Monday, June 27, 2011

The New Cove

In my last house I had an office all to myself for writing. I dubbed it "The Scribblers Cove" and named my group blog after it. But in my new house I've had to commandeer a corner of the master bedroom.

I like this arrangement better than what I had before. There's a lock on the door, lots of sunny windows, and if I need to I can spread reference materials all over the bed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

What I Would Like to be 20 Years from Now

My mom has been going through a lot of old school papers she saved from when I was a kid. She found an assignment I wrote in 6th grade called What I Would Like to be 20 Years from Now.

Twenty years from now I would like to be a mother of three girls and a baby boy living in Salt Lake City. I would like to have taught school before I had children.

I would also like to be an author of children's fiction books. I'd like to sew in my spare time and raise fish like my mother. I want my children to have a perfect childhood like I did.

I want my house to have three small bedrooms, a master bedroom, and a guest room, livingroom, and kitchen. I would use the guestroom for plants, fish, and a piano. I want to have written a few songs and be a piano teacher.

That was a little over twenty years ago. Since then I've had five children (one girl and four boys), I've written a few songs, I've been a piano teacher, taught college algebra, and that last paragraph just about describes my house except there's one less bedroom, the fish are in the kitchen, and instead of being in Salt Lake City, it's in Laie, Hawaii.

What gets me is that middle paragraph. It's one thing to claim I've always wanted to be a children's author, another thing to see the evidence. That's one big dream I'm still chasing. So here's my long-overdue What I Would Like to be 20 MORE Years from Now:

Twenty years from now I would like to be living in Laie, Hawaii with ten grandchildren, at least that many published books to my name, and more on the way (both books and grandchildren). I would like to be teaching school, playing the harp, going to the beach, and writing life histories for my family in my spare time. I hope to be a perfect grandma, just like my mom.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pretty Colors

In a recent video conference, author Kathleen Duey told the Hawaii chapter of SCBWI that revision is to re-envision. To see the story in a whole new way.

With that in mind, I'm trying to take a fresh look at my current project with a new outlining method. Okay, yes, I know, outlining is boring. But this method uses pretty colors. Ooooo!

First, I wrote a short synopsis of each chapter. Then I went through and colored the following things:


And one more thing- I only colored the main character's problems, plans, decisions, and solutions. In looking over my outline, I found out that a lot of the things I thought were important to the overall story were not important to the main character's personal story. I wasn't letting him make enough plans and decisions. Too often someone else took action or solved problems. Dread! I had a passive character.

Can't allow that sort of thing! I'll be sure and put him to work in the next draft.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thunderstorm for Breakfast

We had a thunderstorm for breakfast this morning. Rain roared down from a dark sky. I was glad I'd been able to get the hot cereal to boil before the power went out.

"My brain isn't scared, but my body's overreacting," my eleven-year-old said as I served him some cocoa.

"Really?" I leaned across the table. Poor kid has a writer for a mom. "Tell me about it. How does it feel?"

"Well, my heart is pounding insanely. And my fingers are shaking insanely."

Lightning. Thunder. The lights flickered.

"And my stomach feels cold."

"That's great!" I said. "Beautiful! Thank-you!"

I guess I should be more sympathetic.