Every other month my local romance authors group gets together for four hours on a Saturday. And in addition to learning the ropes and getting immensely inspired by these incredible women, we also do workshops to improve our craft. Because we can always improve ourselves, and if you're not moving forward, you're only moving backwards.
Today's workshop was collages. We were to tap into a different part of the right side of our brains, because as writer's we're constantly using the right side of our brains, the creative and artistic side. But today we went visual -literally.
I've never been a big collager myself. If I'm going to get my craft on I might paint something cute for a kid's room or do some felt art like finger puppets for my daughter. I'm practical almost to a fault, so unless it's useful in some way I don't usually find it enjoyable. But today was different.
I wasn't actually looking forward to the collaging part of the afternoon, I had no idea what I was going to, no real inspiration or innovation. But once I started flipping through the magazines, it became incredibly relaxing, almost therapeutic. This past week was a rough one. My kid's been sick and not sleeping, so in turn I'm not sleeping. And although what I thought I needed was to get home and write, it turns out what I really needed was to sit down with scissors and glue and bust out my inner collage-master.
The one on the left was my first masterpiece. We had one magazine and thirty minutes. I call it "Calming". It's images of beauty and nature, things that to me seemed zen. And after the week I had, I am in some serious need of any and all things zen. It's about self-care and self-love. Because if you can't love yourself, why should anyone else?
The one on the right was inspired by the new book I'm working on. And no, the cactus at the top is not meant to be an "eggplant", get your minds out of the gutter. It's because the hero is a prickly character. But the new story is all about lust, sex and a serious power struggle between two alphas who both like to be on top. Although the book remains untitled at the moment, I call collage "Hot and Bothered".
I can't say I'll sit down on my own and start collaging, because again, where would I put them? But I can confidently say that I came away from our meeting this afternoon having been proved wrong and genuinely happy about it.