2023 Summer Camp Reading Challenge
I had way too much fun with Summer Camp this year. And after the push to make diamond, I volunteered to sponsor a second prompt at the last minute because... who could resist the opportunity to sponsor Prompt 42!
End result: I read a LOT of articles, but picking ones to feature here was hard. The first two sections are from the prompts I judged. (spoiler) These aren't the winners, but they're all fantastic. They were all on my shortlist.
Somewhere in your world, describe... a myth or truth about the meaning of your universe:
While I was reading these myths, some of them featured lovely stories with a truly mythical feeling and a moral. Here are three examples that I loved:
Somewhere in your world, describe... a useful plant found in a wild area of your world:
I loved the creativity that people showed in the plant prompt! But aside from those that were truly unique, there's really only so much you can do with a plant. Here are three creative ways that people used glowing plants:
Somewhere in your world, describe... a character driven by wanderlust or the desire to explore:
This was one of my favorite prompts of camp, and I think it may have given me an idea for another story! I didn't read all of the entries to this prompt and decided that I'd give myself a treat and read articles from some of my favorites. These don't share a common theme in their approch, and are here because they delighted me.
What I learned:
- From reading over 100 myths and over 300 plants, one of the things that stood out to me most was how creatively people can approach a very similar subject. I've seen this in writing before, where common events, common insights find their way into different people's writing. I randomly picked glowing as the feature to show you above, and I could have added many more glowy plants. But what I love is how different and how unique each author's voice is.
- I also noticed in reading the many articles how easy it was for that author's voice to get lost. Each of these articles I've chosen retained their author's voice, even when writing quickly and under self-imposed duress. (cough... Jaime... cough)
- Line length matters. If there is one thing we all want to maybe think about in our custom CSS... I'd vote for it being line length!!! With creative paragraphing (white space!!!) being a close second. While many of the articles that I chose were not flashy, well designed, or elaborately crafted, they still remained readable. Not paying attention to readability was something that hit me in a number of articles NOT featured here. It was particularly sad to me when I found beautifully written articles that showed some real writing talent that were nearly illegible. I have been guilty of this in the past. "Good enough" being what I needed to get in a contest entry. But I do want to remember to make legibility a requirement.
Goals for the next year
I've ordered covers for the next two Dominion of Darkness books, so my goal is to finish editing Children of Light and Aueryl's Song and get them out into the world.
In addition, I want to continue working on bringing The Spaceport to life with more game options included. I want to bring the 'port to life with an interactive map that goes to all of the main rooms. Each room will hopefully have some options that tie into the ongoing adventure that I did for last Adventure April. I'm hoping to add another adventure or two.
Another goal I have is to go through and refresh the CSS and the look of my worlds, making them easier to read.
I'll also be expanding my Classes, which will hopefully increase my living income so I can spend more time writing. I want to bring my old "Publishing Gold" class back and update it so that it will be available for those who have been asking for it.
Lastly, I want to learn to pace myself and keep some balance and self-care in the mix. This is the weakest aspect of my creative process these days. Since I've essentially monetized my hobby and then come to rely on it for life, there's more pressure on my creativity than is really healthy. I want to find that balance and create a space where my creativity can flow.
I also want to bring editing into my process in a way that it flows smoothly so that I can finish a book in less than 5 years. Currently I can draft a book in a month, but getting myself into the headspace for editing often takes 3 or more years. Then the actual editing takes less than 6 months.
I'm excited to see what this next year brings!
This article is a stub.
I'll be adding more content to this article in the future.