Masks, Make Up & Making It Up As We Go Along

I hope you had a fabulous weekend with Halloween, Dia de los Muertos & for those who made it to the Eerie Expo, it was *great* to see you there! It struck me on the drive back how much I love this weekend of dressing up, playing spooky & having fun and, of course, how this reminds me of writing. (Because all good things lead back to writing!)

Dia de los Muertos 2014

Halloween permits us to live a day behind a mask, to try on another person's face--a character, a behavior, a point-of-view that's different from our own. To freak folks out, catch a glimpse of surprise, share a reassuring laugh after recognition hits and have some fun with it. This is a lot like writing! While it's sometimes confronting to admit that all of these characters came from within us, that every flaw and fear and thoughts of evil sprang from some dark place in our brains, it is also a safe place to explore these feelings, to give them faces and names and watch them mess around and mess up and know that it's not *us* in the real world that;s doing this, this is imagining a place and a person and what they might do different from what we would do. It is a time to put on make up and masks that we are grateful not to wear all the time...but once in a while, it's okay.

Dia de los Muertos is a time to reflect, to pay homage and attention to where we came from and where we're going, not to take things for granted and not to forget. Sometimes in the midst of all the hubbub about promotion and word counts, traditional publishing and self-publishing, e-books and royalty statements, advances and book deals or none of the above, we as professional writers can easily forget where we came from, what we love and why we do this. It's easy to get caught up in the other noise instead of listening to what's in our hearts (as opposed to the voices in our heads!) and lose sight of the magic...we take it for granted, we forget. A literary "Day of the Dead" might be going back and re-reading a favorite book or one of the old classics we admire, reading an old diary or journal entry to see where we were X years ago or cracking open an old trunk novel to see how far we've come in our craft. It's nice to get some perspective, acknowledge what has gone and celebrate what's to come lest we forget and get obsessed with cheese in the rat race. It can be a little time to renew.

Then, of course, there's being just plain silly.

JKagawa & Kate & Me

JKagawa & Kate & Me 2

I never get enough time to hang out with cool authors or chat with other book lovers and at Voracious Reader's Eerie Expo, I was able to indulge! Julie Kagawa is a fun and funny fellow martial artist, Etsy crafter and gamer and most notably the author of the new Talon series and Kady Cross is a fabulous romance-steampunk-horror writer with a penchant for wild hair and wilder antics with a wit that can't be beat. Can you tell I'm a fan of both of these ladies? It was an honor and a laugh to get to be on a panel with them and talk dark, beautiful books. (P.S. There are signed copies of all of our books available at the store for purchase. Click here to find out more!)


And lastly, November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as "NaNoWriMo" and if you've decided to pick up a pen, fire up that keyboard and go for writing 50,000 words in one month, know this: YOU CAN DO IT! Don that mask, grab that voice, open your mind and place butt in chair and write like you own it...because you do! Make it up as you go and remember to have fun along the way.

Good luck! G-d bless! Go forth and make good art!


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