Monday, September 28, 2009


This morning I woke up and went to the gym and came home and worked on my novel for two hours. It is sort of an exciting way to start the day since I have been saving my writing for later in the day. Of course now I wonder what I will do with the rest of my day but I guess that is what the dishes are for.
I have been trying to use note cards to write little things about my characters so last night before I went to bed I looked at some of my note cards to see where I was heading today with my writing. I have actually read this in different writing books, that it is a good idea to check in with things at night so the next day you know where you are headed.
So I feel like I have accomplished something today. Like I have taken a step in the right direction as far as writing goes. We'll see if I can keep it up though the week.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Should I buy this?

Every year I go out like a good aspiring children's author and buy The Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market and every year it seems like there are fewer publishers open to submissions. It seems like there are less listings for magazines and publishers and more tips and inspiring stories.
With my SCBWI membership I feel like I get the same listings.
Then there is this magical thing known as Internet. So if I want to know the submission policy of a certain magazine I will just go to the website and find the most up to date info.
Then there is this fact. My second published story, the first one I actually got paid for, is being published by a Sunday School magazine that I did not find through either of these resources but through a recommendation from my writing group.
So here I am with a gift card to Barnes and Noble burning a hole in my pocket because I can't decide if I would rather buy this book that I feel like I "should" buy or buy a fiction book where I will read beautiful writing and learn about character and plot through reading.
There is my dilemma.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

So much procrastination, so little time

This week was week two of my novel writing class. I also happen to be off work for a few weeks, thank goodness for PTOP. So with a week off work I should have done an amazing amount of novel writing for my class. I think I met my goal but I am still putting stuff I wrote in my spiral bound notebook into my MacBook.
But I notice that I do an amazing amount of procrastination. My procrastination for some reason takes the form of cleaning. So all the sudden the dishes need cleaning, the floor needs to be Swiffered, and the laundry needs to be done. I admit that laundry doing is a task that I can multi task but not so with Swiffering or dish doing.
Finally I decided that I would have better luck at the coffee shop and was very pleased with the amount that I wrote.
I work at night. I hear about the people in my class who wake up and write first thing in the morning and as much as I would love to do that I need to run or bike or work out before I start trying to form ideas on a page. Maybe my fellow writers are just naturally thin and don't have to worry about the gym but for me I know that I will write during the day, sometime. If I don't get myself to the gym first thing in the morning it isn't going to happen.
So one night I felt like a kid who had not eaten her vegetables as I sat at the table at 9 p.m. working on my novel. The next night I saved my novel writing for after the kid I was baby sitting went to bed. The next night I did a little better and was working on my novel in the late afternoon/evening and by Friday I had the good sense to move my novel writing to the coffee shop.
One thing I am trying to do is set a writing schedule I can stick to. I would never let anything come between me and my workout or me and my afternoon nap but sometimes I let things get between me and a regular writing schedule.
Then I think maybe I'm being too hard on myself. I mean I write everyday and I get it done even if I get it done waiting for my doctors appointment or my oil change or whatever.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Take a look, it's in a book..

When I tell people that I am a writer and that I want to write children's stories people will tell me about their connection to children's books.
Recently I was working on a show at work and I told the Bass player about my writing classes and he told me about his friend E.B. Lewis. It turns out that E.B. Lewis was going to use Cliff's daughter as the kid for the illustrations in Down the Road by Alice Schertle. The publisher wanted a younger kid but he still used Cliff and his wife as the parents. It was totally cool to open a picture book and see a familiar face in the pages.
All this time I had been being wardrobe girl to someone else with a connection to children's books. It turns out Tina, the woman playing Ella Fitzgerald, is the singer of the Reading Rainbow song. So at the closing night party all of us 30 year olds gathered round to hear a live and in person version of the Reading Rainbow song.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Youngest

I took my first class at The Loft what feels like ages ago. It was really seven years ago. The class was at night. It was a YA novel writing class.
I started taking classes at the Loft again two years ago and I tend to take a lot of day classes because I work at nights and on the weekends. So mid morning or mid day classes are perfect for me.
This semester the perfect class just happened to fall on a Monday night, my night off, so I decided to go for it.
While my daytime classes seem full of moms and retirees my evening class seems to be 50 % young hipsters. I have to say that even though some of the moms in my daytime classes are right around my age I still feel like the "youngest" because I don't have kids. I am footloose and fancy free. I don't have demands on my free time when I want to write. I don't even have a "grown up" type job in an office. My procrastination is my own thing.
Looking at my evening class I don't feel like the "youngest" any more. I look at some of writers who are probably the same age I was seven years ago and I remember still feeling like the youngest in my writing classes then. I remember I wanted to write for teens or young people but I didn't know what I wanted to write.
Now I feel like I have more confidence. I have a story idea with legs. I know more about character and plot and my process as a writer. I'm really excited about this class. Even if it means I don't feel like the youngest anymore.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rufus on the Web

Last fall I took a class at The Loft called The ABC's of Writing for Children. During the class we worked on one children's story for twelve weeks. At the end of the class we were encouraged to submit our stories and after a couple tries my story from class, Rufus on the Loose found a home at Stories for Children Magazine.
Stories for Children is an online magazine. The current month is available online and past months are available for download.
Here is a link to my story Rufus on the Loose. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Dream interpretation

Last night I dreamed my car got stolen. I have actually had this dream before but usually I have it when I go home to visit my Mom. How this dream usually goes is that I look out the window and see people stealing my car. I try to yell at them to stop but no words come out of my mouth so they steal my car.
Today I thought that maybe there was some deeper meaning to this dream so I Google "dreams, stolen car"
This is where I learn that stolen car dreams can mean loss of identity, loss of job or failure in relationships. This makes me think about why I would have this dream.
Earlier this summer I pulled a muscle in my shoulder during a workout. I recently started sewing part time at my old job for a few weeks but the shoulder is rebelling. This makes me feel weak and wimpy as I try to figure out how I'm going to work around it and if I'm just going to have to quit the second job.
Also I'm fairly strong and into fitness and I think I define myself by my strength. I sometimes don't think I would have the confidence to handle the rejection that comes with writing if it wasn't for running, biking, swimming and kettlebells. The good news is that I have been running more as a result of my shoulder hurting.
Maybe I am feeling a little loss of identity as I deal with my new wimpy self and my inability to sew right now. I can still do my normal job but with the economy being so slow I have been trying to find ways to make more money.
I know that if I am going to write that I can't work two jobs and that my stitching job will probably be the one that falls by the wayside. I have known that for a while and have tried to quit the stitching job for two years but I keep getting sucked back in. So even though I guess I'm having anxiety dreams about my changing identity I should just embrace it.