Scary October – Day #25

Good morning, everyone (or evening, depending on what part of the world you hail from)! Last evening, my nephew and his wife, an awesome photographer, drove me up to the old St. Andrew’s Church. Armed with our cameras, we wanted to capture a few scary night time photos for the book trailer I am trying to compose. I’m hoping to have the big reveal on the last day of this month because it does look pretty spooky, already, without adding in all the shots we took last night.

My nephew has dabbled in movie making for a few years, now, and seems to have a sense of what is a unique photo angle, or what will invoke the most drama. He and his friends have created some pretty interesting home videos that are more like spy movies! His wife knows a lot about how to take pictures in all kinds of lighting challenges, so I definitely needed her help to get the best shots in the dark. Besides that, she makes a great Michelle – my character in ‘Withershins’.

When I first started to see book trailers pop up on YouTube and various blogs, I got very excited and have been thinking about how mine should look for a long time. I dabble in photography and my MAC’s iMovie program is simply wonderful – and the main reason I wanted to get a MAC in the first place! It may turn out looking amateurish, but that’s okay. I have found the perfect music from one of the CDs I love to listen to while writing the native spirituality scenes, mainly because it has no words that I’ll end up unconsciously writing into my story! The opening scenes take place at the old church and graveyard, the perfect place for magic to happen, the sort of place to find a talisman or meet a spirit guide.

To begin creating the trailer, I visualized the scenes based on how I normally describe the book to people who haven’t read ‘Withershins’. This little blurb became my story board, taking elements from it to create the frames of the video.

The first thing I usually have to tell people is the definition of what ‘Withershins’ means, which is basically “to move in a direction opposite the sun; counterclockwise”. That’s what I chose for my first frame.

Next, was the location – in a church graveyard.

Then, the time of day – at midnight.

I followed this with other elements, such as the spirit guide  and the talisman

talisman

spirit guide

and then the action – running around the church three times. I ended with some brief clips of life at Lower Fort Garry in the mid-eighteen hundreds, where Michelle ends up after her adventure in the graveyard. The finale is a picture of my book cover and name and, of course, the credits.

Once I had the storyboard straight in my head, I wrote out the captions. Then, I began taking pictures and video clips of things that I thought would fit in with my vision. I took multiple shots of things to make sure I got the perfect photo. I discussed the video with my niece and she was very enthusiastic and willing to help. I trust her photographic expertise as she knows way more about digital photography than I do – and my trust in her was not unfounded. I can’t wait to get my hands on her jpegs so I can incorporate them into what I have of the video so far, because from what I saw through her camera’s lens, the photos turned out way better than mine did!

I am getting very excited, knowing that the video is nearing completion. Even though my book has been out for a few years, already, I hope the video will attract a new group of teens (and adults) who will be learning about the book for the first time.

How many of you have thought about creating your own book trailer, or thought about getting someone to create one for you? If you have decided to embark on this video adventure, I wish you a lot of luck! 🙂

Sunday Interview #4 (a day late)

I apologize for neglecting to post this yesterday. It was all ready to just hit the button, but with everything else going on, I completely forgot. (Sorry, C.B!) Anyway, here is my interview with a fascinating blogger:

Today, I’d like to introduce you all to C.B. Wentworth. You may have seen her name on some of my award posts. I have nominated her for many awards (and I’m not the only one) because she has a beautiful blog and shares her creativity in many ways – through her literary work & poetry, her photography where she gives us a glimpse of her garden & places she has been, as well as her lovely ‘Wreck This Journal’ entries.

Hi, C.B.! Welcome to my blog! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a writer, artist, crafter, and optimist.  During the day I am a high school teacher, but after the bell rings I immerse myself in creative pursuits.  In particular, I focus my energies on writing novels, short stories, and poetry.

How long have you been blogging?

A little over a year.

What inspired you to start blogging?

When I finished the final draft of my first novel, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands.  The need to write and create was still there despite the completion of my project.  I figured keeping a blog would give me the outlet I needed to express and challenge myself as a writer.

How has your blog evolved from when you first started?

At first, I focused on writing more than anything else, but as time went by I decided not to limit myself.  Writing and creativity go together, so it made sense to let my blog grow to include everything I do to inspire my muse.

Do you have any tips for newbies who want to grow their readership?

Write with a voice that is entirely your own.  I’ve found that the best way to attract readers is to offer a point of view that can’t be found anywhere else.

In addition, find blogs that inspire you and interact with them.  It is so important to surround yourself with a community of writers, readers, and sources of inspiration. Be part of the community with thoughtful comments and visit other blogs often.

I love your artwork whenever you post a Wreck This Journal page. For those people who are unfamiliar with this, please take a moment to explain exactly what ‘Wreck This Journal’ is.

Wreck This Journal

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith is a journal full of prompts that inspire reckless creativity.  It’s all about letting go and doing things without hesitation.  We’re all inhibited by our inner critics, conscious filters, and fear of imperfection.  Wreck This Journal effectively inspires you to blast through all of those barriers and explore the true depth of your creativity.

The photographs you’ve posted on your blog are beautiful. For any aspiring photographers who may read this, what’s your secret to capturing the perfect image?

Thank you for the kind words regarding my photographs.  I’ll never get over the fact that people enjoy looking at the pictures I take!

The best piece of advice I can give is don’t try to take the perfect shot.  Simply let go and point the camera at what captures your imagination.  Point of view is what makes a photograph beautiful.

Take more than one shot.  For every image I’ve posted, there are at least 15 more of the same thing where I try different settings or a different angle.  Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works and what doesn’t.

In addition to everything else you do, you’ve mentioned you are also a writer. In which genres do you prefer to write?

I try not box myself into a specific genre, but I tend to wander into literary and mainstream fiction, while dabbling in fantasy and poetry.

Please tell us a little bit about your process.

I wish I had a definitive process, other than making sure I write every day.  I’m a big fan of free-writing and brainstorming, which means I have notebooks full of partial stories, phrases, and lists.  Whenever, I need a dash of inspiration I’ll page through my journals.

When I’m working on a larger project like a novel, I always keep a spiral where I map out character profiles, scenes, and timelines.  I’m a very visual person, so I make collages for each of my characters that include wardrobe, possessions, and elements of their environment.  I blogged about this process on a post entitled, The Notebook That Built My Novel.

Music also plays a big role in anything I write.  My iPod is full of playlists that serve as soundtracks for my novels, short stories, and even blog posts.   This process is outlined in a couple of posts I wrote: How Music Helped Me Write A Novel and Music for a New Novel.

Part of the reason my blogs includes so many posts about art, crafts, and photography has to do with my belief that all forms of creativity are connected.  I consider all of my non-writing projects to be essential components to my writing process because engaging in multiple creative pursuits keeps me inspired and fuels my imagination. When I sit down to write, I am always stimulated and ready to explore all possibilities.

I agree that all forms of art is linked to creativity in some way.

Do you use critique partners or beta readers to help perfect your writing?

Yes!  I’m a big believer in both.  Critiques in particular are incredibly valuable as they help me see the work in a way I hadn’t considered before.  I learned this lesson while participating on Critique Circle.  This is a fantastic writing community that offers a safe environment to learn the art of giving and receiving critiques.

Constructive criticism can push creativity in unexpected ways and it always helps me find a better path for the story or character I’m working on.  If we stay bottled up inside of our own heads, we fail to see other possibilities.  Granted, no one likes to hear something about a story isn’t working, but I thrive on the challenge of figuring out how to solve the problem.

If my readers want to follow your blog, they can find it here. As well, each of the blog posts you’ve mentioned are already linked, so they can just click on them. Are there any other ways readers can reach you?

Facebook: C.B. Wentworth
Twitter: @cbwentworth
Pinterest: cbwentworth

On my blog, I have follow buttons for all social networks along my sidebar.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, C. B. I enjoyed chatting with you, today! 🙂