Thursday, July 8, 2010

Curator as Creator

Recently, I've enjoyed acting as a curator of treasuries on Etsy, and it makes me think of the creative process involved. I've received several compliments on my aesthetic eye because of these treasuries, and I like to think that I am creating on a different level from the usual music, writing, or crafting. Yet, like my jewelry, I'm taking materials that already exist and patching them together with other materials to create a new piece. I'd love to be a silversmith, or a seamstress, or someone who fabricates the pieces completely from raw materials, but at this point I'm not. Yet I do truly enjoy the process of my crafting. And I really enjoy the curation of Etsy treasuries.

In most of my treasuries, I try to develop a theme from one of my own listings. This way, I can showcase my work along that of other sellers. Usually, I'll choose a piece that has an exceptional main photo, so the item pops, and so it is easily categorized with other attractive images of listings. Sometimes, I'll create a treasury without my own work in it. It's the only way Etsy will choose it to be on their front page, and I am sometimes inspired to gather items of which I have no examples.

I'm pretty happy with most of my treasuries, and I love sharing them. I am hopeful that others enjoy them, as well.

Here are some examples that include my own listings:

And here are some examples that do not include my own listings:

Anyone can create treasuries on Etsy, and I recommend it! And while you're there, check out my listings, and all the other fabulous handmade and vintage items that Etsy has on display. :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

In between the good stuff

Man, it's been a while since I last blogged. And as I sit down to do some serious writing again in my novel-in-progress, A Stealer's Hands, I think it's time to get some ideas out there again.

I've been re-reading much of my work with Reiki, and there are some moments in this story that I think are brilliant. But there are also moments that are completely uninteresting. If they are uninteresting to me, how in the world will they interest a reader? So, it is on these in-between sections that I have determined I need to focus.

One yucky section in particular is the point at which Reiki and her two new roommates sit down and get to know each other. It happens at page 24, although Reiki has already met Ginger on page 14, and talks to Kyle on the phone on page 21. The meeting of all three feels forced, because it's an awkward trio and a mundane task. What they share is important, but the fact that it's over a pizza dinner in celebration of getting everything moved in... not so much. I believe that my beginning is strong, and what is so far the ending is strong. And there is a long building section to the end that is almost non-stop good stuff. But I did realize in re-reading it over this weekend that it is all good because I skipped over the gaps where uninteresting things would happen (which I hadn't done earlier on in the story).

This last thought poses a question: How long is too long a gap between scenes in a novel? And if there is a gap, should narrative take place to lead the reader to the next section?

Another issue I am having is that Reiki's love interest enters the story later than is recommended by the "experts" for main characters to first appear. Finn is there, in passing (Reiki walks past him and/or his shop on pages 3 and 13, and there are mysterious references to him on pages 11 and 55), and in her friendship with his great-grandfather, but she doesn't actually meet him until page page 72, which may get bumped further out when next drafts reveal themselves.

Perhaps it's too early and I'm working on too rough of a draft to get tied up in some of this stuff, but I worry that I'll lose track of it, if I don't address it now. I guess it's time to just make note of these issues for later woodshedding, and crank out some pages to move ahead.