Sandra here with great news.
I just contracted another children's picture book with Tau Publishing so will shamelessly plug it. smile. It is entitled GOD'S SPIRIT CALLS ME and is geared for middle grades and features the virtues God calls us to act upon.
But when thinking how I could tie that into some useful information for all of you Seekers looking to be published, I thought of the process of writing and developing this book. I co-authored with a friend and we wrote most of it while camping on vacation at Fallen Leaf Lake Campground in the Lake Tahoe area of Northern California. Great place to be inspired. Right?
When reading Debby Guisti's post on Favorite Gadgets, Mary Connealy's comment on the use of her camera inspired me to show how useful that particular gadget is in the process of writing.
The obvious use of camera art on vacation is to use the photos in the book like Carole and I did with our picture book. We hiked around the campgrounds and scenic places looking for shots that showed the concepts we wanted to convey.
We used this scene to show how to help others.
The old "show don't tell" theory. We made sure to get parental permission before photographing and also had them sign over the rights to publish the photos. (very important)
We used this photo to show how to share strength with others.
But what if you're writing novels that don't have photos? Well, as Mary pointed out, photos help you get the feel of the setting. In my wip, Flashflood, I have lots of photos about of the beautiful red rock country of Sedona where the story takes place.
PRICE OF VICTORY which is the book Avalon is publishing next spring, takes place in Arizona, California and Idaho. So while on vacation in those states, I took photos and was able to use them to get the feel of my setting in those locations.
The hero and heroine of PRICE OF VICTORY are bicyclists. I took many photos of bicyclists at the staging grounds of the races. This was really fun. Its a great way to introduce yourself to the other cyclists and then say, "Do you mind if I photograph you? By the way, I'm an author and I'm writing about female cyclists. Would you be willing to be interviewed? You'd be surprised at how much people love to talk about themselves.
Other ways to mix work with play is to actually go on trips that will end up in your next wip. For example, my husband and I won two airline tickets to a city of our choice. Well we always wanted to see New Orleans and we took a cruise on one of the historical steamboats that cruise up the Mississippi. Thankfully we did that before Hurricane Katrina.
We saw so many interesting things, had a blast on the cruise and you guessed it? One of my wip's is set on a paddleboat cruise. While on the cruise, I interveiwed all of the staff on board, took the tours of the ship and photographed everything. Even got to interview the captain and find out how they are rescued from flooding waters. Again, people do love to talk about themselves.
How about that for mixing play with work?
My aunt and Uncle have a cabin on a remote island in Puget Sound. They have invited us to sail out to the island and spend a week in the semi-primitive conditions with them. We hiked around the island, went crabbing, picked oysters up off the shore, saw lots of wildlife. And yes, that became the setting for my award winning wip CHANGE OF HEART.
And what about attending a conference and turning that location into a play date? I had the privilege of attending the Maui Writers Conference in Hawaii. What a thrill. Hubby flew over the last day of the conference and we stayed three more weeks and toured the islands. We were even invited to visit friends I had met at the conference. So we saw the islands not only from the tourist point of view, but from local pov also.
And how many of you combined RWA in Orlando with a trip to Disney World? (Waving at Myra).
If you write off your expenses for income tax, this makes a vacation more economical. The part you use for writing is tax deductible. Be sure and keep a log and receipts.
So why not mix work and play? August is after all the most popular month for vacation. Might as well use some of that vacation inspiration.
All of you who post a great way you have mixed work with play are eligible for a copy of my new release GOD'S SPIRIT CALLS ME. I'll even throw in a copy of GOD'S SPIRIT WITHIN ME. AND a copy of one of the signed Seeker books I picked up at the Autographing Party in Orlando.
And not to forget one of the best parts of work and play. THE FOOD. Yum
Since I'm camping, how about some fresh trout, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, homemade potato salad, (see my recipe here in the comments section) , a pot of chili over the campfire, and so'mores for dessert (roast a marshmellow and place it and a piece of Hershey chocolate bar between two pieces of graham cracker).
Sandra who uses her maiden name for her children's books.