ARTIST’S WAY has separate tasks, a separate function within the program. But there are two things you have to commit to throughout the entire twelve weeks:

1) The Morning Pages

Every morning — I mean, every single morning — very early in your day (as in, before breakfast, not before lunch) — you need to write three pages.

Three pages of what, you ask? It doesn’t matter. Journal the day before. Start a short story. Recount the dreams you remember from the night before. Write a letter to the imaginary friend you forgot about when you turned six. There’s literally no wrong way to do it. If you can’t think of anything to write, just put down, “I can’t think of anything to write” over and over until you fill three (full notebook size!) pages.

What purpose does this serve? Well, there’s no one purpose, just as there’s no one way to do the pages. Some people end up working on something creative; others use it as a way to vent the emotions that otherwise tangle them up throughout the day. What’s important is doing some writing so early on that your day hasn’t had a chance to interfere. As you keep going, in about week three or four, chances are you’ll start to see what the pages are going to do for you.

2) The Artist’s Date

Once a week — every single week — you must go out and do something that is (a) totally new to you and (b) potentially interesting for you, for two hours. And you must go alone.

It can be an art exhibit. It can be rollerblading. It can be a walk down a street lined with old Victorian houses you always thought were pretty as you drove past in a hurry. It can be a cooking class. ANYTHING … as long as it interests you and is unfamiliar to you. By providing your mind with repeated new, stimulating experiences, you are waking up your imagination. Filling the well, as Cameron calls it.

And why go alone? Because that way, you can’t filter the experience through someone else. Your thoughts have to be free to wander — to make new connections. You have to move at your own pace, free of anybody else’s expectations.

**

Not only do these tools have intrinsic value, but they also help you fight one of the oldest enemies of creativity: The belief that you don’t have the time. What you’re usually saying, when you say that, is “I don’t think it’s important enough to make it a priority.” Doing THE ARTIST’S WAY helps you stand up and say that creativity is a priority for you. You learn to find the time.

Next week, I’ll go over the topic for week one — “Discovering a Sense of Safety.”

And Tuesday, I’ll be announcing new tour dates, plus new contests leading into the impending release of AFTERLIFE!

Aussie box set winners, and a whole new contest for you

Posted on January 18, 2011 | 2 comments

A day late, but better late than never: Congrats to Genesis G., Kristen R., Heather S., Kristina S., Destiny P., Kamie N., Alexis L., Samantha C. and Ashley G.! You’re all receiving copies of the Australian box set. Most of you plan to keep your box sets for yourselves, but there are kind souls out there who are giving them to friends or coworkers, or donating to the library. Keeping or giving away, you’re all awesome.

Writing news: Yesterday I finished the first draft of BALTHAZAR! So you’ll be seeing that in March 2012 — after all the long, long edits get made …

As for “The Artist’s Way,” which I mentioned here about a week ago, I’ve decided that I will be posting about for for twelve weeks, starting Sunday, January 30. If you’ve ever been interested in doing this course, which teaches you how to enhance your personal creativity and give it priority in your life, please feel free to follow along. I’ll just be blogging my thoughts as we go, so it might be a good support system or tool for those of you who have always considered doing it. The only things you need to take part are a copy of THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron (ought to be available, new or used or library copy, most anywhere) and the will to give this program the (considerable) time it takes.

Now, more contest news: I have some extra copies of the anthology VACATIONS FROM HELL, which includes my story “I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend” along with other tales by Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Cassandra Clare and Sarah Mlynowski. Want a copy? All you have to do is this:

THE RULES

1) Send an email to evernightclaudia at gmail dot com, with the subject line “VACATIONS giveaway!”

2) In that email, tell me a name and address I can use to send your book to if you win. *

3) Also tell me what you like to read on vacation!

4) Do all this before Tuesday, Jan. 25, when I’ll pick the winners! (Number TBD, but I think I’ve got plenty here to give away! It will be AT LEAST fifteen.)

To make up for the fact that the Aussies weren’t eligible for the box set giveaway, I hereby pledge that at least five of the winners will be Australian! Everybody has a chance, but the Aussies get that little extra chance they didn’t get last time.

Hope you guys enjoy!

*This part is important, guys. No fewer than two of the winners originally chosen for this week’s contest failed to give me addresses, and so their entries got tossed. Don’t let it happen to you!

Australian box set giveaway!

Posted on January 10, 2011 | 11 comments

OK, enough of you were interested in the Australian box set (paperbacks of EVERNIGHT, STARGAZER and HOURGLASS all together for you) that I’m going to do a giveaway! I have nine copies of the box set, for nine lucky winners; I’ll autograph each box set. How do you enter?

1) Send me an email at evernightclaudia at gmail dot com, with the header “Australian Box Set Contest” or something similar.

2) Include a name and address I can use to ship your box set if you win! (This contest is open to readers worldwide except in Australia — because you are the lucky guys who can already get the box set on your own! Don’t worry; I’ll get you Aussies on our next contest.)

3) In this email, tell me what you’ll do with your box set! (Give it away? Keep it and give away your old copies? Have a hard copy instead of just your ebooks? I want to know!)

4) Do all these things before Monday, January 17, when I’ll pick the nine lucky winners!

Good luck, everybody!

**

I hope to soon start offering some more interviews — and there will be more contests — but right now, I’m on deadline with BALTHAZAR. So bear with me while I finish up, and keep watching the blog!

And for those of you interested in “The Artist’s Way”: I’m definitely going to do this, and blog about it, for the 12 weeks beginning the final day of January. All you need to do is get a copy of the book (available throughout the US at least, and I’m guessing internationally too; you can find it in most bookstores, new or used, online, or at your local library) and follow along with us!

Happy New Year! plus, seeking your thoughts on “The Artist’s Way” and giveaways

Posted on January 2, 2011 | 8 comments

Hope everyone out there had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and is now looking forward to a terrific 2011. I’m definitely looking forward to a very busy one: Two books of mine are coming out this year (AFTERLIFE, the fourth book in the EVERNIGHT series, will be in the US March 8, while werewolves-on-the-Titanic romance FATEFUL comes along September 13), and I’ll be touring to support them; in addition, I’ll be writing two novels, first of all finishing up BALTHAZAR (about guess who) and then the first book of my upcoming witchcraft trilogy, SPELLCASTER.

So, naturally, I’m looking for more to do. This is where you guys come in.

This week, I agreed to lead an “Artist’s Way” group at my church, starting in late January. I was thinking of providing some check-in posts on my blog each week, after the group meets, for those of you who might be interested in trying it too. What is THE ARTIST’S WAY, you ask? It’s a book by Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan that provides a 12-week program to get yourself creatively unstuck. The program helps get writers writing (and painters painting, and people who just want to think more creatively about their work and lives thinking) through a series of exercises each week.

This would NOT be me teaching anybody to write*, nor teaching anybody anything; THE ARTIST’S WAY is fundamentally something you do on your own. The two key elements are the morning pages (every single morning for the entire 12 weeks, no matter what else is going on, the first thing you do in the morning is write 3 pages) and the artist’s date (every single week, for at least two hours, you go out by yourself to do something you’ve never done before). My posts would just be a chance to check in for those of you who are interested.

I personally did THE ARTIST’S WAY in 1999. There are some things about the program I find deeply goofy. I did it anyway. When I began, I hadn’t written one single word in three years. That program didn’t single-handedly make me a professional writer, but it got me writing again — writing regularly — and I’ve never stopped. So I have to give the program credit for that, and I think it really can be helpful for people who are trying to kick-start their creative process.

What I’d do here is make a post each week about the upcoming chapter, some of my reflections on it, etc. You can just read along if that interests you, or you could feel free to post your own thoughts about your process. What do you guys think?

Also! I have several EVERNIGHT box sets from Australia here — very lovely! — but also not very useful to me, as I have lots of my own books already. I want to hang on to a couple, but I’d like to give some others away. Of course, most of you (I hope!) have copies of EVERNIGHT, STARGAZER and HOURGLASS already. But you could give these to other people you want to get into the series, or save these for yourself and give away the old copies (as these will be autographed). Not sure whether that’s a good prize, though. Let me know your thoughts!

* Nor is this about me reading any writing. Lots of people ask, but I honestly do not have time; sorry about this! I hope I can provide some indirect guidance through TAW, though.