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I was at the library yesterday looking for some recent anthologies to study their layout and typography. Weirdly enough, I could only find anthologies in the Teen (YA) section of the library. I noticed while I was there that the sensibility of teen books really screams out to me. The titles, the cover design, the typography. All of it grabs me by the guts and says "READ ME." But then when I read them, I find myself wishing the characters were more my age, dealing with issues other than peer pressure or school or growing up. The teen series I enjoy most are the ones with the most vestigial appearance of parents, teachers or other teen authority figures and just show the protagonist basically being an adult.
It would be interesting to figure out which buttons of mine are being pushed by the current style of marketing for Teen books.
I'm working on a novella that's an adult coming-of-age. Maybe my relationship with the types of books I'm attracted to has something to do with what I'm compelled to write.
But here's where the interest started. Back in the 80's, I helped out a friend by participating in a study where they gave everyone a personality test, then had us listen to two types of self-hypnosis relaxation tapes. One was a guided visualization and one was called "Isometric Squeeze," where you squeezed and relaxed different muscle groups. Then they assessed which type of tape was more effective for which type of person.
I don't know how the results came out. But listening to those tapes (It was a week or two apiece daily) ended up building a lifelong habit. In the 80's, those cassette tapes were pretty pricy. But nowadays with MP3s ... wow, it's like Christmas in June.
I found this freebie today for writers that I really liked, you can grab it here. The recording quality is good, it's short and to the point, and what he's saying resonates with me.
And speaking of hypnosis, there's some pretty heavy duty hypnosis in Camp Hell. When we produced the audio, I asked my narrator Gomez Pugh to listen to one of my favorite 80's hypnotists, Dick Sutphen, to prep for the role of Stefan!
Dick Sutphen is still practicing. He even has a downloadable Writer's Series.
Dealing with this issue was one of my major goals for 2015, and I looove accomplishing goals!
But I'm realizing I need to be careful not to overdo. I'm easing into writing and editing again. It feels right. But I'm also not being the insane taskmaster that I was pre-surgery. That new pace feels right too.