Meeting Notes 11

notes jae scribbles

It’s been a long while since I went to a meeting (thankfully) but sometimes they must happen, and here was the product of that time. I think some of it needs explanation.

Let’s start with the obvious. I got the first season of Adventure Time on DVD, so Jake and Finn were certainly on the brain a lot all last week. Jake was tough, because I was doing this all from memory, but Finn is easy peasy.

At the top, you may have noticed the Fairy Especially. This was inspired by Kate’s Engrish post. I was still giggling after reading it and tried to draw something that she and her husband summoned after reading the back of a crazy Engrish doll’s package. (Seriously, if that’s not enough enticement to get over to her blog, there’s something wrong with you).

And of course the rock guitar represents all the rock n’ roll that happened over the weekend as I finally found time to pick up my least good brand Fender guitar (Squier). Hey, it was cheap and it sounds great. Works for me.

Thank goodness I have something to keep me sane in long boring meetings. I have brainstormed for stories before, but I find doodling both distracts you and oddly enough, keeps you paying attention.

What do you think? Did I get Finn and Jake spot on? Did the Fairy Especially visit you after you read the incantation? What do you do during boring meetings or even boring conversation?

Meeting Notes 10

It’s been a couple of months since my last Meeting Notes post. And to be honest, there haven’t been a ton of meetings lately, which for me is a good thing. Now, without further ado…

meeting notes jae

Sometimes I really have no idea what’s going to come out when I start doodling. I tend to like shading things and giving them a bit more of a 3D perspective, but I’ve always had an obsession with drawing eyes. I usually don’t doodle them, but this time I said what the poodoo, why not?


Thanks to inspiration and a sort of reminder from Mayra, I’m going to work on presenting an editing series to go along with the How to Write a Novel Series and the How to Design a Book Cover series I’ve already featured here on the blog. I’m hoping all of you will add your own editing tips in the process.

I recently finished up another major edit session on SHADE and am going to tackle the query letter next. I have a decent one, but my mentor from Pitch Wars made some new suggestions, so I’m at it again. I think once I’ve got a copy we’re both happy with I might send it over to Janet Reid’s Query Shark blog and see what she has to say. It’s both frightening and thrilling at the same time.

I’m going to commit to writing the editing series for next week. You heard it here first. Look for the editing series next week. This will include advice on how to do it yourself, beta readers, writing groups, and when to seek a professional editor (yep, that’s a when). There’s a lot more resources available than you’d think, many of them free of charge—and they’ll improve your writing.

Anything you’re hoping to see coming out of the editing series? Anything you wish I would doodle while I was making my meeting notes? I’m up for requests or suggestions. Have you ever dared to submit to the Query Shark? Would you? Let me know below.

Meeting Notes 09

I know, today probably should have been a things i love post, and I promise one is coming, but I needed a little extra time to prepare a fabulous Friday Flix post for you all. I’m reviewing Skyfall. It should prove interesting and I’m sure some of you will disagree with me, but at least you’ll understand why I came to the conclusions I did.

Onto the meeting notes.

jae scribbles

I couldn’t think of what I wanted to draw. Often the first thing that comes to mind is flowers, but I was bored with that, so I glanced out the window and decided to draw one of the buildings in the distance. Then because we have fabulous mountains around here, I scribbled on those next. And then for some odd reason, this weird turtle popped into my head. It was a longish meeting, but it’s strange how well I can pay attention when I’m doodling and it satisfies the ADD kid rampaging around in my brain.

I’m curious though, do some of you ever go off to story creating land when you’re bored with something that’s happening? If I’m stuck in really boring conversation I can’t escape from physically, I do it mentally, creating new scenes or rewriting old ones in my head. Sometimes when I’m on the train not reading I spend a lot of time working through my story mentally.

What do you do when you’re bored? Do you ever daydream about your story and when does it usually occur if you do? If you have to be in meetings for work, how do you survive them?

Tomorrow, the sky falls. 😉

Meeting Notes 08

It’s been a long time since I did one of these. For those who don’t know where Meeting Notes originated, feel free to click on the tab above.

I don’t know what it is about monsters and flowers, but they’re often what I default to when I’m doodling. I guess I often see monsters as misunderstood lovers of beauty and art. Maybe it’s because I watched The Elephant Man when I was 10 and had my perspective of those different than us shifted forever. If you haven’t seen The Elephant Man, I recommend you watch it, even if only for purely cultural reasons. It’s an older movie, a bit sluggish at times, but still quite beautiful.

I like books and movies that offer me a chance to shift my perspective, though in a non-invasive way. For example, I don’t like Michael Moore, nor see his movies as actual documentaries, more his personal commentary on the world. I just want the facts unfiltered. That’s why I like hearing real stories from real people. We can understand a lot about life from good stories.

The movie Antwone Fisher comes to mind. In addition to one of the best movie openings of all time, we get the perspective of a young black man trying to deal with how he fits in the world and what to do with a difficult past. Racism is discussed, but to me it didn’t seem like Antwone Fisher was about the woes of being a victim, but instead rising above to something greater.

Brave New World, too, changed my perspective of life in realizing how truly heinous society could become if we only allow it to, little compromise by little compromise, yet all in the name of the greater good.

Recently a coworker recommended an older book called As A Man Thinketh to me. Consider it the earliest version of the power of positive thinking books. James Allen, the author, suggests that our circumstances in life are the fault of ourselves—or perhaps rather that we remain in them is our fault. He believes positive thinking leads to positive results, and negative bears negative fruits.

At first I didn’t want to believe thoughts had so much power over our lives, but the more I considered it the more I realized it was so—at least in my life. I was more of a negative person in the past. A friend helped me to shift that perspective, but honestly nothing in my life changed except me. Then suddenly greater and greater things were happening, opportunities were knocking at my door, instead of feeling stuck I felt like I was moving and growing—all due to a change in my perspective.

I’m not saying that everything James Allen wrote is necessarily true, but I think a lot of it is.

As a writer, what I gleaned from the book is that if I have a vision of my future success in writing firmly planted in my mind and focus all my thoughts and energies on attaining that goal—of course in positive ways–that I will eventually attract that success to myself. I feel like I’m moving in that direction, whether slowly or quickly.

So now I’m curious, dear friends. This topic was a bit unexpected for me, but all the same pleasantly surprising. And now I want to hear about your experiences. Have you seen or read any perspective changing movies or books? How have they impacted your life? Do you believe in the power of positive thinking? Who or what do you look to for inspiration in your life? Let me know below.

I know I traditionally accompany this with a haiku, but I think an explosion of random thoughts inspired by this image will do, don’t you?

Meeting Notes 07

Recently I’ve gotten into the show Alphas thanks to the recommendation of a friend.  It’s been interesting watching new shows/movies lately since I’ve been hyper-focused on story because I pick up on story flaws a lot faster than before.  Unfortunately Alphas is riddled with them.

For the first several episodes the cast’s performances seem very stilted, dialogue feels forced, as do relationships.  It’s an odd sensation when you realize the writers are trying to force you to accept a romantic interest or a friendship they haven’t actually laid the groundwork for.  Most readers/viewers would skip over this if they have enough vested interest in one of the main characters.

The only reason I keep watching is for Ryan Cartwright‘s character Gary.  He’s an autistic man with the ability to see signals and frequencies and tap into them.  They often touch on the subject of autism, hinting at the case that perhaps we don’t understand it as well as we should, all the while promoting that autistic or any sort of ‘disabled’ individual has value too.  I haven’t seen that so often in media, so that in addition to Gary kept me plowing through to the end of the first season.  But without Gary, I’d have quit less than 20 minutes in to episode one.

Anyway, since this is Meeting Notes, during a meeting I drew this.  These are the characters I found the most interesting, the most starting at the right going to the left:

alphas jae scribbles

hidden from the world,
thoughts clear and minds quite brilliant,
little do we know.

What about you?

Have you watched or read anything lately where you noticed the writers were trying to force you to feel a certain way?  Or that they hoped you would feel a certain way or accept a plot twist without laying the proper groundwork?