My Ivory Tower

My name is Karin Huxman and I write romance for New Concepts Publishing. You can find my author page at I write a mix of time travel, contemporary, paranormal, and sf/fantasy and love every minute of it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hearts aglow

The phrase, "All aglow in the work," is attributed to Virgil, a poet who wrote during the days of ancient Rome. The sentiment reflects the heart of an artist, whether a writer, painter, dancer, and so on. I love the fact that this has not changed in several millenium. The joyful heat, fire, of creativity is such a human thing.

When the fire of creativity takes me by the throat, my fingers fly over the computer keys with joyous energy and the story seems to bypass my brain and come straight from the heart. I lose track of time and become so completely immersed in the story that I hear neither phone nor doorbell. When I have that glazed look in my eyes, my family has learned not to even try to communicate.

The creative fire is bliss.

So find your bliss, as the saying goes. Find the creative outlet that will set you aglow, set your heart on fire.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Legacy versus Digital publishing

This blog is required reading for anyone hoping to be published or who is already published and wonders what's going on with traditional publishing models versus the rapid growth of digital publishing. Though the authors are discussing one traditional, or legacy, publisher in particular, their arguments strike the right note throughout. Thoughtful and provocative and very timely.

Saturday, December 3, 2011



The following poem appeared in Beyond Doggerel, vol. 3 no. 1, Fall 1998. It seemed particularly apt considering yesterday's weather. The picture is our little blue spruce, cleverly named Blue, in our front yard.

by Karin D. Huxman

God exhales.
Icy breath settles,
houses, trucks, lonely
trees. Tansforming
fisted sheath softly
captures, then
hardens the
embrace until
morning sun turns
all it touches
into diamonds, dancing
and dripping
onto the waiting
Earth below.
Soon to be reborn
as God's breath.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Artist's Date

I'm working my way through Julia Cameron's Walking in This World, a follow-up to her popular The Artist's Way. Both books are about celebrating your inner artist through inspiration, motivation, and getting to the work.

Daily Morning Pages are a cornerstone of this philosophy. The idea is to write three pages first thing in the morning, in long hand, in order to clean your mind of the clutter and distractions that often feed into a creative person's procrastination problems. I've tried using a laptop but that method doesn't have the mind, hand, words connection - it's not quite the organic experience that's important to the Morning Pages. But after three days I've discovered that I need a fatter more comfortable pen for my cranky arthritic thumb and fingers to grasp.

Hence the Artist's Date, another cornerstone of Julia Cameron's method. It's a way to fill the creative well in a small way and once a week to do something nice for yourself, by yourself. So, in search of a fatter pen or at least one of those squishy fat things you can wrap around the pen to make gripping it more comfortable, I took myself to Target.

Okay, I had some other things to pick up and granted, 4 pm on a Friday is not the most relaxing time to visit a SuperStore. But that's exactly what I did. I got my other choices out of the way and wove a path over to the office supplies aisle. It was a good thing I didn't go to Office Depot or Office Max, I love those stores like some women like jewelry stores. I found plenty of choices in writing implements in just one aisle. No squishy things to surround the tube of my pen, but pencils galore. Mechanical pencils, both fancy and throw-away, pencils that needed sharpening along with an array of sharpeners, all sorts, sizes and colors of erasers, and finally - ink pens.

No fountain pens but just about every other size, color, and type. From clickable felt tips to ball points to gels. If I'd been at an art store I would have been able to try out anything and everything. But I could see that the lines at the check out lanes were lengthening. Then I saw it. An eight pack of gel pens. Not just any gel pens, but eight different colors of sparkly gel pens with built in squishy things already installed on each pen. Happiness at just a little over fifty cents per pen.

Will these sparkly pens make the works flow more freely across the page? The colors are happier than plain blue or black. Maybe my works will be more positive, get their own sparkle back.

Haw about you? What kind of Artist's Date appeals to you? I'm off to sparkle but I look forward to reading your ideas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Taking action

I love this quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace and power in it." It reminds me that the power of believing in yourself, while crucial, the act of starting something you believe in has more power.

As a writer, I believe in the power of words but have discovered that in many ways I'm all talk and no action. Yeah, talking the talk is great, but you have to come to the writing desk and put the words down to follow through.

I'm back at a beginning in my writing life, not quite a full circle but it feels like one. I'm a multi-published author of adult romance and children's work, but after a hiatus am finding it difficult to wait on editors to say they love my work. This is my romance work I'm talking about. My previous romances were all published by a small press, and I was content with that for a while. I learned a lot about revision and the process of seeing a work procede from contracted to available for sale. Now I have an awesome agent who has been sending my work out for nine months or so. She's working very hard for me, but some of the comments coming back are so vague as to be unhelpful. However, I know that in this business all it takes is for my manuscript, my story, to resonate with just one editor for it to take off. This is the new beginning I'm waiting for.

Also, I've started writing every day again. I got out of the habit a couple of years ago when I broke my ankle. The experience kind of shook me and made me re-examine my self image, all of the images I had of myself, not just why I write. I've finished first drafts of a couple of books since then and allowed them to languish. Now I'm doing morning pages once more, at the very least I'll have three pages of hand written trash at the end of the day, and I'm re-reading and revising previously finished work to decide if it is worth pursuing.

Baby steps for me, someone who used to sit at the computer day in and day out and write until I was written out. Maybe I was. So I'm taking action from my own words and putting pen in hand and butt in chair. And reading about writing and writing about writing, apparently.

I'm so grateful to Muriel Dubois at Apprentice Shop Books for giving me the chance to write children's non fiction over the past couple of years. That work has sustained me and pushed me in a completely different direction. And it kept my writerly skills honed. So, moving forward...who's with me?