Monday, December 31, 2012

Reflections and Resolutions

I didn't start this year with any resolutions other than getting healthy and trying to get my life back to normal. Well, as normal as possible with a little person. So I don't have a handy list of goals to look at and check off.  But I thought it might be nice to see what I have accomplished this year - writing-wise - so I can feel puffed up and happy about myself.  And create a list of goals to look back at this time next year.


1. I took the leap into contests with EX-DRAMA QUEEN, and started querying again. Lots of partial and full requests, and even an R&R.  I stopped querying for the holidays, but am going to jump in again soon.

2. I finished drafting and revising DON'T FALL DOWN. I have a query letter I'm happy with (or so I think, anyway), and I've started making a list of agents to query. I entered the Baker's Dozen contest with this manuscript, got in, and received bids. It also won an award at a conference I went to this past September. I feel really good about this book, and I'm excited to send it out into the world and see what happens.

3. I attempted NaNoWriMo for the *ahem*sixth*ahem* year. Key word is attempted. I never "win" - but I have 20,000ish words I didn't have before November on a new WIP. I enjoyed writing it, and I'm eager to finish the draft by spring.

4. Twitter! I re-found Twitter and jumped in feet first. It's the best thing I've done for my writing and my sanity since I don't even know when. I've met so many friendly, helpful, funny people - writers, agents, bloggers. I love you all! I also have some awesome new critique partners and beta readers, all from Twitter and the contests I found through Twitter.

5.  Conferences and such...I went to a plot workshop in April with the amazing Cheryl Klein, editor with Arthur Levine. She changed the way I revise. I feel SO much more organized with my revisions than I did before I went to her workshop. I also went to the SCBWI Midsouth Conference in September, where I reconnected with some amazing semi-local writers and won an award! Wins all around there.

6.  Morning writing. Through Twitter, I found a small group of writers who drag themselves out of bed at the godawful hour of 5 a.m. And I joined them (mostly. sometimes I'm lazy.).  I discovered I'm very productive first thing in the morning, and I loved having time specifically devoted to writing. #5amwritersclub - you guys are the best!


1. Query, query, query my two finished manuscripts.

2. Enter DON'T FALL DOWN in more contests.

3. Have new WIP in shape for querying by fall (unless, you know, I don't have to send queries any more because I'm represented by an awesome agent).

4. Outline and research crazy new idea for a YA historical. (Brain: You write MG Contemporary - what are you thinking?? Romantic Writer's Heart: But it's a good idea...and there's kissing! Brain: You are insane. Heart: I know that...)

5. Go to two conferences and/or workshops.

6.  See my awesome critique partners and friends land agents and book deals. Oh wait - I don't have any control over that, do I?

7.  Keep writing!

I'm sure I could keep adding to this list, but I need to get Little E up from her nap or she'll never go to sleep later.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Whee, I got tagged! Awesome YA/MG writer Veronica Bartles tagged me for The Next Big Thing.
I'm in the mood to talk about my newest WIP (a hopefully funny, kind-of-adventure MG), so here you go...

What is the working title of your book?

Knitting Sweaters for Dogs.  (Yes, seriously. Yes, I know I suck at titles. Yes, I will think of a better one later - like when I have a complete first draft.)

Where did the idea come from for your book?

At the SCBWI Midsouth Fall Conference this year, keynote speaker Dan Yaccarino offered some of the simplest, most helpful advice about choosing what to write: "Write what you're interested in." As I sat in my uncomfortable conference room chair, I realized I already do this. I loved being in plays as a kid (and still love theater), so Ex-Drama Queen.  I love figure skating, so Don't Fall Down.
What else am I interested in?  Travel, especially road-trip-style travel. Last year, I happened upon a ton of travel blogs written by families who live full-time in an RV. I was fascinated.  How do they do school? What about mail? How do they pay bills? How do they not kill each other living in a space smaller than a NYC apartment?  And Knitting Sweaters for Dogs was born.  (*cue heavenly music*)

What genre does your book fall under?

MG Contemporary, with some humor and a bit of adventure tossed in.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Um. Huh. No idea. Let me think...

Maya (MC) - a young Candace Cameron (yes, I'm dating myself here)

Bug (Maya's little sis) - a really young Alyson Hannigan

Adalie - a young Emma Stone

Mom - not a clue.  This is really hard!

Dad - an older Ashton Kutcher
Yeah, I didn't do so well with that question. 

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

12 year old Maya's parents move the family into an RV to travel the country - and then go missing.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I love this question. It makes finding an agent sound so simple.  HAHA. But yes, am hoping for an agent.

How long did it take for you to write the first draft of your manuscript?'s not finished yet. I got to the halfway point during NaNoWriMo.  Plan on digging in again in January.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See the answer to "Where did the idea come from for your book?"

What else about your book might pique a reader's interest?

It's funny, I hope! :)