Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm Proud To Be Crazy

The poem below was written by the late Steve Jobs.  I heard it for the first time in a staff meeting, and even though my boss wanted me to relate it to the company, I jumped outside the box and related it to writing. My former teachers might consider this off-task. I think it shows a sense of higher purpose.

Crazy is just one name I've been called since I started writing.  A lot of people lack the ability to take risks - when they embark on ambitious journeys, they need a guarantee beforehand.  They're not wired to invest time and energy in something that doesn't cut a biweekly paycheck. They can't devote time to projects that may never get off the ground. They crave structure. They require stability.
I've never been that person.  If you're reading this, neither have you.
Our work as aspiring authors is a testament of character.  It summarizes an entire resume in a few simple words.  It highlights internal motivation - our innate ability to go after something.  Nobody makes us write.  Nobody schedules our shifts or checks our time sheet.  We discipline ourselves.  We pick ourselves up when we feel inferior.  We make ourselves keep going.  We work for what we want.  We fail, we learn, we persevere. The result is creativity.
As a teacher, I want these students in my classroom.
As an employer, I want these candidates on my team.
As a person, I want these folks in my life.
I'm proud to be crazy.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent.
They imagine.
They heal.
They explore.
They create.
They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that has never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough
to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do.
I challenge you to go out and create something today.  Let's all be crazy together.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Need A Kick In The Muse? Get To A Launch Party!

CrackedSaturday night was the epic launch party for debut author K.M. Walton, held at the Chester County Book & Music Company.  Her novel, CRACKED, is a YA Contemporary told from two perspectives - a bully and his victim.  Set in the confines of a psych ward, two characters (with very different stories) take readers on an emotional journey addressing the roots of one bully's actions and the coping strategies of his target.

On a side note, this is the first live release party I've attended, and it was the most encouraging evening in my writing journey thus far.  Aside from being a talented writer, teacher, and creative mind, Kate has a gift for showing others how to believe in themselves.  In her opening speech, she shared one of her life motto's: If you want something, make it happen.  Her words make believers out of all of us; her journey reminds us hard work can pay off. 

Since coming home Saturday night, I've been a revision machine.  I've seen how far a writing project can go; I've seen where our stories can eventually land. 

And even though I have not finished the entire book, the first 250 pages are fantastic.  I recommend CRACKED to readers of all ages.

The Publisher's Blurb:

In this gripping debut, a teen takes a bottle of pills and lands in the psych ward with the bully who drove him to attempt suicide.Victor hates his life. He’s relentlessly bullied at school and his parents constantly ridicule him at home.

Bull is angry. He’s sick of his grandfather’s drunken beatings. And he likes to take out his rage on Victor.

Determined to end it all, Victor takes a bottle of his mother’s sleeping pills—only to be disappointed when he wakes up in the psych ward. And his roommate? None other than Bull, whose loaded-gun effort at self-defense has been labeled as a suicide attempt. Things go from bad to worse—until the boys discover they might just have something in common: a reason to live.

Blogger Recaps:

Christine Danek (also hosting a signed giveaway of CRACKED)

Frankie Diane Mallis (with vlogs I refused to be in)

Simon C. Larter (with alcoholic beverages, but I don't think he's sharing)

Kelly Lyman (who passes Kate's life challenge to each of us)

K.M. Walton (the author herself, who has lots of promotional events explained on her blog and website - http://www.kmwalton.com/)

How cool is this cake?



Where can you get a copy?

Powell’s

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

On that note, I'm headed to work.  No, you don't hear me crying.  There's no crying in retail (okay, that was probably the biggest lie EVER).

What's new with everyone?  How's 2012 treating you so far??  Reading anything good? Fill me in!