A Blog of Writing Tips, Interviews, Thoughts on the Writing Process, Book Reviews, Blog Hops, and Things NESCBWI Conference Related.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Talk About Writing and You Shall Write

My writer friends get it! Just talking about writing, even for a few minutes, can light a fire under the old muse. Stimulate the words in my head and get me to the keyboard.

This poster can help!  

I spent this afternoon sitting at the lake, watching the kids have a great summer day and talking about writing. It was an impromptu conversation; neither of us knew the other would be there. Just what each of us needed; we talked about what we are working on, how it was going to be hard to find time to write this summer.

We spoke about how sometimes you just have to move forward, even though you hope to hear from or fear you never will hear from, an editor or agent about your submission. We talked about how we have to stay positive and persevere, and keep writing, rewriting, and stay open to all the possibilities. How we have to stay Focused on the craft, the story, and all the elements that make our writing stellar.

We talked about what we thought was our individual highlights from this past NESCBWI conference and what we found inspiring, helpful, insightful, even what could be improved or changed for next year. All the things we brought home that will keep us going until the next big gathering of our writing comrades. The people who encourage us, support us, and are never afraid to tell the truth using kind words and love.

I left the beach content.

Here is some great reading for this summer:

Writing Great Books for Young Adults: Everything You Need to Know, from Crafting the Idea to Landing a Publishing Deal

Writing Great Books for Young Adults: Everything You Need to Know, from Crafting the Idea to Landing a Publishing Deal

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finally, Unstuck the Stuck Part By Giving Birth.

Getting unstuck is hard! I have been trying to write a certain scene for months. Actually, longer; much, much longer.

Turns out the answer was not to face it alone.

It has one of those write what you know moments (years), but what I knew about this particular event was absolutely nothing. I was there but not in anyway I would ever remember.

This past weekend was spent in, the Catskill Mountains. The old Borscht Belt as it was known, in the early to mid part of the last century. It is where she met my birthfather and well from their monikers, I’m sure you get the picture.

My birth mother was recently diagnosed with stage-four bone cancer. Since it had been a while, I wanted the kids to see her before her hair fell out, so they had a clear picture of her in their heads to remember. Photos of this time with her will also help. What is so amazing about this woman is that she is one of the most positive people I know. Even after the hard, sad life she’s led. Giving up a baby for adoption at sixteen was something she never recovered from. It has affected her her entire life. But she tells me, “Finding you eighteen years ago was like winning the lottery.” She really is my biggest fan, my flaws and all.

So writing the scene where my MC is giving birth knowing she is supposed to give the baby up was like looking into a black hole. Dark and empty. I couldn’t figure out why I was having such a hard time. I had given birth to two children, watched numerous litters of puppies being born, seen a horse calve, I have even watched as a giraffe gave birth. Birth shouldn’t be so hard to describe.

A while back, I was at the inaugural Falling Leaves Novel Writing retreat and Sarah Shumway was speaking. Something she said triggered the reason why I could not write the scene.

DUH! Why hadn’t I seen that it was really all about me writing about me being born and then being given up – not something anyone wants to admit to themselves still hurts forty-something years later! Like I said, “Duh!”

Okay, so after that huge “AHA” moment, I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about the reason for my writing black hole, but knowing the big reason for the holdup wasn’t getting me to complete the fifth, and I mean thrown-it-away-four-times-prior-and-rewrite-the-entire-manuscript, because of THIS issue. Because I always got stuck here before and thought it was the writing, not the scene. So how to get through the black hole and have a completed manuscript?

Because even at forty-eight your mother’s cancer makes you feel like your are being abandoned again. The real reason for going to see her.

However, this time, writing the scene was different. That woman, the one that has the most amazing, most positive outlook on everything, she talked and loved me through it. YES SHE DID!

This morning I am cruising to the completion line.

Thanks, mom!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

90 Days to a Slimmer ME! :)

Yes I am!
Well I have been trying for a year and a half. I work out like crazy, eat just the right number of calories a day, and workout again. Not losing anything, but I can crack walnuts with my tush.

So, what now?

Well, I'm thinking online accountability. Maybe if I really write it all down, track everything, I'll get it right.

So feel free to comment on my Summer 2010 Fitness Journal and help achieve my goal: Lose 20 lbs., by September 1, 2010.

Right now I am thinking of using the Flat Belly Family Cookbook to make it easier for the whole family to support the diet. Anyone have any other suggestions?

Let me know!

Friday, June 4, 2010

To Find A Wonder - Jennifer Carson

Here in New Hampshire we have an endless supply of wonderful writers and authors. One of these is Jennifer Carson.

 Her book To Find a Wonder is masterfully crafted and weaves a sweet and powerful story about a squire discovering what it takes to be a knight. Read along as this young squire, named Mortimer, discovers the power of friendship, loyalty, and honor.

To Find A Wonder has been adapted to the stage and can be seen this summer, August 5, 2010 at the New London Barn Playhouse. You can order tickets here.

This summer Jennifer can be found at:
Grantham Library, Grantham, NH June 23rd, 7 pm

Market on the Green, New London, NH, Every Wednesday afternoons, rain or shine!
June 30- September 15th.

Hopkinton Library, Hopkinton, NH most of the Month of July & July 22nd, 6pm

Tattered Pages, Sunapee, NH Sunday, August 1 @ 1 pm

Hay Days at The Fells, Newbury, NH August 14th