Thursday, May 28, 2009

So Many Stories, So Little Time

The stack of books on the table beside my bed grows daily. This doesn't bother me. The only time I freak out is when that stack gets down to one or two.

The pile I'm concerned about is the invisible one, the books that I have not yet written. That pile is driving me batty.

I have two completed novels, twins, in their second year of revisions. The two stories get along with each other and rarely compete for my attention. I was joyfully working with them at a comfortable pace when out of nowhere, four more stories show up and demand to be told. Quadruplets.

These unwritten novels are so impatient. Their characters wake me up early in the morning, telling me what they're doing, jockeying for my attention. Each story shoves the other aside like five-year-olds at snack time, insisting their story must be the next written.

Don't take me wrong, I love these stories like children. But their older siblings require my full attention right now. Once they're all grown up and leave home for good, I will have to face the challenge of deciding which story gets to come out first. In the meantime, I hope none of them decide to run away from home.

So many stories, so little time!

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: Wintergirls (Laurie Halse Anderson) If I Stay (Gayle Forman)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Writing Routine

In the summertime, a chain reaction dictates my writing routine here in the foothills of the North Cascades.

Robin Red Breast and his choir hail the new day before the little hand reaches 5, waking His Royal Catness who insists I meet him at the glass door to revere the beauty of the dawn and escort him onto the balcony where we can enjoy the wonders of creation together.

Fully awake, I come inside and fire up Liberté (aka Bertie) my ancient clamshell iBook, and get to work.

Having done their part to assure my success as a writer, the robins go foraging for worms and the lapcat struggles to usurp the laptop for prime napping real estate.

So I guess what I'm saying is that my writing routine is dictated by animals.

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: Life As We Knew It (Susan Beth Pfeffer) and I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Ally Carter)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SCBWI Conference

This weekend I'll be attending an SCBWI conference in Redmond, Washington. With eagerness, I anticipate the encouragement that comes with chatting up fellow writers and publishing professionals. One of the sessions I'm most excited about is a poetry/verse workshop with Ellen Hopkins.

UPDATE: Conference blew my circuits. Reality exceeded expectations. Must recharge.

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: Unwind (Neal Shusterman) Beautiful Americans (Lucy Silag) Squashed (Joan Bauer)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Guilt-Free Reading

My older brothers used to be embarrassed to walk to school with me because I always had my nose in a book. Things haven't changed much, I still embarrass them and I still read at every opportunity.

Before embarking on my writing career, I often felt tremendous guilt for indulging my reading addiction, like I should have been doing something more productive. Now I devour books without a speck of guilt. Reading is part of the job description. Hooray!

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: Envy (Godbersen) Good Night, Maman (Fox Mazer)