Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Funny Little Moment in Writing

Well, the revision is ongoing. Mz. SuperFabulous performed the re-read and gave me my marching papers to clear up one bit of plot and, more importantly, weave a thread through the tapestry of the story to create more of a connection between a couple main characters. By hook or by crook, this project is heading out to the awaiting agents by the weekend. I’m sure I will be fiddling with it for a while, but this not-so-baby bird has a date with destiny.

But I have another writing moment to share that occurred while making my favorite wheat bread (really, it is the best thing since the invention of words). I had my laptop situated happily on the counter so that I could catch up with the TV shows I both love and neglect. And while watching the May 13th episode of Grey’s Anatomy, a specific story line grabbed me (and no it didn’t involve the inner angsty drama among the relationship-diseased main characters). The plot involved a teenaged patient with a condition for which her family was about to commit her. I was riveted by the plot of the story, but mostly by the fantastic actress. After finishing the show and continuing to be impressed, I watched that story line again, and again. And it finally struck me. The thing I was connecting with is that the actress Demi Lovato is a living, breathing version of a character from one of my series of books. She could walk in and be my character. The moment made me smile and also made me wonder if you have found the person who could so beautifully live your words.

Take a look at her talent here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bad News

I was going to post a blog I'd already written, but want to take a moment to share some bad news. I just heard tonight that a wonderful young man I had the privilege to know when I was a teacher has died. My heart is absolutely wrecked. He had just graduated college and was going to become a teacher. Life feels too fragile, and altogether wrong. His mom should not have to bury her son. And the world needs more of the good ones, not less. And DJ Tilche was one of the good ones. His easy smile I will never forget.

So, please take a moment to send supportive vibes and/or say a prayer for his family, his stellar mom especially. I can't even imagine the depth of what she's feeling, but I hope she knows all the lives DJ touched were better for that gift, and we will never forget him.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Revision Playdate Weekend

So, I indulged. I did. And it felt better than eating two tons of chocolate without gaining a pound. My revision and I had quite a playdate this weekend. And I had a funny moment, I thought I’d share. On Saturday, after working on my revision for eleven hours, I looked at the clock and said, “Oh, good, I can get in another five hours.” And I laughed. This is how we know we’re doing what makes us happy, when we can work for sixteen hours straight and still love what we’re doing and feel a little slighted that we eventually have to sleep. Sunday, I had another wonderful day (unfortunately, the lawn forced me to mow it, so I did have to stop for a while). Weekend playdate total: 27 hours. I’m getting closer to sending the revision off to Mz. SuperFabulous for a read through before I send it to a couple agents who have been wonderfully patient in waiting for it.

Revision feels like a baneful word to writers. It means our initial effort didn’t rock the universe and leave the masses cheering for us, while bowing in awe. That can be tough to take, but, while delighting in my playdate, I came to think about the word revision in a different way, taking poetic license with the definition.

Vision means (according to my computer New Oxford American Dictionary) “an experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition.” That’s the definition that equates most to the way stories play out in my head. So, re-vision means going back into that trance and experiencing the story again. This weekend, I laughed with my characters and cried with their losses. I marveled at the new direction (that became much more expansive than I’d thought... leading to chopping about 150 pages and writing 125 more). And as I read through it now, I love it and I’m so glad I took the chance to shake up a bunch of words and live another story.

Quote for the Day from The Princess Bride

“You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Writer I Am Now or Agents Know Stuff

So, I’m elbow deep into this revision (which has turned out to be much larger than originally intended) and I find myself thinking deep things. Go figure. You see, when I started marketing this project, I truly believed it was ready, finished, and exactly the story I wanted to tell. And now, as I'm going through it, altering plot, ramping up the pace, and hopefully making my characters easier to connect with, I’ve had moments in which I judged myself for not seeing all these items sooner. But then I realized something: the writer I was last year is not the writer I am now. This revision is proof of my evolution as a writer (and that I have the good sense to take the advice of agents as well as writer friends). This is also proof that agents know stuff. They knew my story wasn’t ready then, but here’s hoping I’ve done enough work to change their minds.

Back to revising. :)

Quote for the Day from The Princess Bride

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”