On the writing front …

I thought I’d give you all a little update on what I’ve been up to, creativity-wise.writer

I just attended a children’s and YA writing conference.  It was held right here in Minneapolis, so I thought I’d take advantage of its being local, and I’m so glad I did.  The keynote speakers (husband-and-wife team David Small and Sarah Stewart spoke on Saturday, and Donna Bray of Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins spoke on Sunday) were all absolutely incredible.  I also attended four classes, including one on Sex and YA Literature, which I think I’m going to blog about soon.

I have a draft of my novel that is ready for line edits.  I will be working with Ben again, the same editor I’ve been working with since last Christmas.  At the time, I blogged about how risky it was for me to purchase that mentorship, but I am so glad to report that it was MORE than worth it!

I am in the middle of writing a short story.  It’s about four teenaged wards of the state living in hospice care.  Morbid much?  But I feel very invested in these thirteen pages, very passionate about these four friends who have no one but each other as their time is running out.  My writing group is helping me with the next draft, and I’m hoping to enter it into a contest before the month is over.

I started another new short story just this week.  This one is about two half-sisters, Fightest and Lou, and, in the words of Judy Hougen, I’m writing till I know.

I am trying my hand at short works of poetry and flash fiction.  It’s helping me to keep limber while I wait to dive back into novel work.

I have put hours upon hours of research into creating a list of agents to query.  My list is about 80 deep.  I am so hoping that someone in that group will take an interest in my manuscript– but who knows?  No matter what, I will not stop writing.

I have been researching hooks and re-drafting my query letter like crazy.  The query letter is proving to be more difficult than writing the novel itself– and far less enjoyable.  The “hook” is a short sentence that is intended to pique the interest of the reader; it’s usually the tagline on the front of the novel.  I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anything more difficult to write.  

Plus blogging, always blogging …

6 thoughts on “On the writing front …

  1. Jackie, do you sleep? Seriously, I am so impressed by your output! How do you do all this and work a full time job? Can you share you schedule, what you feel comfortable sharing? I love learning how people manage their writing time. I don’t seem to be doing so good.

    • Thanks, Tina! I’m definitely DRIVEN to write. I make it a big priority in my week, that’s for sure.

      I get up and get ready in an embarrassingly short amount of time. Then I work from 8-4:30. I usually rest for a while, eat dinner, spend time with friends, etc. for a while after work is over, and then I try to write from about 8-midnight. I fall asleep between 12:30-1 to an audiobook, so I get some reading in as well. I also listen to audiobooks while driving and exercising; otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to read nearly as much.

      I’m a bit of a hermit during the week, to be honest. I usually only have plans with friends a couple times during the week, and maybe 1-2 times over the weekend.

      Weekends I get a lot of writing done too. My roomie is getting married in August, and she’s been so busy that I have a LOT of time to myself these days. I just dig in, and I always have a list of goals. I look at it almost every day, going through it, and trying to work on as many of those items as possible.

      I probably sound a little insane, but SOMEHOW I do manage to maintain some incredibly close and beautiful relationships (people who are very understanding of my writing needs!) and I probably take 4-5 naps each week. Long naps on Fri, Sat, and Sun, as well as maybe one other during the week. That helps since my sleep at night isn’t always the best. I lie awake for a long time.

      Anyway, that’s a long answer. But yes, I try to write every single day, and my evening sleep is usually what suffers. It also helps that I love it. Writing is what I WANT to do with my time, so I’m always eager for a night at home with my laptop.

  2. Pingback: A Fun Writing Update for My Blog Readers | Lights All Around

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