Monday, April 12, 2010

Springing Forward into Life

This spring has been a time of evaluation and evolution, both in my writing and life. I continue to learn how to be an adult daughter and sister, a wife (two year anniversary today), to be the kind of friend I'd like to have and now a mother too. But there are new and growing aspects to each role.

My writing is no different. After working with several colleagues from the SCBWI on the first chapters of my fantasy novel, I've realized that I can't dwell on it much more. I have learned so much through it and am continuing to revise with the help of a wonderful critiquer (thanks, Lisa!). But the thought of turning on my computer and trying to again make it better, leaves me depressed and uninspired. Not a good state of mind for any creative work! This book is also a marketing nightmare - Christian fantasy/allegory. Will it sell? While I still believe in this book, I'm not sure that I have the skills or importantly, the name to finish and sell it right now. So it's off to the back burner for you, my dear "Magicless".

My reflections on this book have lead me to realize that I am writing about where I'd like to go and not where I've been. I was enchanted while reading Cornelia Funke's "Thief Lord", as it is set in a place I have been: Venice. She mentioned a character slipping on the wood planks of one of the two bridges across the Grand Canal - something I myself had done! I quickly looked in the back of the book. As I had guessed, Cornelia has visited Venice. All her details might be lost on someone who doesn't know the city, but the reality and it's affect on the story is unmistakable.

With these thoughts, I am starting a new work, again a middle-grade novel, but this time a real story from an unusual period in my childhood. It could be called a collection of memories and events that are real, though that is only a starting place for the fiction. I have a rough outline and first chapter already. How exciting to be launching something new! To steal a few moments on my computer! To be arranging chapters in the shower! To be working out phrases in my head, whatever else may be happening!

I recently read an article about Nancy I. Sander's book "Yes! You Can Learn to How to Write Children's Books, Get Them Published and Build a Successful Writing Career". While I haven't yet read the book (wish list!), the article spoke of dividing writing time into three areas: time for marketing, time for writing what we want and then time for writing what we can sell.

In thinking of this; I've realized that I need to focus more on magazine work, specifically non-fiction. I sent out a story and a word game to a magazine, which has accepted my work in the past. I was surprised to find they were interested in the game, though they didn't think the story was a good match. Does this mean I should spend a little bit of time doing simple games and researching a few non-fiction articles? Hmmm...

So here's to springing-forward into new things and into life and not being stuck in our old thoughts!

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