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What writers write when they 1) aren't writing, 2) are avoiding writing or 3) need a word count to convince their spouses they are writing.

Origami n' Stuff 4 Kids

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

mele kalikimaka

From Mount Crumpit comes news, Recession Steals Christmas! Even Santa is downsizing, resorting to hiring non-union reindeer...

Can we bring back Cindy Lou Who, now nearly fifty-two? Have we lost her at the mall? Does she still sing at all?

With my own youngest Who at that awkward age where he's "too old" to help me decorate, yet still young enough to miss it if I don't, I've been waxing nostalgic. Dragging out the old ornaments and tinsel wreath, threading hooks through Popsicle stick stars and seashell angels with crooked eyes.

In the process, I found some old Christmas origami I designed years ago. Instructions can be found on my Origami Page. Simply print and fold.

Christmas Tree



So have fun this Christmas. Don't sweat the small stuff. And if you see Cindy Lou, tell her Christmas dinner is at my house. I'm preparing roast beast.

Mele Kalikimaka

©2008 Tammy Yee

Sunday, December 21, 2008

bring back the caustic critic

Call it paranoia of the creative mind, but I'm wondering if there's some sort of cosmic hit list. It hasn't been the best year, what with writing acquaintances falling ill or passing away in tragic accidents. And now, news that one of our talented young illustrators in SCBWI has succumbed to leukemia just before the holidays. As if rejection notices weren't enough to contend with. Whatever happened to bad reviews?

My heart goes out to the friends and families of two brilliant souls, who lived life doing what they loved best: writing and illustrating for children.

And Albert? Get well, will ya? We're all rooting for you...Buy his book when it hits the stands.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

in a bear mood

We've been planning Yosemite. And in between writing, I've been thinking about bears.

Maybe I've been watching too much Stephen Colbert. Or too much of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

No, I think it's that news about the Cincinnati full face transplant. Call it the curse of Google. Or a brief break from writing (not avoidance)...after all, I've made it past chapter 15 and have some 90 pages, so I think a break is deserving...

In Isabelle Dinoire's memoir, Le baiser d’Isabelle ( Isabelle’s Kiss), she describes what led to her tragic accident, and the irony of her life-altering facial transplant surgery. She apparently tried to kill herself by taking an overdose of sleeping pills to "dull the pain." While she was unconscious, her Labrador inexplicably attacked her, chewing off her lips and parts of her chin and nose. When she woke, she was in such shock that she wasn't aware of what had happened until she tried to light a cigarette. Anyway, here's where it gets strange. The donor whose face she received...was a 46 year old woman who hung herself. You can't even write that stuff. I just wish this woman (Isabelle) all the best, and I hope she has ample support and counseling.

So how did I get from bears to face transplants...yeah, I admit my thread is unraveling. The transplant news got me thinking about a documentary I had seen about a Siberian man who had survived a bear attack and was confined to his home until a proper prosthetic could be made.

No, I'm not always this gruesome. Blame it on too many years in the hospital, and hours upon hours of writing...

Putting away the bears now. Back to writing.

©2008 Tammy Yee

Friday, December 12, 2008

all work and no play in monterey (hey, that rhymes)

Walked the beach twice...gulls, pelicans, kelp, a dead cormorant, sand dollars, strange mole crabs...surfers in 4mm wetsuits braving the cold. Met a couple of surfers. Was hoping for fodder for fiction...alas, none had seen a great white up close and personal, though they did know surfers who drowned. Sadly, everyone in Hawaii knows of surfers who drowned...

Big cross to mark the bicentennial of Don Gaspar de Portola ("You killed my father, prepare to die.") calling it quits in Monterey and returning to San Diego for "lack of provisions."

Spent most of the time indoors, working and revising. Submission was 20 pages for a one-on-one consultation and two faculty-led critique groups. Each critique group (6 people max) met twice, for 2-2.5 hour sessions. You were expected to return to your room and WORK. There was a business center and a Staples where you could print and make copies of your revisions.

Faculty was outstanding. Editors, agents, established authors. Excellent feedback, not just some cursory review. Best of all, the faculty made themselves accessible and were easy to approach.

Brain frazzled.

Thank God for ground squirrels.

And purdy flowers.

Would I recommend? YES. But be prepared to write. Big Sur Children's Writing Workshop

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

preparation and panic...the big sur writers workshop

Checklist of things to do...

1. Hold seance to channel successful authors (preferably not those who died young and destitute)...

2. Make desperate offering to Great Publishing Gods (clams and urchins work best)...

3. Kiss babies for good luck (can never hurt)...

4. Groom self, make good impression...

5. Prepare for constructive criticism...

6. Network ("Girl, you let him touch your clams?!")...

7. Make new friends (he smell funny, but he creative genius, and gots nice socks)...


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