#AmWriting

I wrote a novel this week.

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Well, most of a novel.

When I decided I wanted to write a book, I knew it would require a lot of dedicated work. Understanding the industry. Connecting with other writers. Striving to improve my writing every single day.

That’s a lot to ask of small children, so I decided to write my first b00k for them. My then six-year-old asked for “a story about a squirrel and a peanut who are best friends.” I’ve spent the last year fleshing out the idea, writing, and then scrapping hundreds of hours of work when I realized the story started in the wrong place.

With the #PitchWars deadline looming, my parents took the girls for a visit four hours away. Grabbing my beat sheets, notes, and the mountain of discarded text, I pounded out 25,000 words in three days.

For reals, y’all.

I’ve spent the rest of the week revising, and am about to do a cold read through to the kids.

Will I make it to the August 3rd deadline?  Yup.

Will it be the best story I can give?  Yup.

Will my kids love it?

That’s the only question that matters.

A Squirrel Walks into a Bar…

You know what’s helpful? When you write a long post about several books you’ve read, then fail to save it and forget to check your site for several months. Five months, apparently.

*blush*

A hundred thousand years ago, when Al Gore had just invented the internet and coding in html was THE.HOTT.NEW.THING I had a blog. And it was so fun! I met people all over the world, and had sorta fans, and maybe kinda one stalker, and people sent me free things to review and asked me to let them advertise on my site and write for their magazines — and I shut it down.

I had a four year old and a newborn, and after a friend died from breast cancer I looked up from my sangria and realized I didn’t want my personal life to be “famous”. I didn’t want my children to grow up under a microscope, with people making memes from their baby pictures to torment them with in high school.

We’ve spent the last five years in anonymity, and I am proud of having the strength to walk away for them.

But.

There is this space. This space that I am trying to decide how to fill. I *do* read kids books, constantly, but apparently am not good at remembering to write the &^^*@%$ reviews.  I write stories, lots of them, even if I am not brave enough to submit them yet. And I have two great (no, FANTASTIC) critique groups on Inked Voices.* I’ve just about completed my first novel manuscript and have submitted it for a paid critique by a real live honest to God editor crap crap what have I done?

So I guess I’m saying I’m busy, but happy, and a bit flakey, but that’s O.K. School starts back in a few weeks and I’ll have the time to focus on myself again. The manuscript is about ready for the first round of revisions and book two has started percolating in the back of my brain. I’ve moved past being afraid to tell people what I do — “Um, I clean a lot and do a lot of crafts” is now a more confident “Um, I clean a lot and mumble mumble I write stories”.

I. WRITE. STORIES.

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And I love it.

 

*Unsolicited recommendation. If you are a writer struggling to find a support/critique group perfect for you, they will hook you up. Pinky swear.