Being an Introvert at a Book Conference

I’m told all of the best writers are introverts. Many of you out there might be able to relate to the awkward situations that arise when a shy, introverted individual is thrust…no…deliberately walks, into the limelight. To get your books read, you must first write well. But after that, in this publishing environment, it’s up to you to sell yourself as well as your books. I wish I had a funny bone, could think of snappy comebacks, make small talk, or look perfectly calm in the midst of a panel.

I did survive my first panel at Left Coast Crime 2019, which bolstered my confidence no end. But I also burst into awkward comments in a loud voice while racing to obtain a copy of a just-released novel with James Ziskin, and accidentally fat-fingered a poop emoji to Catriona McPherson…for which I will be eternally apologizing. Sometimes, when introverts are so excited about the encouragement they receive, they burst into ‘song.’ Awkwardly. So yes, deep down, I am a true introvert, but I plan to get lots of practice at being a calm, confident writer at future conferences.

Adventures!

What do you do when you suddenly feel like you’ve lost control of . . . everything? It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I feel like I’m running around trying to balance too many plates in the air at the same time. My life is always changing, as it should be, but over the last year I’ve ventured into unknown territory.

At the end of 2017, my husband and I will be relocating to Florida, to be closer to the water. It is definitely something to be celebrated, and excitement abounds. In the meantime we need to downsize. A daunting task and the source of much unanticipated anxiety. Suddenly every item in my house is a family member.

In March, Tim and I attended the Left Coast Crime conference in Hawaii. The trip was far beyond anything I could have imagined. I’m still missing the sand, sun, resort atmosphere, bursts of color everywhere, and meeting fabulous authors I didn’t know, and many that I did. Tim sat on the beach, while I attended fascinating sessions about murder, and we ate dinner watching the sun set over the ocean.

I’ve completed my first murder mystery novel, Death Fetish, and am currently writing the last 1/4 of my second, Killing Rose. These are the first two of my Cali’s Kindred Spirits series of three books about a recent retiree, widow and Southwest artist, California (Cali) May who sees the ghosts of murder victims and thinks she’s going crazy. I’ve also been writing short stories. All of my writing is a learning experience, and I’m thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. Like all things, it takes time, practice, and patience.

On top of all this, I changed my email address, missed reminders from GoDaddy, and didn’t realize my domain name had expired and this site had been down for 10 months! For this I sincerely apologize to you, my readers! Definitely a plate came crashing down, slid right between the cracks in my amazing, but sometimes out-of-control life!

As you can see from this blog post, I’m slowly but steadily picking up the pieces. Eventually I fully expect:

  • to have a series of three Southwest murder mysteries published by next year’s Left Coast Crime conference in Reno,
  • my treasures sold through my Etsy site (Shore House Vintage) to patrons who will love them as much as I have,
  • our move to Florida completed and everyone, including the dog, settled in,
  • (our dachshund trained to do her business on a leash)
  • and all my media, like my website, up-to-date.

Too much, you think? The way I figure, if it’s not on the list, it won’t get done. Let’s shoot for the stars and expect the very best!

~ Wendy

 

 

 

 

Seven Days Left to Win! Adult Coloring Contest

ADULT COLORING CONTEST

I’m still accepting entries for my Adult Coloring Contest. Your opportunity to be included on the cover of my next Workbook, and to win a free e-book copy of Your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist Dream Journal Workbook, ends midnight Dec. 31, 2015.

Indulge your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist by coloring the Road Runner! Visit the http://wendyfallon.com, Contests page for details.

RaodrunnerTHB

Tweeting in the New Year

Yesterday, on Christmas Day 2015, my daughter, Deb, introduced me to Twitter. Not just HOW to tweet, but WHY. As a late blooming writer, I’ve adapted to Facebook, established an email list, and started blogging.

Why add any more technology to an already overloaded Artist’s brain? As an artist, technology isn’t supposed to be my strong suite, I argued. But something amazing happened this Christmas. I received an awesome electronic game designed by Jacquie Lawson that was packaged into her beautifully designed Advent Calendar. I had been avoiding electronic gaming like the plague, afraid of being sucked into a time sink. Smashing Christmas ornaments became my new addiction. My right brain (creative) was absolutely enthralled, my left brain (strategic) totally baffled…until I realized that to win the game I had to use my whole brain.

It turns out that knowing WHY I Tweet is key to engaging my whole brain. And at that point, tweeting became my new favorite pastime. Why should I tweet as an author? Because it has the potential to put me in front of more eyeballs than any other cyber tool, not as an artist (totally right brain) but as a writer (whole brain). And that can be pretty seductive.

Deb’s comment: “I’ve created a monster!”

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Art Geek’s Christmas Wreath 2015

 

Shake Up Your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist

ADULT COLORING CONTEST

RoadrunnerLeftTHB

Re-discover your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist by coloring my Road Runner and emailing him to me. You will receive a free e-book copy of Your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist Dream Journal, a Workbook, your artwork will be posted to this website, and you will be entered to have your piece appear on my next Workbook cover, Drawing the American Southwest (2016) along with an acknowledgment of your contribution.*

  1. Print out my Road Runner above,
  2. Color it in any medium you prefer,
  3. Take a photo of your finished artwork,
  4. Email it to me at fallondesigns@cox.net.

Discover, re-discover and strengthen your six-year-old inner artist by attempting an activity you never thought you’d try or enjoy, and surprise yourself!

* Visit my website, http://www.wendyfallon.com, for details and terms. Contest deadline 12/31/2015.

~ Wendy

Distracted Focus: Getting it DONE!

Backyard Mesquite (C) Wendy Fallon

Backyard Mesquite (C) Wendy Fallon

If what I do best is my passion and creative outlet, shouldn’t that be what I focus my life’s energy on? Shouldn’t it be EASY to give in to what I enjoy? It turns out that life is a balancing act, between what I want to do and what I need to do to support my life (work) and the endless interruptions and distractions. . . that IS (ARE?) Life.

I’ve been reading on the Web about the common characteristics of highly creative people. Not all of it is positive and some of it I reject, but enough of what I’ve read makes sense to me to know that I fall somewhere in the spectrum. (I believe EVERYONE falls somewhere on the creativity spectrum!)

Take one characteristic, that of being easily distracted and quickly bored because the brain is firing faster than the body can act. I believe we all suffer from this occasionally, due to a variety of factors. One cause might be the overstimulation from too much social or electronic media. Another could be today’s habit of multitasking. Either of these could disrupt the concentration of even the most dedicated thinker.

If you are a writer, an artist, or the master of your own specialty, how do you focus your best thoughts on creating something new or unique?

My own approach to this scatter-brained dilemma is as follows. What is yours?

  1. I commit to finishing my project on or within a deadline. Example: I will finish writing and illustrating my next workbook by the end of 2015.
  2. I consciously set aside recurring blocks of time, as consistently as possible, to writing and making art.*
  3. During these times I do not allow myself to read fascinating work by other writers. I am a voracious reader and can spend entire weekends reading a good book. I try to use this addiction to reward myself after I’ve completed a block of my own project.
  4. I turn off the TV and stay off social media (FaceBook, to which I am also addicted.)
  5. I do allow myself downtime in the form of meditation, walking or even short naps. This helps whatever ideas I have tumbling around in my brain to come together, make connections and mature.

*I often ‘show up’ to write or draw, only to find my mind is blank. Doodling or free writing helps me get started. I may struggle to get even the worst results down on paper, but often return later to find my efforts are not as bad as I thought. Even if I only retain a few words, or discard it entirely, it eventually moves the project forward and unblocks my thoughts.

HOW DO YOU FOCUS ON YOUR CREATIVITY?
How have you arranged your life to allow you to work at what you enjoy? Are you working at what you love? If not, how do you divide your time between work and ‘play?’ I’d love to hear from you, and would like to include your name and idea in a future book, or on my website.
~ Wendy

 

See you at the WriteNow! 2015 Writers Conference

When: August 14-15, 2015
Where: Scottsdale, AZ
Details: http://desertsleuths.com/conference

I’m thrilled to be attending the Sisters in Crime Desert Sleuths WriteNow! 2015 Writers Conference. I’ll be there with examples of my own work, and expect to come home with the very best writing tips from several talented speakers!

PROJECT UPDATES

Using ME diagrams for plotting

Using ME diagrams for plotting

~ Using ME Diagrams for Plotting ~

I thrive on learning new things, and I am currently applying my creative process, introduced in my book My Six-Year-Old Inner Artist, Everybody has one! to writing my first novel. As an artist, I find anything I can design visually, works best. Using a variation on bubble diagrams, I’ve been developing my plot, characters, relationships and action arc with ME diagrams.

~ Death on Devil’s Mountain ~

An American Southwest paranormal murder mystery ~ California May, recently retired and widowed, is searching for anything to help her feel strong, confident, or even relevant again. During one of the worst monsoons of the season, she experiences the inexplicable – a horrifying yet pleading manifestation of the brooding desert mountain behind her house. Just as she begins to think her overwhelming grief and feelings of obsolescence have pushed her over the edge of sanity, she awakes one morning to a dead body, washed up on the concrete shore of the dark ribbon of water in the canal adjacent to her property.

My Newest Cover Art for ‘Betrothal, Betrayal, and Blood’, by JoAnna Senger

BBB_JSenger_coverwrap_Facebook

Copyright 2015 JoAnna Senger

*** Next Projects ***

Two New Workbooks from Wendy Wickham Fallon

Beginning Drawing for Adults Who Think They Can’t

An Introduction to Drawing

The first goal of this Workbook is to teach you to draw. It includes the following basic concepts that should be a part of any beginning drawing class.

  1. Gesture Drawing
  2. Straight Lines and Curves
  3. Simple Shapes
  4. Drawing Complex Objects Using Simple Shapes

Encouraging Creativity & Self-Confidence

Learning the basics of hand drawing, however, is not the most important goal of this Workbook. The foremost function of this class is to provide you with step-by-step exercises that encourage you to exercise your right brain. In doing so, you should be able to loosen up and relax about your own perceived lack of skill or training, and encourage self-confidence in what is possible for you to accomplish in your own life.

Drawing the American Southwest

How to draw the Animals & Cacti of the Arizona-Sonora Desert.

I’ll keep you posted about my progress with each of these Workbooks. I’m also writing an American Southwest Paranormal Murder Mystery! Stay tuned, and thank you for reading.

~ Wendy