Welcome to my stop on the Shards of History blog tour! Rebecca Roland, author of Shards of History, is guest posting today about Artist Dates, so please give her a hearty welcome to The Bawdy Book Blog!
The Importance of Artist Dates
One of the hard things about writing a novel is maintaining enough excitement to see your way through to the end of the story. There were times when my energy and momentum flagged while writing Shards of History, and I needed something to reenergize me and keep me going. One of the things that helped was going on artist’s dates.
I started reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way years ago and ran out of steam before I could finish the book, but I took the idea of the artist’s date to heart. An artist’s date is meant to fill the well of experience that you draw from. It’s time away from your busy schedule to rejuvenate. It’s an adventure. It’s about play. It can mean going to a museum, taking a hike, trying a new restaurant, exploring a flea market. You never know what you’ll find.
My husband and I were driving around one day when we spotted a huge lot filled with metal statues for sale. We walked among life-sized Indian dancers, cougars, giraffes, and horses. There were metal agaves, giant ants, flowers, and dragons. Then behind one building I found a creature that looked remarkably like one of the ferocious, winged Jeguduns from Shards of History. Unfortunately, we didn’t leave with that, but it did renew my excitement for the story. Other “dates” that helped during the writing of the book included a trip to the Pacific Northwest, a tour of the Valles Caldera in New Mexico, and a walk through the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver.
According to Julia Cameron, you must go alone on these artist’s dates. I’ve traveled a lot, sometimes alone, but the reality is, I have little to no alone time these days. So for most of the past couple of years, my toddler has gone with me on my artist’s dates. Sometimes I have to cut them short, and I don’t have the luxury of just sitting still with my thoughts, at least not until later in the day when he’s sleeping. But I get to share my love of art, nature, and adventure with my son, and because I find myself pointing out scenery or music or art that I particularly enjoy, I still manage to fit in some deep thought every so often (yes, that’s my tongue in my cheek). And besides, little kids are all about play and fun and adventure. Two year olds have no inhibitions. They just do and go, laugh and cry, spin and run and drop to the ground to play with something that catches their eye. They give every moment their all. What better companion for an artist’s date?
Here’s a list of a hundred ideas for an artist’s date. Go, have fun, play, explore! You’ll find yourself rejuvenated and your excitement reignited for whatever sort of project you’re working on. And if you have any ideas for an artist’s date, please share.
Like all Taakwa, Malia fears the fierce winged creatures known as Jeguduns who live in the cliffs surrounding her valley. When the river dries up and Malia is forced to scavenge farther from the village than normal, she discovers a Jegudun, injured and in need of help.
Malia’s existence — her status as clan mother in training, her marriage, her very life in the village — is threatened by her choice to befriend the Jegudun. But she’s the only Taakwa who knows the truth: that the threat to her people is much bigger and much more malicious than the Jeguduns who’ve lived alongside them for decades. Lurking on the edge of the valley is an Outsider army seeking to plunder and destroy the Taakwa, and it’s only a matter of time before the Outsiders find a way through the magic that protects the valley — a magic that can only be created by Taakwa and Jeguduns working together.
Now Malia is in a race against time. She must warn the Jeguduns that the Taakwa march against them and somehow convince the Taakwa that their real enemy isn’t who they think it is before the Outsiders find a way into the valley and destroy everything she holds dear.
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About Rebecca Roland
Rebecca Roland lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she writes primarily fantasy and horror. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncle John’s Flush Fiction and in Stupefying Stories, and she is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. When she’s not writing, she’s usually spending time with her family, torturing patients as a physical therapist, or eating way too much chocolate. You can find her online at Spice of Life, her blog, or follow her on Twitter @rebecca_roland.
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