Archive for May, 2011

Stealing Time

May 31, 2011

Today, I stole an hour to write. Usually, I manage to write about fifteen hours a week. I haven’t even managed to steal fifteen minutes a day in the past week and half. I’ve been helping my oldest get settled in Chicago for her first real job after graduating from college and attending the various celebrations as my youngest graduates from high school. Yesterday, I drove my middle child to an internship with GM down in Indiana. But at some point after June 4th, I’ll be able to start writing again.

Putting in the Miles

May 21, 2011

When my son started running long distance, his coach said something pretty close to the following:  “Sprinters are born, but you can be successful in long distance if you put in the miles.”  (Now, of course, the elite long distance runners are probably also born, but I’m guessing that even they need to put in some serious miles before they can fully realize that there’s something special going on.)  Yesterday, as I watched my son qualify for state in the 1600 meters with a time of 4:27 at the end of his senior year, I couldn’t help but think back to those words from his coach.   

Writing can be like that. There are born storytellers out there like Robin McKinley and Megan Whalen Turner, who essentially sold their first books to the first editor who saw them.  I’m not saying that they don’t work at their craft. They do!  World class sprinters lift weights, run repeats, and spend hours perfecting their starts.    But determined people who are willing to put in the miles with their writing can be successful.

Over 8000 Words on Portrait

May 16, 2011

I didn’t make much progress today as I clicked through more pictures of the Domomites, but I did make it over 8000 words.  Here’s a photo of the Sassolungo group. While my character didn’t get this close to these mountains, other people in her group did. I’m hoping to pick up the pace tomorrow.

Keystone State Reading Association

May 13, 2011

SUSPECT was one of ten books picked for the High School KSRA 2011 YA book award .  Students can vote on their favorite title as long as they’ve read at least four of the following books:  

      Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins, Charlesbridge     

     Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Simon and Schuster

      Five Flavors of Dumb by John Antony, Dial

      Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel, Scholastic

      Jump by Elisa Lynn Carbone, Viking

     The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork, A.A. Levine

      The Miracle Stealer by Neil Connelly, A.A. Levine, $17.99

      Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Mabery, Simon and Schuster, $17.99

     Suspect by Kristin Wolden Nitz, Peachtree, $16.95

    Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler, Viking

Over 7000 Words

May 5, 2011

It felt like I was back to my old plodding ways.  On April 19th, I was at 5600 words. Yesterday, I was hardly 1000 words further along as I struggled  to get my character from Merano to the Alpe di Siusi–or as she’d say from Meran to the Seiser Alm.  (Elise has a connection to the German population instead of the Italian one.) 

I have a difficult enough time getting my characters down a hallway.  This translocation included a walking, a bus, a train and the Seiser Alm Bahn cable car.  And I didn’t feel like just dropping her on the alpine meadow because she really did have to think through her decision to go there.  The other thing slowing me down as been the research as I figure out how to get my character around.  For example, they didn’t have the cable car system in place when we lived there.  So I had to figure out where the base station was and so on.  While I was clicking around the general area, I decided that I may as well pick out a nice place for Elise and her classmates to stay.  The place I found in Kastelruth is just a bit too gorgeous, but I think that I can tone down the decore to fit the budget and make it work.

But today I boosted up and over 7100 words thanks to a writing session devoted almost exclusively to dialogue.  In fact, I didn’t get the whole thing transcribed, so I could be even higher in another 10 hours.  But then of course, I’m going to have to move my characters around the Seiser Alm.  More pictures?  Poor me!   (Click a few of my links and you’ll see what I mean.)