Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Saying Goodbye... and Hello

Well, after five years of productive critiquing and seeing several of our members go on to publication, the time has come for CYAW to close it's cyber doors. This is a sad moment, but a necessary one. Because I'm so involved in Pekazoid Prophets -- which is the next step in CYAW's growth -- and because our active membership has dropped so low, it's just better to move on.

Pekazoid Prophets is going to be awesome, Lord willing! I hope the people who have been following this blog will check out the website and consider joining. We're still small, still recruiting members and teachers... but PekPro will enable aspiring authors of young adult (and middle grade and children's fiction, even picture books!) to have greater interaction with professional authors than was possible with CYAW. We've already got a bunch of promising new members, and I look forward to being a part of their growth and success.

Still, saying goodbye to the old group is hard. I just can't bring myself to hit that "delete" button. I suppose one day it will just feel like "time" and I'll be able to do it.

For myself, I've embarked upon a new project that started out as a promotional plan, but I hope will touch the hearts of teens on a greater scale than I can imagine at this moment. Placing it in the Lord's hands... It's a video project called When Pigs Fly. The videos are Manga. That is, they're illustrations that make up a story. Basically, an online comic book. (Manga is the Japanese word for this.) The story is based on a novella I'm writing, and the novella itself will be offered for free download through a website and through Amazon (probably have to charge 99 cents on Amazon). The first video is completed and online!

Check it out on my YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/dianalee4jc?feature=mhee

(If for some reason that link doesn't work, search "When Pigs Fly, Christian manga.")

As I said, this was first a means of getting my name out there, reaching the kids where they spend so much time online--watching videos. But as I got into the project and did more research into the genre (printed, online, and Anime, which is the fully animated version), I discovered just how popular this genre is with teens... and just how DARK much of it is! Christian teens I spoke with at a recent conference said they really like the art style of Manga, but are bothered by much of the content. So now I see a need for the advancement of God-honoring Manga. From what I can tell, there are a number of people working on this, but it's still an uphill climb getting the word out that it's available.

So I'm hoping you'll check out my first video and my YouTube channel, and share it with teens you know who might enjoy it. On that channel I'll be linking other "clean" videos as I come across them.

Okay, I didn't mean for this post to be all about me. But it's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster with the start of Pekazoid Prophets, the winding down of CYAW, and the insane push (60-80 hours a week!) to get the video finished. So I want to tell everyone how much I appreciate the interaction over the past five years. Y'all have poured into me so much more than I have given back, and I'd be nowhere without my critique partners. Thank you so much for everything! I love you all.

Diana Sharples