I Will Call Her “Spinebreaker”

Greatest hits picture for today’s header because we are burning daylight, this is Monday’s and Wednesday’s post, and there are a few things to cover. We are now less than one week away from the release of Chasing Prince Charming, my first contemporary romance, my first book written with longtime friend and critique partner, Melva Michaelian. We can’t say “someday” anymore. We can’t say “next year,” or “hopefuly” or even count the months or weeks, because that baby will be here Monday. Eep.

Houston, we have a website!

melvaandanna.com

In addition to the book baby, we are also proud to announce a website baby. Early days yet at melvaandanna.com, but we now have a website. Hop on by, follow us if you are so inclined, and watch us grow. Let us know what kind of content you’d like to see on an author website. Since the webmistress is me, there may be (aka will be) a learning curve, but this is the place where news about future books we write together, and the workshops we teach, in person or online, as well as other hopefully fun stuff in the very near future.

Melva and I are closing in on the home stretch of Drama King, the second book in the Love By The Book series, and I have, as of Monday, started an official notebook section for the third book, Queen of Hearts, so that will be next up for this partnership. After that? We’ve got a few ideas.

August Planner Post

One Book July is now past, and time is coming soon to start setting up my everyday carry (EDC) planners/notebooks/binders for autumn, which has a completely different vibe than spring and summer. This is where Spinebreaker comes into play.

When I first started this whole planner thing, I was pretty dedicated to the cahier size and pooh-pooh’d everything else, but then I started watching planner videos and joined FB groups and a ;whole new world opened. I did not have to be locked into One True Planner, forever and ever, eternity and beyond. That took some getting used to, the same as thinking I could only write one genre, or one way, yappity yap and all that.

Now? Well, now, I’m all about exploring. I had seen mentions of the B6 size in multiple groups, and in multiple videos, and then there was one, right where I get my groceries, in blush pink, and under eight dollars. Yeah. So, that happened. Meet Spinebreaker:

Hi, Spinebreaker!

Why Spinebreaker? I’m glad you asked. I don’t remember if it was in a Facebook group or a YouTube video where I first encountered this, but what I do remember is that the narrator, an artist, knew, in art school, who was going to do well in the class. On the first day, the professor passed out bound, blank sketchbooks. The nice kind. The narrator recounted how they stared at the perfect untouched purity of the sketchbook and how afraid they were that they were going to ruin it with their imperfect art. Other students immediately picked up the books, broke the spines, opened the book to several different pages, wrote their names in the front, and put marks on pages, be they first, last, or random, while the narrator was still staring at the blank perfection and dreading being the source of its ruin.

This resonated with me, a lot. I am very guilty of staring at pages, paper or electronic, fixed on the blankness and the preciousness of the unblemished page…but, as Pable Picasso said, all creation begins with destruction (of the blank page or canvas.) I am not a Picasso fan, myself, but “Picasso in a Café,” a song by one of my favorite composers, Brian Lowdermilk, is a favorite of mine (gentle readers who prefer not to hear strong language, take my word for it; otherwise, click the link) especially since I followed a series of videos he make, chronicling some big changes in his life and creativity, after a creative disappointment. He and his wife, Anna Levinger, who contributed the portion of the song with the strong language, took a gap year and traveled, exploring the world, as well as creativity, etc.

No gap years here, but learning to create again after a big shift, that I know. I know the feeling of the wandering in the wilderness, and the combination of strangeness and coming home, to come out of it in a different place than one went in; new genres, not instead of, but along with, expanding the sizes and purposes of binders and notebook covers I use. Mushing all of that with the story I wish I had written down so that I could attribute it properly, I like the idea of being a spinebreaker. That’s why, earlier this week, I made myself slip some inexpensive inserts into that pristine new B6 cover, and start swatching watercolors on the first few pages. There. Not blank anymore. Does that make it easier? For me, actually, yes.

Those blank pages are powerful. Sometimes, too much so. That’s why melvaandanna.com (all one word, all lowercase, tell your friends) is up in its tiny, imperfect, baby steps glory. We don’t serve the website. It serves us. That perspective may not be true for everybody, for us, this is just right.

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