Dramaquill's All Things Writing

August 24, 2008

Sometimes a diversion is a great way to get back on track

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks and writing has taken a complete back seat.  I can’t wait to get back into my novel – I’m so close to finishing that final rewrite I can taste it.

So, what have I been doing?

Our studio held two different music camps for kids.  Each one lasted a week.  The first one was a theatre camp that focused on musicals, in particular, High School Musical, Hairspray and Camp Rock.  The kids got to work on big group production numbers High School Musical and Hairspray as well as singing some of the beautiful slow ballads from HSM 2.  Then, we choreographed a funky hip hop routine to Hasta La Vista from Camp Rock.  The kids loved it.  They also did lots of improvisation games, learned vocal technique, and dabbled in many of the aspects of musical theatre.  It was tons of fun.

The second camp was an IDOL camp and we really put these kids through their paces.  Ranging in age from 10-14, they were immersed in the whole IDOL process from auditioning to working in groups as well as preparing a solo.  We brought in judges on the final day and had a true idol competition with prizes for the first, second and third places. 

Being around all these creative kids has both worn me out and inspired me to get back to my own creativity.  It was a great diversion though and I’m glad to have spent the past two weeks singing, dancing, and creating in the performing arts.

Sometimes, a diversion is a great way to get back on track.

August 12, 2008

FREE writer’s conference

Ever heard of the Muse Online Writer’s Conference?  Well, it’s that time again folks. 

I experienced this free event last year for the first time and can’t say enough about what a totally marvelous opportunity this conference is for writers of all levels, all genres and all interests.  (I wrote about it in my October 2008 blogs but it looks like they have a new website this year so I’ll post it below.)

Where I live, there aren’t a lot of writer’s conferences, other than a small local one every August.  The closest SCBWI event from me is an eight hour drive away.

For anyone who wants to attend a conference but can’t for whatever reason, this free online conference is something not to be missed.  I refer to last year’s handouts and free ebooks continuously and have joined the online group to keep informed of this year’s upcoming activities.

Check out their website at:

Register early – you don’t want to miss this event!

Now all I have to do is figure out how I can get out of running my business the week of the conference so I can spend every spare minute there…hmmm.

August 7, 2008

How does the summer affect your creativity?

Today’s the first week of August and technically we’re into the last half of the summer season.  Have you been on a vacation?  Had company from out of town?  Spent time at the beach? 

These are all typical summer activities, especially for those of us who live in a place with four very distinct seasons. 

I used to think that the long days of endless summer sun would call me outside and away from my computer.  I imagined two months of little or no writing time.  Let’s face it – summer goes by quickly, right?  We have to enjoy it while it’s here.

But summer also means that my business (performing arts studio) runs fewer programs, leaving me more free time.  I tend to be someone who works best in a structured schedule and following deadlines.  So, for the first couple of weeks off the summer after I started my business, my writing output was minimal to non-existent.  This was summer – time to relax, right?

But soon I found myself packing a hard cover writing book, several pens and a couple of books in my beach bag.  The more time I spent at public beaches, parks and shopping malls, the more ideas I began to imagine as future writing projects.  Interactions between families or groups of kids playing together spawned poems about friendship, summer activities, weather and other such topics.  An idea for a play about kids at a summer camp came to mind.  I even penned a mystery/ghost story as I wondered about an abandoned old shack on a patch of land overgrown with foliage.

We’re writers – right?  It’s what we do.  It only stands to reason that it doesn’t take long for our surroundings to begin to supply us with all sorts of ways to be creative.

I love living in a place with four distinct seasons.  I love feeling the different energy that each season gives to my writing.


It’s cold out (and dark a lot more) so I can hunker down with a big project or finish up pieces that I’d started but not completed.


A time for renewal – time to send out those subs I’ve been working on all year.


Less structured but a time to re-energize and find the creativity around me.  Time to get all those new ideas down.


School starts again.  Classes begin at our studio.  It’s time to get into action and work on several projects, prioritizing which ones require my attention first.

How do the seasons affect your creativity?

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