Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's Up Wednesday


Having read and loved Jandy Nelson’s first novel The Sky is Everywhere, a few years back, I was so excited to pick up her newest book, I’ll Give You the Sun. Once again, gorgeous writing and unique storytelling! I’m about 100 pages in and have fallen in love with the characters, especially Noah. I’m absolutely mesmerized by his portraits in the “Invisible Museum.” I just love the way Noah sees the world and how he shares his perceptions through his artistic imaginings.


With my new YA novel on submission, I’m starting to think about some of the ways I’d like to restructure the plot of a previously written YA novel.  The setting of this one is a private music school, and I’m looking forward to turning up my playlist for this story to help bring me back there.


Options. I love that the world is full of possibility, alternate turns in the path, secret roads, surprise detours. This is my answer to writer’s block. Changing where, how, and when I put time in on a WIP can bring about unexpected and positive results. I still love my routine, but changing it up a bit feels good this fall.


It’s been a busy back-to-school season here. I think we are all in the swing of the new fall schedule. Time is zipping by. I bought a Fitbit and inherited a treadmill. Now to put them to use…

I’m looking forward to reading your What’s Up Wednesday posts. If you haven't participated yet, you have until midnight tonight to post a link at Erin's blog or Jaime's blog

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What's Up Wednesday


I’ve been following What’s Up Wednesday through the blogs of Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk for a few months now, and I’m happy to join in this week.


I’m just about to start We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I’ve heard and read great things about this book and can’t wait to dive in. I think it will be a quick read, which will please my teen daughter anxiously waiting for me to hand it over to her. We often trade books back and forth—she is currently reading my copy of The Diviners by Libba Bray.  Meanwhile, she just bought Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and I’ll be next in line for those.

Also on the go is a reread of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This time around I am listening to it as an audiobook with my husband while following along with a hard copy. I picked up a few poetry books from the library yesterday, among them My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson—a read-over-and-over little book gorgeously illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.


Over the last several months, I’ve worked on a few rounds of major revisions on my YA contemporary novel.  I am now in that final edit phase. Most of my writing time is focused on sharpening my cover letter and synopsis. I’m also dedicating a small amount of time every week to the writing of songs that will be included in my other completed YA novel as a part of the main character’s songbook. My poetry critique group has been a great support and source of inspiration for that project.


Trees. I have always been a lover of trees, but I am rediscovering them this summer. Trees play a small but meaningful role in the YA novel I am about to start pitching to agents. I’ve been taking a little time each day, even if only 15 or 20 minutes, for forest bathing. I’ve been noticing the different sounds they make and have been focused on identifying a few of the trees, before I see them, by the noise their leaves make. Poplar, for example, sounds very different in the wind than the maple or oak.
I’ve been photographing trees all summer.


I’ve been spending a lot of time with my mom. I could have included this point in the paragraph above as she has been a major source of inspiration for me. She is beautiful, wise, hilarious, generous, and grateful. She is so strong—a survivor. I continue to be blown away by the lessons she passes on to me.

Wishing you a wonderful and productive week!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Snail Mail

Last fall, this little snail got tired of waiting for mail back in my garden so she made her slow journey across the street and over to our shiny mailbox. I like to think that she is my messenger.

I had never seen a snail on a mailbox.We get a lot of snails in our neighbourhood after it rains between late spring and early fall. They decorate sidewalks, gardens, and front doors. And they serve as good reminders for me. Go slow. Be patient. 

A snail on a writer’s mailbox seems to say something very important.  I tried to decode a possible snail message here by working through a few ideas.

1. Even the most patient among us might secretly yearn for the reply to come sooner.

2. Sometimes a watched pot does boil. And if you’re there waiting and watching for it to happen, you’ll be the first to see it.

3. It’s okay for a snail to be obvious. A snail attached to a mailbox is cute—a writer attached to a mailbox is not.

Message: Hide impatience. Watch for mail carrier from afar.

This lesson can be applied to email. It seems I am always waiting for an important message to come in. Though I may look very much like the snail, stuck to my inbox—I shall feign patience, always. 

Here is the lesson again presented as a syllogism:

A snail stuck to a mailbox is cute.

I am not a snail.

Therefore, I might not look that cute stuck to a mailbox.

So, back to work and practicing patience as best I can.