Thursday, January 17, 2013

Things Don't Have to Be Complicated

Students Making Sense of the World book coverJust received word that my combination artwork/6-word bio is being published by Smith Magazine in the book Things Don't Have to Be Complicated. As a grad student, I was eligible for the competition. I'm amazed at the profound insights from students of all ages. Their wisdom (and accompanying artwork) is well worth the purchase price. You can grab a copy at the Smith website or at iTunes or Amazon.

Here's the blurb for the book:

"What would you say if you had just six words to define your life? ....Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a novel in just six words. His heartbreaking result: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”  

Giving the form a personal twist, Smith reimagined the six-word novel idea as the Six-Word Memoir, challenging contributors to create a half-dozen words of self-reflection. The constraint, it turned out, fueled rather than inhibited creativity....

Inspired by Six Words’ popularity in English classes and art classes alike, Smith recently called for submissions for illustrated Six-Word Memoirs, in which he asked students, whether in grade school or grad school, to create a piece of artwork that enhanced their memoirs. The voices in Things Don’t Have to Be Complicated are younger than those of previous memoirists, but no less profound: “Said he loved me, he lied.” “Two girls, both of them me.” “Big dreams, big heart, big mouth.” “I’m a Muslim, not a terrorist.” “Life is better with headphones on.” This book contains dozens more. At its core, the Six-Word Memoir offers a simple way for anyone of any age to try to answer the question that defines us all: Who am I?"

If you wrote a 6-word memoir, what would it say?

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's That Time of Year Again - Part 2

In addition to voting for our favorite authors in the Preditors and Editors poll (see Cate's post below), it's the time of year where we all make resolutions and set goals. One week into the new year, some of us have probably already broken some of our resolutions, but if we set our goals in a way that makes them clear enough to be broken down into bite-sized pieces, we're more likely to get where we want to go.

If you're looking for a way to make that happen, take a look at my article on SMART Goals on the Institute of Children's Writers website. You don't have to be a writer to set goals.