Podcast #1 Transcripts -Intro, Writer's Groups and Indigenous Book Clubs

As I record this today is the 7th of December 2019, and this is podcast #1. And we post the podcast on Mondays, so it will be posted on the 9th of December.

So we're going to do an introduction and discussion on writing groups and indigenous book clubs. I'm also going to start adding in podcast #2, a personal and business update so everyone kind of knows what's going on with Inked Scroll. But it would kind of be redundant to do it during this show since I'm also going to do an intro, and it'll kind of give you an idea of what I'm working on and where I'm going.

We also have a useful information segment within our podcast it's the first little thing that we share. Sometimes it's not very long but that's okay, so today I'm going to share something that everybody already probably knows about, not everybody uses. I'm talking about. . . wait for it. Can you guess? Pinterest. It is something that I really value in creative organizing, and also as a visual artist.

I know everybody knows about it, but there's so many benefits to using Pinterest. And it has a lot of organizing ideas, diy and art ideas. I personally have a massive amount of boards that I have on Pinterest. And most of my boards are organizing, but there's also some that I have for inspiration for my books, as well as research on things I'm writing right now.

And I like looking back at the old boards or the old pins that I have from other books and other ideals. It's kind of fun to kind of have a look back every once in a while. But you can create a lot of different boards.

I do have one little tip that if you are using Pinterest, as your connecting to your business or using it for your business, to share pins. It's kind of good to be aware of the links that are attached to whatever you're pinning, because you don't want to share something or pin something, and then the link itself leads to something that you don't want to associate it with your business. So just keep that in mind if you have your Pinterest attached to your business and to your personal life.

Pinterest is also really good because you can create a connection to visual items. And I have even business stuff and tips and ideals on my Pinterest boards, because I like learning new things all the time. So that's something that you can kind of do. So hopefully you found it useful for me to share my useful information on Pinterest.

And now we're going to start on our intro.

I've been asked the question of why Inked Scroll. And there are a couple different elements to my life that make ink scroll very descriptive. And I'm very surprised that I didn't think of it sooner. But when I think of ink. We use ink in our writing. And I'm talking about, I say we, because my daughter is also part of Inked Scroll. She's working on her first book, but we use ink in our writing when we're writing our books. We use ink when we're creating art. My daughter is also a visual artist, and she uses acrylic paint, sometimes charcoal and different types of inks. And she does 3D multimedia art. She just likes experimenting and finding new things and wants to try new things, which is totally awesome and I use different inks and batiks in my mixed media paintings. We also use ink, when we're making our list for organizing. And the final piece of the puzzle is that we're both inked. I have a lot of tattoos, and my daughter also has tattoos, so it kind of just, it was interesting and it spoke volumes to me.

Another part of the title is scroll and traditionally Ojibwe stories and legends and that type of thing were written on scrolls birch bark scrolls. And as a storyteller, I've always found scrolls fascinating. I've even made homemade scrolls because I just think they're so cool. So little tidbit about us. Um, so that's kind of why we use in scrolls for our company. And it's a little piece and glimpse into who we are.

I'm also going to share a little bit about me personally, because I'm a fantasy author, and I blend Ojibwe and Lakota language in with elves and dragons and other mythical creatures. I've written poetry books about growing up on the reservation. And I'm going to start creating children's books and nonfiction books but we'll be discussing more on that in our podcast about goals for 2020. And I'm also going to be talking about what I accomplished this year in my roundup for 2019, that's at the end of the month. But since I've published in 2011, I have eight books out.

Also, as an artist, I’ve been in multiple art shows. And I've taught from preschool art classes, all the way to college math. So, it's kind of interesting that I keep coming back to being a creator and being someone that can help and teach others.

But I'm also an organizer. And this, I think started when I grew up in a one room house. And when you do that you naturally become a minimalist, and you are an organizer because you have limited space. And now I just find it, organizing makes my space function better. And I like sharing my ideals, to help someone achieve that.

I am a South Dakota scholar. And that just helps me be visible to schools and to present and help others, and share my ideals and talk to them about writing books. And right now, I'm actually doing a Master's in Library and Information Science. I am a librarian for the library on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. And being a student has really taught me about organizing my space for school versus organizing my space for business, similar, but there are some differences, and also about time management. I'm a full time employee. I run my own home business, and I'm a librarian, and I'm a mother, and family stuff. So, you have to utilize time management a lot, and we'll be talking about that a little bit later too. I stepped away from creating for a couple of years due to some personal stuff and moving. And this year, toward the middle of the year 2019, I stepped back into it. And I can honestly say it feels like a deep breath and that I felt like I found my path beneath my feet again. I'm glad to be sharing this journey with everybody.

If you have any other questions or you want to know things or want to connect connect with me on Twitter or Facebook.

And now we're going to be talking about writers groups. There are a couple different websites that share different writing groups and they do it by state. And it's kind of interesting because I searched these, and I was part of a writers group in South Dakota called the Black Hills Writers Group, and it's on there. But there were some other ones I've never heard of, so I was really looking into these different links there. And I'll share the links in the show notes because the websites are really long.

But one is from, one is from, and one is from And that's just the basic to get into their links and then there's a longer link to get to their writers groups but I'll show those links below.

It's really interesting to see how many writers groups there are around the United States, it's kind of fascinating. So I tried to start an Indigenous writers group to help young writers, and also to connect with other people. And I have to say it was pretty tough. I gave it a year, and then I just stopped because I had two people come, but they only came a couple times. Other people said they were interest saying they wanted to come, and they wanted to be a part of it. Nobody ever showed up. And I would ask them what's the best time for you guys, we would we would try and schedule everything around other people. It's still never really worked out. Now I'm kind of in that place where I kind of want to start a community. I don't know if it would technically be a writers group. But I want to start a community of the same thing so that writers can get together and kind of even just discuss, you know, their frustrations about writing.

So, when writers groups themselves are looked at, there's benefits and there's also downfalls. One of the biggest benefits is the community. That's there sometimes about being a writer, we're alone. And it's good to have a community to talk about books and writing and editors and frustrations and all those types of things that are connected with being a writer. Another benefit. It gets you out of the house. And sometimes you kind of need to step away from the house a little bit. If you work from home all the time, that really helps.

A couple of the downfalls that I see is critiquing work. It's really hard for emerging or beginning authors to have that ability to give feedback that will really help you build your book. And the writers group that I was part of, there were people who just wrote for fun, all the way up to people who have book deals with traditional publishers, and indie authors were in between there. It was kind of an interesting mix. But having that critique feedback and constructive criticism was really, there wasn't anything there when I was in my writers group.

And sometimes it's like you want your book to be perfect, so making mistakes isn't a good thing. However, making mistakes is part of the journey of being a writer and being an artist. So, having the critiques is one of the downfalls, and the other downfall is you don't have that ability to make mistakes sometimes in those groups. You kind of feel a little judged, when you're in those groups and you do make mistakes in your writing.

There are a lot of different ways that you can do writers groups with meetups, and Facebook groups. So that's something to look into for yourself. If you're interested in writers group or if you're just interested in connecting to other writers and just like, I just want to go for a cup of coffee. And you can focus on different areas such as indigenous writers, or romance novel writers, or children's books writers. Those types of things you can just have a writers group just for something specific. Don't be scared to try it out for a while and if you don't like it, you can always step away from it. Nothing is ever set in stone and final. Just remember that.

When I look up. and I've been trying different things, especially for research in my classes, I haven't found anything on Indigenous book clubs. I mean there is one site for Canadian Indigenous book club. And that kind of guided me to wanting to do this podcast kind of talking about writers groups, and indigenous book clubs because I couldn't find anything.

And so it was, it's kind of an interesting. I don't know if I'd call it experiment, but to sit there and search. In my master classes I tried to really focus on indigenous communities, and there's not a lot of research or material out there on those types of things. So I think there are a lot of book talks that deal with Indigenous books, but they're mainly focused in the month of November, and I'm pretty sure it's because November is Native American month. So it spurs these book talks for only a short amount of time. So it kind of defeats the purpose of having an indigenous book club, a little bit.

I'm happy that people are doing book talks on Indigenous writers and their books. And I think there needs to be a bigger focus on indigenous authors and the amazing things that they're doing. Because some Indigenous authors are stepping outside the norm. and they're doing things that most people don't associate with Indigenous people or Native Americans.

I think it'd be kind of interesting to do a Debbie Reese reading book club. Debbie Reese is a woman who has a website, and she discusses Indigenous authors and whether books that have Indigenous characters are appropriate or not to use in schools, or show suggests of yes or no to use it. It's really interesting to look at her website and see what kinds of books she recommends. Those books are what I would use for a Debbie Reese book reading club.

There's also a #IndigenousReads, which I haven't used yet but I think that's kind of interesting. And it'd be kind of fun to create some new hashtags that a community can rally around like #IndigenousBooks.

It would also be kind of interesting to create an online Indigenous book club. There's so many resources that we have at our fingertips, like Zoom, Facebook Groups, Meetups, and Twitter. Those types of things can be a benefit to creating an Indigenous book club, and also to share ideals.

So I have two questions that I wanted to ask that I'm hoping you guys can answer for me, so we can have a conversation back and forth.

And the first one I have is: What do you find as a benefit or downfall to writers groups?

The second question I have is: Do you have ideas for Indigenous book clubs in your area?

So if you guys want to comment below or message me on Twitter that would be awesome.

And I can share some of those and next podcast.

And I just want to say thank you guys for listening. And that's the show for today.

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