Prior to taking the plunge into the world of being a published author, I was unfamiliar with many things – the publishing industry in general, book marketing, social media, etc. I’d never really been someone who frequented Facebook or Instagram very often, I rarely read blogs and I definitely did not understand the appeal of Twitter. (Still have a love/hate with that one.)
Now things are different. I’ve started to understand the social in the social media and I enjoy making connections with other writers, readers and bloggers. It’s also opened up my creative side, beyond writing, in that I’ve become a wee bit obsessed with bookstagrams. I love them. I’ve posted about them before. And, I enjoy creating them. It’s become sort of a running funny joke in my house. And by funny, I mean a funny for my family who finds endless ways to mock me for my bookstagramming ways.
Here’s how it usually goes:
First, I get an idea
Imagine a light bulb over my head, which usually goes off at night when I’m trying to sleep (highly inconvenient). A metaphorical light bulb is apparently just as effective as a real one in preventing sleep. However, I also get ideas for lots of things while I’m doing something mundane, like the laundry. In those cases, I’ll run downstairs and start unpacking either my stash of copies of The Travelers or whatever set of books from my library that triggered the inspiration.
Then things get messy
Next I’ll start laying out the books or pulling book after book onto the floor, depending on what I’m looking to do. If my book library is involved it could get really messy. If I’ve concocted some idea that also involves props, then we’re talking another level of messy madness. Depending on the idea, sometimes I’ll also search through the house, unearthing objects that fit a certain them or digging through drawers to find certain colors.
Once I’ve assembled the necessary treasures, I’ll start arranging, staging or moving my objects around to different locations in the house. I’ll try to determine the locations for optimal light levels. At some point while I’m in “mad scientist” mode, I’ll hear “whatcha doin’?” from another room. Followed by two sets of feet pattering over and inevitably a groan, in unison from my husband and daughter, along with something akin to “another bookstagram?”
They follow this up with endless mocking, which lately is highly focused on my new obsession with POP figurines (see below).
My husband just sees them as weird dolls and my daughter doesn’t like them because their heads are too big. I didn’t realize the girl who once played with Polly Pockets and dreams up unicorn-elephant-Pegasus hybrid animals (see below) was so keen on dolls being realistic-looking.
The peanut gallery gets loud
Between the mocking, short bursts of “why don’t you try this” or “maybe put this here” or “here I found something” slip into the ridiculing rants. Soon, someone has grabbed a prop or two and has stated, “No put this here.”
And, they can even get a little aggressive. At one point my daughter will definitely say, “Daddy you don’t know what you’re doing.” And my husband will then do something really clever that will annoy her. After that, she’ll figure out some amazing angle or filter that makes the picture look nothing like anything I tried, because honestly this is not my forte (I write, I don’t art, but I still find it fun, for obvious reasons). He’ll tell her good job and she’ll stick out her tongue. She’s 11, that’s pretty typical.
My part in this is to roll my eyes and complain about their “helping.” I’ll say things like “I thought you guys thought this was stupid,” while secretly, I’m thrilled to a) have them participating and b) be getting feedback.
Like a family, it all comes together in the end
Although the process is rather comical, in the end, I’m always happy with the product. I guess any type of art really does need conflict. And, I think the outcome is pretty clear.
Here’s an example of me with an “idea,” and what we ended up with via mockery and arguing. I’m sure you can guess which is which.
Here’s another example. (We have a thing for spirals I think.)
And here are some other family bookstagram creations (mostly by my daughter.) She’s also good with bogstagrams (what I’m calling the dog+book-stagram.)
Aren’t families great?