Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harry Potter Sightings, Plotting the Novel Update

Books in the hands of the 7th/8th graders when E and I arrived at our homeroom in Korean Culture Camp on Monday: Three copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, one of Wendy Mass' most recent book, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life.

Update on the Plotting the Novel class I'm taking from Writers on the Net: It's kicking my butt--but in a good way. Plotting is a concept I wish I'd spent more time exploring while pursuing my MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College. Unfortunately, I was having so much fun learning about and experimenting with other aspects of craft that I ran out of time.

Current read (now that my daughter is done with it): Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I See Dead Computers...

Quick updates from a borrowed computer:

1. Okay, so my computer isn't dead yet, but it's close (keeps going all blue screen on me.) The Geek Squad has it...along with all my files. Here's hoping the fix will be quick and painless with no lost data.

2. Korean Culture Camp is this week with the younger girls, which means my week's pretty much shot in terms of creative output. Hoping I won't be too tired tonight to sign onto the Plotting the Novel class with Writers on the Net.

3. I'll be taking a hiatus of sorts for the next few weeks; so if I don't get around to posting as often, I'm likely cramming for class, doing end of summer activities with the girls, or begging the Geek Squad to be nice to my computer.


edited to add: So glad I backed up recently.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Storymapping Today

Day four of Plotting the Novel from and already I'm seeing ways I can strengthen KM during my most recent re-vision. On tap for today: refining my storymap in light of Dennis' comments.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Writing from the Trenches, and Other Updates

E's fever broke late last week thanks to better living through chemistry. Playing major catch-up on office work, housework, writing, reading, email, you name it. Continuing to make positive headway through my latest rewrite of KM thanks to my Summer Writing Experiment. My online class, Plotting the Novel Workshop, begins tomorrow. The grapevine says this class is kick butt. Looking forward to the built-in deadlines, and the wisdom I can glean from it.

Current reads: Chasing the Falconers by Gordan Korman and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eight Pages Plus, and a Couple of Sick Days (at least)

E's sick. Symptoms include a HIGH fever (nearly 103 while alternating Motrin and Tylenol), cough, body aches, sore throat, and general malaise. Strep test came back negative. Doctor S diagnosed a sinus infection. Staying low today, and praying for the antibiotics to kick in so the fever finally breaks. Not certain when I'll have the opportunity to sit down to write today, or what condition my brain will be in when I do. Until then, I'm living off the fumes of yesterday's kick-ass writing day. If my sleep-deprived brain remembers right, I logged some eight pages of creative before calling it quits.

Current read: Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich. A welcome escape.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Celebration and A Must-Read

A celebration is in order for critique group member J. Turns out that a query to agent Stephen Fraser sent a mere three weeks ago netted a request for the entire novel. Yay, J! We never doubted your story would get noticed. Now, address that envelope and send the rest of it out!

On a personal note: J handed me a copy of my book at critique group yesterday. Its mine to keep, hold, and read until my own copies arrive. Made my way through much of the book this am. I am awed and inspired by the women represented in the pages. Somehow, despite the many challenges they face as they raise and love their own special needs children, they manage to summon the strength, honesty, humor, and grace they need to survive another day, another week, another year. I'm humbled and truly honored to be a part of such a moving and powerful collection.

My must-read for this weekend: Janet Evanovich's latest Stephanie Plum novel, Lean Mean Thirteen. Few authors write so well that I'm in danger of burning dinner because I forget something's on the stove when I'm reading. Evanovich is one of them.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Crazy Week, Fourth of July, and Family Stories

Pressed send recently on the last of my submissions to critique group before we meet Thursday. I'm encouraged that thanks to my Summer Writing Experiment, I continue to make forward progress on KM. (I've logged some 75 pages since beginning this summer's o-dark thirty writing routine.) The finalized chapters are churning out slower than that, but the key here is that the progress is positive.

Finishing up loose ends this morning before we leave to visit my relatives for the Fourth. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, and, more importantly, staying long enough in one place to have a more substantive visit than, "So, how have you been? How are your kids doing? What have you been up to?" No stories in those answers, just hints of stories that you might explore if you only had the time.

Happy Fourth of July.