Another Day, Another Theme

Yes, I changed my look again.

A few weeks ago I went on a tour of the Amstel House in New Castle, Delaware. This is an historic home in the historic town where William Penn first landed in America. Our tour guide shared with us various tidbits from the home’s history. Most notably, George Washington once honored the owners, the Van Dyke family, by attending a wedding in the parlor. According to the guide, General Washington stood by the fireplace and “kissed all of the pretty girls, as was his wont.” And then he enjoyed an evening of dancing.

GW, what a party animal. Continue reading “Another Day, Another Theme”

A New Look

Conventional wisdom says a person working in publishing should develop a recognizable look–a brand–that ties the person to the product. That is wise advice. That’s why I adopted this Fleur de Lis as a gravatar and personal symbol. It represents my Louisiana French heritage.

But when it comes to keeping one look forever and ever, my fickle French nature cries mais non! I like to mix it up a little here, hence the new look.

Change is good, and so is adapting to it, but there is value in the tried and true, too.

This past month, I tried something new: teaching an online workshop on Story Planning. I am grateful to my class of eager and talented students from the Mary Roberts Rinehart Chapter of Sisters in Crime out of Pittsburgh for their patience and generosity as we worked together throughout the course. I hope to offer the same class to other writing groups next year. Interested? Contact me for details.

I will also be offering my day-long course on Mastering the Art of Self-Editing next year. My editing calendar includes work on a couple of story anthologies, alongside novels and stories of all kinds. Somewhere in there I hope to facilitate more Free Writes and continue to promote the work and programs of my fellow artists here in Delaware.

And I will continue to write.

Bon chance to my writing friends and peers who are in the midst of change or happy with the status quo. Whatever works…work it!


See that pretty fleur-de-lis?

As I am the daughter of a cowboy, it’s a bit of a chuckle that my first proper blog post will be about branding.

By that, I don’t mean applying a hot iron to my cool but tough writerly hide. Branding is a marketing term for creating a connection between artist and audience. It can be visual (a logo), physical (matching covers in a book series) or perceptual (Agatha Christie, queen of mystery authors.)

All of that is good info for self-promotion and platform building, but I am a little all over the place artistically. I wanted an esoteric symbol, an image that would link me to my work, but wouldn’t box me into one style or genre.

 Also, I wanted something distinctive for my letterhead and business cards.

It took me about 10 seconds to find a fitting artistic symbol, not because I am lazy or easy to please, but because I am lucky. Ask me about myself and my work, and some of the first words out of my mouth will be “French,” “Louisiana,” “family stories,” and “Cajun country.”

Hence the fleur-de-lis.

A year ago, Louisiana formally adopted the “lily flower” as an official symbol of the state. After Katrina, it was an emblem of grassroots support for hope and recovery in New Orleans. The fleur-de-lis also appears on the official flag of Acadiana. Historically, it is a symbol of heraldry, first used by King Clovis I of France, who embraced the concept of the divine right of kings.

All of which matches well with me. I like flowers. I am French. My Acadian ancestors survived the Grand Derangement from Canada to Louisiana. I survived hurricanes in my childhood. I love New Orleans. I am not blessed with royal blood, but I do like to think I have divine right over my writing.

Plus, it’s awfully pretty, isn’t it?