About a year ago, I decided I was going to teach myself to paint. It can't be that hard, right? Do my best and call it abstract. I mean, have you seen how much an abstract painting goes for? Besides, I wasn't going to learn to paint for the money, even. My plan was to learn the skill so that I could get inside the head of one of my characters in Shooting Sdax (Book 2 of the Calricaraq series -- have you read book 1 yet?). As a writer, I need to know my characters, so that was the plan. Teach myself to paint.
Not bad, right? Not terrible, at least? *I* like it anyway. But it's not something to write home about. I mean, it would be if one of my kids or grandkids painted it. Then, I'd be posting pictures of it everywhere, alerting everyone on social media, accepting offers.
So, yeah. Even though I'm told I can paint a picture with words and I can carry a tune, I've always felt a little left out of the inner artist circle because drawing, painting, and sketching just aren't my thing. Then, I read this article: http://bit.ly/HandSellArt and things got real.
It turns out I am an artist! How did I not even know this was a thing until now? I've been in the hand-selling art arena for years and I've really upped my game since attending UAA. Did you know that if you are in the MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program at UAA that your textbooks are novels, short stories, and poetry books? Sure, you end up reading a ton of craft books too, but those are great.
In fact, in no particular order, here are some titles I've hand-sold in the last few years. And, since I can't really hand you a copy right now (unless you show up at my June pop-up event), consider this an alternative form of the art of hand-selling.
The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)
This Much I Know is True (Wally Lamb)
Under the Feet of Jesus (Helena Maria Viramontes)
Ron Carlson Writes a Story (Ron Carlson)
The Bonesetter's Daughter (Amy Tan)
These are just a small handful of some of my favorites, the books that if you ask me what my favorites are, I'd be all: You have to read this book. It is that good. Like amazing.
I can barely get a complete sentence out when I'm participating in the art of hand-selling because I'm too busy trying not to get lost in the essence of the book I'm telling someone about.
What are your favorites? If you were going to hand me a book to read, what would it be? And why?