Thursday, April 26, 2012


I've been slow lately. Real slow. Drafting is easier. I can measure drafting (i.e. "I just wrote 2500 words today!"). But I can't measure revising. It's just there. A chapter and then a page and then a paragraph and then a word at a time. No counting. No red-faced, breathless typing. Just reading, making faces, fixing, experimenting and reading some more.

I need some diet coke or chocolate or maybe both. Although, I don't think they go well together.

How do you get through revisions? I need a system. Does anyone have a system? If so, please share!

Also, hypothetically speaking, if I were to come up with a dessert that involved, let's say, chocolate and diet coke, what would it be?

It's just hypothetical.

In case you're wondering, the photo is a representation of the Slow Car Movement. I thought it relevant.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

YA Tour or BUST!

Last night I made my way to A Great Good Place for Books (isn’t that a great name?) in Oakland for a book signing with Stephanie Perkins, Nina LaCour, Gayle Forman, Jess Rothenberg and moderated by Yvonne Prinz.

Ah, yeah. Epic.

I loved listening to their writing processes, learning about working with editors, and a candid discussion on censorship (which Gayle Forman nailed using an analogy that may have involved green peas). Also, the bonus factor: about fifteen teenage boys who thought the YA or Bust tour meant they might see some real ‘busts.’

On later examination we learned they were there for extra credit. But still, what cool teacher gives extra credit for that? And, I bet despite their reluctance in being there, they actually learned a thing or two.

I have a bedside table full of shiny new books and had a fantastic conversation with Gayle Forman, my new writer crush. She was great!

I have realized, as I’ve gotten older, that book signings are my new concerts. I rarely go to concerts anymore, I tend to complain about the noise and not being able to be in bed by ten…but book signings…

They rock!

Monday, April 9, 2012


I’m going to try and broach a topic that I don’t really have the answers for. In fact, I’m hoping that you will. *waves at new followers from Ilima's amazing blog*

When are you ready to let your novel go?

I’ve been doing this for a while now and have yet to even attempt to look for an agent. Of course, that has always been my goal, but I feel like I might never be ready. I write, re-write, polish, get feedback fro crit partners and BETA readers. Agonize. Re-write. Polish. Send out again…. You get the idea.

So when is it ready?

I went to this conference and met Jeff Stone who is the MG author of the Ancestors’ Series. Someone asked him the same question and his response was interesting to me. He said something to the effect that if you are getting different responses from five different people, then take those responses seriously, but—ultimately—go with your gut. But, if you’re getting the same feedback from five different people…well…you’d better listen.

So I recently had some experience with this. At our Critique Writing Retreat my crit partners sat me down and, very lovingly, had an intervention about my first chapter. My first chapter that I had re-written, tightened and was married to. I fought back, grasping at straws, amazing first sentences and witty dialogue, but eventually, I realized they were right. And the fact that all of them had the same advice, well, I knew I’d better listen.

So I did.

I re-wrote.

And it’s better. And this week, I’m getting ready to let my novel go.

But my question to you is: How do you know when your novel is ready?