Method to Madness

For those of you who may not know this already… I’ve spent the past few years writing fulltime in a yurt.

For complete clarity (and because some people just don’t know) Merriam-Webster defines a yurt as a circular domed tent of skins or felt stretched over a collapsible lattice framework and used by pastoral peoples of inner Asia.

Now, why in the hell would any respectable writer want to spend her days inside of a yurt? And, what’s it like inside?

Well, I’ll tell you… Here’s a peek inside the yurt and the method to my madness.

Comic Draw Just Might Change My Life

My inspiration this week is an app I just discovered, Comic Draw.

As a full-time writer, I spend a whole lot of time at my computer, writing pages and digging deep into research. More than is probably healthy. As someone who has always been drawn to the arts, from those early years in fashion design school to my work as a photographer and filmmaker, the visual image has always been important to me. As a screenwriter, I watch the images I create in my head and record them onto the page, but a part of me has greatly missed partaking in the creation of each image.

Last year, I took a class on comics and graphic novels, and I have to say, it changed my life. I think I owned a comic book once. I was six or seven years old, and it was Sylvester and Tweetie. The best part of it at the time was pressing my Silly Putty onto the page to duplicate the images. I can’t be sure that I actually ever read the comic, I may not have. In the comic writing class, I had to read multiple comics and graphic novels as I explored the craft. Oh! What I had been missing! So many wonderful stories told in absolutely delightful ways. Nimona is a particular favorite along with Raising Dion and far too many others to name here. I fell in love with a whole new medium and have been itching to play with it ever since.

Recently, I learned about Comic Draw. It’s incredible. I can write comic scripts directly into the app then illustrate them. Now, don’t misunderstand me here, I am not a great artist when it comes to pencil or the page, or in this case, the iPad, but playing around in the app for me is precisely that, playtime. It’s akin to doodling or coloring, but in an all-new medium that I’m super excited about. Studies have proven that taking the time to play enhances overall productivity. And let’s face it, I’m a little short on playtime at the moment… So, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be over here, playing with Comic Draw.

You Know What’s Inspiring?

Photo: Martin Schoeller for Vanity Fair Caption: (From left to right) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Deb Haaland, Veronica Escobar, and Sharice Davids.

These women being sworn into Congress. Truly inspiring.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Ilhan Omar is the first Muslim, and Sharice Davids is our first lesbian, Native American elected. A record number of women will be serving in our 116th Congress, symbolizing changes that have been long coming.

I haven’t been thrilled with the state of the world lately. Not interested in debating anything here, I’m just saying, for me, it’s been rough. But I have hope. I believe in humanity. I think that sometimes we just get lost or confused. We’re constantly bombarded with information, and it’s exhausting. I think that sometimes people just need a break. Unfortunately, this can lead to putting our heads in the sand, not wanting to know… not wanting to care. But we have to care! Because if we don’t, who will? This is our world, the only one we have to leave to our children. We. Have. To. Care.

I’m not in politics – thank God. It’s not for me. I have words in me, and if I organize them just right, I can make people feel and maybe think a little differently than they did before. I hope that the stories I tell will start conversations, make people look at something a little deeper, and see their own reflection in those they felt were different.

We can all change the world, in our own little way – whatever that may be. These women are changing it in theirs, and that is inspiring.

A Little Inspiration

I love Ted Talks. This one, from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic is one of my favorites. Gilbert shares her feelings about her muse, and it’s terrific. The most significant impact this had on me was to remind me to keep showing up, whether my muse does or not, doesn’t matter. Just do my job – keep writing.

Video retrieved from