Adventures In Edmonds, WA

Adventures In Edmonds, WA

As mentioned in a previous post, you have to live to write and (for writers) write to live. The two are inseparable. So, I decided today was and exploration day. I picked a random park here my home and went for a mini-hike.

The park in question was…

My hike lasted on 30 minutes because the trail was pretty short and lead to residential areas. Also, I got hungry… But, there are many other trails to explore and I most definitely will be back soon.

The trees were huge and majestic. Some reached so high that I could barely make out the canopy. Others reminded me of the om, the idea of the continously echoing sound of the universe. Where one tree ends, another begins.

The local residents, however, reminded me that civilization and human impact have left their mark. This park was not as wild as I had hoped. There were sewer drains and manholes hidden under fallen pine needles. There were scattered pieces of trash here and there. But what was most disturbing to me was the ducks.

Animals, wild ones, usually run from me. I took it as part of their wildness and intellect. I would be afraid if a strange bipedal creature with large eyes and a light box came up to me to. But these ducks…

These cuterms guys followed me! Out of no where I heard the fluttering of ducks and the splash of their bodis hitting the pond. They must have heard me as I approached the pond. I took a look and saw 8 then 10 then 15 ducks heading my way. I started to back away as I realized that these ducks… have been unintentionally domesticated. So, I ran off but not before taking a quick pic of my duck chasers.

I then stumbled on an invasive species…

A bridge over a dry creek bed…

And the not-scary-at-all-tube-tunnel..

Nope not horror-movie-fuel at all. Nope…

And yes, I went through it. I held my phone out to light the path. The tunnel lead me to…

The street. I was so disappointed I didn’t bother to photograph this moment. I saw a Canada Dry can left by the other end of the tunnel and that was it.

All and all, my little hike did allow me to experience tempered nature in my new home town. I hope to explore more of Washington in the coming days.

Happy reading and happy writing my fellow dragons.

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Emerald City Comic Con

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Hello my lovelies!

This week in Dragon Den news, we have EMERALD CITY COMIC CON! This is my first year attending this convention and I have to say, Seattle knows how to put on a good show of art, literature, and fandom pride. Emerald City Comic Con “is the premier comic book and pop culture convention in the Northwest, taking place in beautiful downtown Seattle, Washington” (as stated on their site).

Now, why would a well-educated writer be interested in comic cons? Or pop culture? Or, for that matter, anything besides literary fiction and poetry?

For the same reason this blog is called Dragon’s Den: I love to gather, collect, review, create, consume, and live art in all forms. Literary art, High Fiction, Low Fiction, Mid-grade, Paperback trade novels, classically bound art books, and all forms of beauty. This world is rift with wonder and comic cons are filled brimming with gold I would like to showcase.

But they also have something unique, something I had trouble finding in Graduate School.

Fearless love of the craft of creation.

I attended several panels, since the convention began late Thursday afternoon. Many of them were panels of how to break into the industry, how to forge a path in art, the business of writing, etc. Many gave advice I have heard before. I will now summarize them here:

  1. MEET DEADLINES AND PROVE YOU CAN
  2. BE A GOOD PERSON/LIKABLE
  3. PRODUCE GOOD ART/FINISH YOUR WORK

Each panel kinda boiled down to those three bits. The last panel I attended, however, hammered home a lot for me, given these three seemingly simple rules. The speaker, Alex DeCampi, made it clear that creating your work, is work, and should be treated as such. Every artist must treat their work, their craft, like a 9-5 job. Be ruthless with your time because time is something everyone has a limited resource of. Money will come and go but time is always ticking away. Use it.

Also, you have to figure out how you plan to get to your work. Schedule it in. Have a 9-5 job? Work on your real work after 5 and don’t be afraid to be strict about it. Clock out and Clock in.

She also spoke about the feeling of needing permission to create work (and I have felt that need so hard). When she spoke about it, her words resonated with me:

VALIDATE YOURSELF.

You don’t need permission to create a tentacle kitty. DO IT. Trust me, someone will buy it. Hell, I bought one.

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Everyone say hello to Mr. Teal.

Create your own plan and give yourself permission to create the work you wish to create. Ultimately, that is what helps people get hired.

If you write a million words about a topic you hate, hoping to get a steady job in the field, you will get a job in the field… but you will hate it.

But… if you write for 10,000 hours, each month, about something you love, creating your worlds and poetry, you will get a job writing what you want, and you will love it…

Most of the time… The panelist also spoke about how the mindset changes once you are a professional. You get paid and there will be days when you just don’t want to inked that panel. But that deadline looms… The thing is, you got to. JUST DO IT. And get to the next panel.

With those thoughts, my lovelies, I will now end with a series of pictures. I hope these inspire you and get that fire in your belly ignited. Happy crafting!

 

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Bounty Hunter Sighted!

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Hagrid!

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Wirt and Greg from Under the Garden Wall

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Pony with Volunteer Gear!

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Groot and I

My First Easter in Edmonds

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I set my GPS to Marina Beach. It’s about 10 minutes away from my studio apartment. I didn’t know what to expect when I got out of my car and started following signs to the park.

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The first thing I saw was boats. Boats, boats, and more boats.

All set in the emerald waters of the harbor, waiting for their captains to set sail.

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Being from the CA Bay Area, boats weren’t that new or exciting. It wasn’t until I crossed the bridge over to the Marina that I was blow away by the view.

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Blue grey skies with light steaming down between the gaps in the clouds, sea salt catching in the breeze, sea fowl chattering to themselves.

The feeling that swelled in me was an epiphany mixed with awe.

And the disappointment of not having my notebook with me on this Easter Sunday.

So, like a true Millennial, I decided to blog about this experience.

Today, I feel like I have finally come home to the Pacific Northwest.

Writing and Other Jobs

What do the following professions have in common?
– A Janitor

– An Airline Reservations Attendant

– A Coffee Shop Employee

– A Potato Chip Inspector

– An Apothecaries’ Assistant

Answer: Each were jobs held by famous writers. Stephen King was a Janitor. Harper Lee was an Airline Reservations Attendant. Margaret Atwood was a Coffee Shop Employee. Octavia Butler was a Potato Chip Inspector. And, of course, Agatha Christie was An Apothecaries’ Assistant.

And I too have held many different jobs. I have worked for the Department of Labor, a tutoring center, and two educational non-profits.

When I was graduate student for San Francisco State University, I worked as a Teacher Assistant for a course on the Business of Creative Writing. The point of the course was the address the very valid concerns of young writers.

HOW WILL I MAKE A LIVING AS A WRITER?

The truth is there is no straightforward equation or path when you chose to write for a living. There will be people who claim there is. That they have done it one way and it worked. But that’s the thing. That was THEIR path.

THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF PATHS.

The three things that are consistent between all paths where art and literature are concern are as follows:
1) those who want to create, consume the things which they wish t create with relish
2) those who want to create, create daily, weekly, monthly, yearly
3) those who want to create, do not give up in the face of rock bottom – they keep going and they keep submitting

Those who WISH to create, give up. They put off creating. They consume things that don’t remind them of their dreams.

Writers are readers, they produce, they submit, and they do not give up.

What does that mean for practical advice? If you need to eat to write, then work somewhere for a while and write. I work as a Toddler Assistant Teacher for a nonprofit. I write and read everyday, either on my tumblr or twitter, or facebook, or wordpress. The work with my students has given me the privilege to read more children’s books. It is a dream of mine to write a children’s book. Will I get there? Maybe, maybe not? Will I give up…

NO.

As long as Dragon’s Den is up and the internet exists, I will write. This is my pledge. To you, my audience, and my fellow writers. Do not give up, do not surrender, and always keep writing.

For more on the different professions held by famous authors, click here.

It’s Been A While

Dragon Time

So, it’s been like, what? 1 1/2 years, almost 2 since I last posted…

In internet speak, I might as well have said it was an eternity.

I lot has happened since I last wrote. I spoke for the first time as a feature reader for PAWA. I worked for three non-profits. And…

I moved. I moved out of state for the first time. Always a water child I heart, I moved to a wet and wonderful place known as Washington State. Specifically, I live in Edmonds now, a small town with a ferry and a beautiful view of MT. Rainier.

New place, new job, new everything.

The only consistent in my life has been my desire to write and read for a living and also for the rest of my life. I hope to post more here, in a steady stream of once a week news, advice, reviews, etc. This has been my resolution for a long time but I never seemed to be able to justify writing a post … or anything for that matter.

The reason?

Money.

I hate the word, I hate that it governs everything, and I hate the fact that I have tied my self worth to it.

So, knowing that my self-worth is tied to money — I have purchased the domain rosebooker.com. Starting in a few days, this blog will be seen at this address.

I have place my money where my heart is.

With time, hard work, a lot of writing, and a lot more reading, I hope to get myself to a regular schedule of writing.

To that end, let’s set a date. Saturday, the 13th, I will post again. This time, something with more substance and less of a life update.

Until then,

peace

love

and pancakes.