Writer Mentorship Lessons #4-5

Have I mentioned how honored I am to be mentored by Trisha Speed Shaskan? Seriously, I have to pinch myself. She’s witty and entertaining, with funny snort-laughs that make your heart happy. She’s accessible and sincere. In her you’ll meet an advocate and friend. And she’s humble, not intimidating,  generously giving of her time to nurture the success of others. She’s all of this, despite her rock star accomplishments as a children’s author of over 40 books. What I’ve learned from her through observation in the past two months is how a true professional views and handles success.

Lesson #4: The formulas of success

Creativity given = success

Through Trisha I’m reminded how much our creativity is a gift to ourselves and others.Trisha is just as excited about the ideas in her head as the stories already published. She knows that each word is the beginning of something bigger and that success doesn’t begin or end at publication.  As long as you are able to create, whether you’ve written one paragraph or 40 books, no magic number should make you want to retire to a beach (unless you’re bringing your laptop or notepad).

 Creativity given = creativity >

A couple of weeks ago teacher Regina Santiago and the students in 1/2 B at Saint Paul Academy surprised Trisha with the ultimate compliment. They created a play, From the Mixed Up Files of Trisha Speed Shaskan, based on six of her picture books.

SERIOUSLY, CINDERELLA IS SO ANNOYING!HONESTLY, LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD WAS ROTTENTRULY WE BOTH LOVED BEAUTY DEARLY 

IF YOU WERE A COMPOUND WORDIF YOU WERE A CONTRACTION61fFXCBYgnL__UX160_THEMIXEDUPFILES 

MiniTrisha

 

 

Trisha and her husband Stephen received VIP treatment during the performance, complete with programs. The actors proved they’d done their research. The mimi-Trisha narrator donned Trisha-style glasses, clothing, and hairstyle. She also incorporated Trisha’s mannerisms and words like “ridic” and “peeps.” Shaskan’s cat, Eartha, and  dog, Bea, even received “mini-me” representation.

TRULYWEBOTHLOVEDBEAUTYDEARLY

The good and bad fairies.

The young thespians created and performed stories . . .

The wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters.

sang songs . . . (masterminded by Stephanie Huss).

THEMIXEDUPFILES

Singing about Sleeping Beauty.

OnomatopeoiaMachineand shared the sounds of their onomatopoeia machine invention.

THEMIXEDUPFILESOFTRISHASPEEDSHASKANCast

The playwright, directors, and cast

Creativity given = giving >

I don’t think I’ll get over it. I’m floating! It’s just pure joy!  ~ Trisha Speed Shaskan, after viewing THE MIXED UP FILES OF TRISHA SPEED SHASKAN

Through Trisha I’m learning that creativity shared can reach far beyond the confines of a book or story. The ripple effect of imagination can reach beyond our wildest dreams.

Lesson #5 How to handle success:

  • With humor.
  • With sincerity.
  • With humility.
  • With delight and gratitude in the unexpected.
  • With open arms.
  • With more creativity.
  • Remembering every celebration is just the beginning.

Elise Parsley Has Arrived!

EliseHyldenElise Parsley. Elise Parsley. Elise Parsley.

I told you I was a name dropper.

Sally Lodge’s awesome Publisher’s Weekly article of December 17, 2013 “From Query to Book Deal in 72 Hours: Debut Author Elise Parsley” will explain why I’m babbling.

Every once in a while we are blessed to journey with a superstar and live vicariously through his or her success.  Elise has been that traveling companion for me and lots of MN writers.  Yet, never once has she left us behind, choking in her jet stream. Not when she realized how artistically challenged the majority of us are. Not when she was told by an editor that she had a breakout character and to find an agent right away. And not when she got her three book deal and didn’t need our feedback anymore. She’s bringing us along by her side, where we can enjoy the view, too.

Elise is teaching us what it’s like to be discovered. And how to handle it with grace, wit, and humility. She won’t brag about herself, so we, her fans, have to do it for her. Her agent, Steven Malk tweeted:

Honored to have been part of this quintessential dream publishing story. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer author: publishersweekly.com/pw…

Well said–by someone who knows a little about success. And how to handle it with grace, wit, and humility. Talk about a dream team …

Elise Parsley. Elise Parsley. Elise Parsley.

Sorry. I can’t help myself. Once you meet her, you’ll be shouting her name, too.