Bethany Turner Pay it Forward Week!
I am delighted today to host the first of three authors I will spotlight, promote, and propel this week as part of the RRBC BT Pay it Forward Week. Credit for this Pay it Forward idea has to go to Bethany Turner, who is a fellow board member of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and such a supportive lady. She had the idea of supporting one author per day, and not promoting herself or anyone else at all for that whole day. Well, as RRBC is all about support, this was a huge hit, and we now have our very own RRBC Bethany Turner Pay it Forward Week! For more information, or to sign up for future Pay it Forward weeks, please click HERE. Okay, I’m sure you’re all dying to know who my author of the day is today …
A HUGE warm welcome to Laurie Finklestein! Laurie is a supportive member of RRBC, as well as a talented lady! So, lets all please give Laurie as much support as we can today! 🙂 … I loved having Laurie as my final guest on the last Pay it Forward Week, and here she is again! And, her post (below) inspired me so much, I wanted to give it some more air time! I hope it inspires you too 🙂
Laurie is one awesome lady! Not only is she a fine and talented artist of many mediums, but she has just penned her debut novel, due to be released soon! Can’t wait to see your book, Laurie!
From Laure’s “About Me” page:
Laurie Beth Finkelstein has studied at various institutions, including USC School of Music and the Arts, Idyllwild, California, Otis Art Institute, California State University, Long Beach, California, and through private instruction, Laurie has explored a variety of medium including clay, metal, oils, pen and ink, pastels, and watercolors, ultimately choosing acrylics and mixed media as her medium of choice. In 2008, Laurie dedicated herself to finding her voice and honing her skills to create what is now her individual style and focus.
An Inside Look:
(From a blog post written by Laurie a little while ago) …
I’m on a never ending path of discovery and learning. It is not born out of a natural inclination toward continuing education, but rather the bi-product of developing who I am creatively. Let me catch you up on my creative path. I was born a painter. That is not to say that I’m a natural. In fact, I was a pretty crappy painter for many, many years. But what made me a painter was not my natural talent, but rather my love for the medium and my need to create. It took years of education and most importantly, the continual act of painting, before I developed ability and an individual style. So, my first learning curve was honing my skills to create paintings that were deemed successful in my eyes, and the eyes of other beholders. Yes, I need validation as any creative seeks, and I’ve been lucky to get it along the way. Just last night I witnessed someone looking at one of my paintings in a gallery and whisper “beautiful”. I did a happy dance in my head.
The journey, however, never ends as most artists will attest to. For every successful painting there are many canvasses that simply fail. It is the quest for those gems that lead an artist through painful treks of mediocrity. And it is painful. Worse, it can be simply tortuous at times. There are creative blocks. There are times when my mind and body fight each other to harmonize my vision with my physical coordination of applying paint to canvas. There are endless distractions. But, with all that, I know from my educational process, that every creative goes through obstacles and the key to overcome the obstacles is to carve out the time, and then create with abandon – not worrying about the outcome.
The next branch in my educational process began when I wanted to market my art. I needed to learn about the art of selling, creating a website, how to get into galleries, creating blogs, newsletters, and all manner of social media. I must digress on the point of studying the art of selling. I know from my studies that when the woman admiring my painting whispered her sweet nothings, I should have approached her, introduced myself, and worked towards a sale. But while I was happy dancing in my head, my body was frozen with anxiety to take it to the next important step. Knowledge doesn’t always translate to execution. Back to my point, my time to create was being sabotaged by my need to know how to take my art beyond the studio. Then, my need to know how to balance studio time with reading time led me to study time management, mindfulness, and meditation.
And then the creative voice inside me started to percolate the need to write. I had a story to tell and I felt it was an important enough story to share with others. My story deals with a lifelong struggle with anxiety, depression and OCD. My creative side led me to take my story and interweave it with fictional characters and my favorite genre – romantic comedy. Was that a good mix? My creative self ‘high-fived’ me in approval and caused me to start writing like I was an actual writer. Coffee in hand, I spent hours spilling the beans. I ended up with bits and pieces of a story written in spiral notebooks, in Word documents, on napkins, the backs of take-out menus, and torn envelopes.
I needed to learn about the elements of writing. I researched the nuts and bolts of grammar, dialogue, plot, character development, and scenes. I stumbled upon NANOWRIMO, and Scrivener. Both of which I employed to move me along. I read about agents and publishing. Fear threatened to halt my actions. Five years passed as I wrote and re-wrote. I put the novel on the shelf when I couldn’t deal with how to fill gaps and holes, and took it out again to tackle the obstacles and finish the darn thing.
What I have now is a manuscript that is ready to be handed off to professionals. I know this because of my continuing education. I discovered the value of beta readers. I found 8 and I’m in the process of working with them to get the feedback I need. Following the consensus of the beta readers, I will revisit the manuscript for some re-writes. It will then need the eyes of book editors and proof readers. And after that, it will need more re-writing.
In researching the world of agents and publishing, I discovered the value of self-publishing and all that entails. I’m learning the ins and outs of marketing books, and much like marketing art, social media is huge. Now I am learning the intricacies of Twitter. In addition, my eyes have been opened to book bloggers, Amazon, eBooks, print on demand, and on and on.
When I am overwhelmed by the task of moving my novel along the path to publishing, and when my anxiety level raises to the ugly panic attack stage, I seek refuge in my painting. Because one thing I have learned, is that creativity and the act of creating is in itself healing and therapeutic. Above all else, I have learned that all creative endeavors, big and small, stimulate the educational process. And, the educational process stimulates creativity. It’s never ending and I’m grateful to be on the Mobius strip of education and creativity.
You can find Laurie on her website: http://lauriebethart.com/