Saturday, October 13, 2007

From Strength to Strength

Second draft of my latest 'head shot'. The final polish is over there in the right-hand column.

It's actually germaine to My Five Strengths as a Writer!

1. One Thousand Things: Two decades in the visual arts have taught me about faith, fortitude and the art of the telling detail. About creativity, discipline and the vagaries of that area where money meets art.
As the Zen proverb goes, "From one thing, learn one thousand things." My work in comics, tattoos, painting, etc. have all made me a better writer.

2. Sympathy for the Devil: I'm good at getting into my villains' heads, and those of the supporting characters too. This means they act and react intelligently.
Not only would my Mad Scientist *not* put a self-destruct button(!) on his giant laser, he'd just shoot that pesky, interfering hero.

3. Full Throttle: Life is precious. I'm not going to waste a minute of it on half-measures. Anything I want, anything that seems worthwhile, I go for it with everything I've got. Writing is worthwhile; it gets what it deserves: my best.

4. Caaauuuse It's a Thrilllller, a Thrill-ler Night: I'm good with suspense. Nature or nurture, I'm good at ratcheting up the tension.

5. The Tiny Dynamo: I've been blessed with a *very* supportive partner -- something not to be underestimated. This thing of ours is not for the faint of heart. The Dynamo puts up with my moodiness, solitary habits and financial instability, all for the dubious advantage of being the first to read a couple of novels a year! It doesn't hurt, either, that my particular partner has an eagle-eye for plot holes and bad writing. Knowing she'll read my work forces me to go beyond my own limitations...


Charles Gramlich said...

Great strengths. I certainly no longer underestimate the power of your number 5. Having someone support your work instead of try to downplay and minimize it is so nice. It's why my overall work production has gone way up.

Shauna Roberts said...

And all this time I thought your Tiny Dynamo was a preschooler!

I agree a lot with your number 1. I feel as if every hobby I have contributes to my creativity and makes me a better writer. I have that listed in my notebook of potential blog topics.

cs harris said...

It's always so interesting to see these self-analysis.

By the way, when you posted a link to the beginning of your previous book some time ago, I read it in a hurry and meant to go back and comment and never did. So I'll comment now: By the end of your first chapter I felt I both knew and liked your main character. You sucked me in to the point I was frustrated when those few chapters ended because I wanted to know more. And that's quite a feat as the members of my writers group will tell you, since they've turned my name into a word to describe putting down a book and never picking it up again ("proctorize"). What is happening with that book?

Steve Malley said...

Charles, the number 5 is *never* to be underestimated. Supportive partners rock, too! :-)

Shauna, the Tiny One is, in fact, full-grown... for someone who's half-pixie!

Candy, that one's with Anne Hawkins at JHA Lit, shopping as we speak. Meantime, I'll be happy to email you a copy of the ms if you want to see how it turns out!

Lisa said...

Another vote for never underestimating the importance of a supportive partner...yes. I love that each writer who has posted strengths has come from such a unique place. Also -- I met Ann Hawkins at a conference in Denver recently -- got to audit a workshop where she gave feedback to 8 others who'd submitted pages. She was generous, quick, funny and I really liked her.

Lana said...

Awesome artwork! Rock on!