Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Fever

Spring. I love that word. It means so many things - a coiled bit of metal, a babbling brook, my favorite season of the year, a surprise movement. . . verb, adjective and noun, it is overworked, but I never tire of it. Yesterday, I did some spring cleaning. . . also some planting for Spring. My spring bulbs are all bursting out of the ground. Of course, there's the spring in my step as another beautiful day unfolds around me. 

My trusty dictionary (Random House Dictionary of the English Language) lists 45 separate definitions for "spring," including to wiggle something loose, to crack or split (as in a boat that springs a leak). 

One of the things I love about "spring" is how compact it is - just one syllable, just one little vowel smooshed between five strong consonants. The past tense is formed by swapping out that little "i" for an "a" or "u." How cool (and irregular) is that?

So yes, I love spring. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Who Am I Kidding?

Who knew that Blogger had so many templates and options to customize? I spent hours just clicking through all of the pics and backgrounds and design templates. And I convinced myself that this time is just as well spent as, say, writing. HA!

On the writing front - read an excellent article in this week's New Yorker by John McPhee, entitled Draft No. 4.  If you can get your hands on the article - read the entire thing. It is wonderful, especially for those of us struggling with self-doubt, self-criticism, and feelings of incompetence and ineptitude.

If you've ever asked yourself, Who am I Kidding?  Then this is for you. I'm having one of those days today, as a matter of fact. Who am I kidding? I ask myself that whenever I see a clunky phrase, a trite sentence, adverbs that I was sure I'd deleted several drafts ago. Where do they come from anyway?

So I am taking John McPhee's advice today.
The unrelenting doubt and discouragement that comes with writing is a part of the process. Whether I believe it every day or not, each draft gets better and gets closer to what I want to share with the world.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday already?

As expected, nothing got done last week. Well, to be precise, no writing took place. College visits, horseback riding, a trip to the Cheesecake Factory - these things happened. I'm looking at the bright side - I know have more experiences to inform my writing. . . particularly my new YA novel.  This new book is about 1/3 completed. It will be a classic horse and girl story - a market that is saturated with great books for horse crazy girls. But, I think my take on the story is new and interesting and I really want to write it.

As for the Board of Dead - it will be sent out to agents. It's ready to go, just needs a last read for typos after my last round of edits.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Vacation!! (At least for the kids)

I should start by saying how much I love having my kids home on vacation. I'm one of those parents that prefers vacation days with the kids than sending them off to school.

That said - why do they have to be off this week? Really? I'm so close to completing my second (or is it my fifth) draft of The Board of Dead. I am ready to put all the pieces back together and send out the queries. I just need a few uninterrupted hours - just like 4 maybe. But it's almost impossible to find 20 minutes without somebody having a question or needing a ride somewhere.

And then there is the older child. The one who turned 16 recently. There will have to be a day of sitting at DMV just to get the learner's permit. Then somebody needs to ride shotgun in those first days of learning to drive. As wonderful as it will be to eventually have another driver in the house. . . .at this point, it's just one more thing I have to add to my day.

And then there is the weather. It is predicted to be 70 degrees or better all week. I can't resist the first warm days of spring. I know what will happen. I'll go out on the deck to fill the dog's water container and then I'll notice some bird seed shells that need sweeping, sticks that fell in yesterday's rain, spots that must be raked, dirt that should be shoveled. A 30 second chore will lead to 2 hours of diddling around outside.  This is what happens on a good day when it's 70 degrees.

When the kids are home on vacation, the entire day will be spent in glorious pursuits that will build memories, but not manuscripts.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1st Wednesday = BOE time

It is the first Wednesday of the month - so guess what that means? Another Board of Ed meeting. I wish I could consider the time spent at these meetings as "research" but alas, in this regard, the meetings I attend are far less interesting than the fictional ones I create.

I think that is a good thing. There is nothing worse for a town than to have interesting board of ed meetings. That is a clear sign of trouble.