Monday, August 31, 2009

In the Mirror of My Grandson

This morning while I was checking email, catching up on blogs, and playing solitaire, my grandson was working at the task of writing a page of ones. You would think his mother had sentenced him to a life of hard labor. My daughter has tried everything to motivate him and keep him on task. You name it, she's tried it. He works for a while then disappears into the land of imagination.

Watching him, I have on several occasions had to ask myself if the child has a attentional problem. Not. As a psychologist and a child specialist I observed and screened for the disorder. My concern was not so much that the disoder might be present, but more if it is a factor, then what we are asking him to do is beyond his control and he needs our help.

He doesn't have an attentional problem but an intentional one. He says, Nana, I don't want to write my ones. I want to go outside and play. Boy do I understand that one. I don't want to write. I want to call my friends, play solitaire, read books, watch television. Neither of these things is necessarily a problem except when I find myself doing either one of them for huge chunks of time and not writing even one sentence.

My grandson and I have so much in common when it comes to Intensional Deficit Disorder. So I have to work hard to battle IDD and get my work done, him too. It won't be easy for either of us but we'll try.

Anybody else out there with IDD?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Revision, Revision

I've been working on a near final revision. It's complete and on it's way. I sent it to a reader and am anxiously awaiting her comments. I'm dying to see what she thinks works and doesn't work.

I remember when I first started writing. All I wanted a reader to do was to tell me how wonderful they thought the ms was and that somehow they were going to make sure I got it published. Geesh. Today it's all about telling an unforgettable story, carrying the reader on a journey that they never want to end. I'm working on getting there one line at a time and I'm getting closer.

I've been reading Savvy by Ingrid Law. It is wonderfully captivating. I can see how she earned the Newberry Honor. My end goal is to be able to transport my readers to that book's world. I want them to become so engrossed that when they look up from the page they're shocked to find themselves someplace else. Reading Savvy I experienced that level of writing and I won't quit until I get there.

I'm curious, what's your goal as a writer?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I've been away for a while. Not really gone anywhere, but working on another revision of an historical novel. It consumed just about every waking moment. It's now finished. I handed over to someone that is well read and very discerning. She has never read any part of it and knows nothing about the story. So it's a cold read. I'm really nervous about what she thinks and what needs to improve (some more).

I read on blogs about beta readers and never thought to do it myself. Why? Who knows? Sometimes I can be a bit thick about these things. But today I am aiming for the stars, and the only way to get there is to revise and rewrite.

I'm shocked at how tired I am having just finished that last revision. I feel like there are no words left in me. It better not last too long, I have other projects to get going on. I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into them. I just wish I had a little more energy. I'm giving myself to the end of the week to rest, then energy or no I'm going back at it.

I absolutely love writing. I love the creation of story in my mind. I love how it churns and grows until I have an idea of  what the story is, where it's is going, who the main character is, and their particular strengths and weaknesses. Then there's the part when the characters begin speaking in my head. These are the things that keep me at it.

What are your favorite things about writing?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Almost Home

I've been at the SCBWI Summer Conference. Actually, I'm still here. The conference is over, but I don't leave until tomorrow. I thought I would be able to blog about what was happening and what I was doing, but I was exhausted at the end of each day. So much to hear and do.

This year's presenters were AWESOME. Sherman Alexe, Kathleen Deuy, Ingrid Law, Dan Yaccarino, Richard Peck and many more presented. Each one was more mesmerizing and inspiring than the last. Then there were the editors and agents presenting and inviting submissions. I can't wait to get home and get to work. Man am I stoked.

I had a sample critiqued by Elizabeth Law of Egmont USA and she likes my writing! That is the second senior editor from a significant house that likes my writing. Now all I have to do is find one of them that likes the stories I create. A bit of a challenge, but I'm up for it.

I love coming to this conference, I get so much out of it. I highly recommend attending to anyone that writes or illustrates for children, from picture books to young adult. It is completely worth the money and time. I can't think of anything that could add more to your writing career, except maybe a contract and high book sales.

There is so much more I can tell you. Unfortunately, I am running out of steam. My brain is completely worn out. So I'll post again when I get home.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Off to the Conference

I'm off to the SCBWI conference. I'm so jazzed I can't wait. This will be my second year attending the full weekend.

Last year I had a manuscript critiqued by none other than David Gale of Simon and Schuster. That was awesome. In that short session I learned so much and got a wonderful shot in the arm about my writing. He liked it. Now I have to write the novel that's going to do more than get noticed. I want it to get picked up. Not sure how to do that, but I will keep working on in until I succeed.

Last week I did the unthinkable. I retired. After a twenty year career in psychology, I was ready for a change. Writing. To be honest, I'm not sure if I can do it, but I'm determined to give it my best shot. Things like attending conferences and worksops keep me going.

I wonder who I'll meet this year. Last year I met really interesting people from all over the globe. I am really excited and hoping to meet and build relationships with wonderful writers. I will try to keep you posted on what I encounter. Post to you soon.