An April Update

Hi friends. I’m here. I’ve been here. Sort of.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Salt Novel
I finished my first draft toward the end of March, and when I say “finished,” I mean “incomplete but as done as I could get it with the energy I had available.” I was just so toast. So I turned it in. And have not really written a lick since then. And … oddly … nor have I missed it. I’m sure the desire will return. But I just worked on TWO different novels for about 20 months straight (and Truest before that), so this month off has been delectable and much-needed. I haven’t even hardly thought about my novel much … except on my long drive to South Dakota yesterday. Then I thought about it lots.

I’m reading a ton actually. But, as you may know, I don’t especially like to review books on my blog unless I really loved them or have lots of thoughts about them I want to share. I went through a slew of books that I don’t think really warranted blog posts. I’m reading When We Collided by Emory Lord right now though, and it’s pretty great so far– though I could spot future darkness in it pretty early on. Vivi– one of the main characters– is a mix of Stargirl and Theodore Finch. So. Maybe you can imagine.

I also read a couple romance novels at the suggestion of a blog I love. They were … okay. A little plotless. (Not that I’m much for plot.) But I think YA is where it’s really happening, folks.

Plus, there are SUCH good books coming out next week. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater and The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh both come out next Tuesday, and they are my most-anticipated books of the year (plus, of course, Melina Marchetta’s book in the fall– but that’s a given!). I got an email today that my copy of The Raven King actually shipped today, so … IT’S LIKE CHRISTMAS IS COMING EARLY. And in April.

Work is good. It’s a season of a lot of events, plus a lot of hard conversations about financial aid. But exciting things– REALLY exciting things– are happening at the university, so it’s fun to be around for it. I’m in South Dakota as I type this, here in Sioux Falls for a week of college fairs. Today’s went rather well, plus I got to see a friend/alumnus who works at one of the schools.

I’ve been so blessed to be invited to a few events in regard to Truest. I was on an author panel for a literacy conference; I was invited to talk to some juniors at Elk River High School who read my novel for their English class (and have to write essays about it– love). See pics below. I’m also going to be sharing with the Walker Library next month and speaking for a career day at a local school. It’s fun to still see people reading my story eight months after its release.




This might seem silly or small, but it’s been such a treasure to spend so much time with friends in the past weeks sans draft. I have the very best ones, and it’s been so good for my heart to engage in long, meaningful conversations with them and to see their faces and to not have to worry about rushing off to work on a manuscript.

Literally wearing six IcyHot patches right now. Haven’t written in a month and still my wrists hurt.

I want to do more. It’s so hard to scrape together the time. But I know that’s also sort of a cop-out excuse. I blogged every day in 2013, which is also when I was get Truest ready for querying. Maybe I need more things to blog about. What do you visit this blog for? What would you like to see more of? Please leave a comment. You don’t know how important it is for this blogger to know there are people out there in the interwebz reading these words.

jackie lea

9 thoughts on “An April Update

  1. Love hearing the behind the scenes of writing!
    And these check ins are great!
    Also, have you tried dictation to save those wrists?
    If you press the function key on a mac in a word program twice,
    you can dictate!
    (Fn Fn)
    It’s kind of fun and I’ve found it to do a great job!

    I’m going to do more blogging too;
    basically revamping my site to include more actionable tips for writers,
    and I’ll be sharing A LOT of books.
    Bringing the podcast BACK in June as well,
    if I can get all the content ready!

    Keep on keeping on, girl!

    • Dictation doesn’t work for me! It doesn’t fit with how I write … hard to explain, but … yes, I’ve considered it and it just doesn’t work, boo! (I kind of write three words, erase two, write three more, erase all three, etc.)

      I’m hoping that you’ll blog about some great picture books. My little sweeties are super into reading right now, but I need to hear more about good PBs, especially ones that are about DOGS or ones that are REALLY GIRLY (ballerinas and pink, essentially) or REALLY FUNNY (they loved The Book With No Pictures). The oldest is starting to read series chapter books like Ivy & Bean, and I barely know where to direct her … or any of them! I just let them loose at the bookstore. 🙂

  2. I like the “life of a writer” posts, when you treat the blog like a chat with a friend. If blogging isn’t important or urgent, then it’s not a priority, so don’t get down on yourself if you don’t update as much as you’d like. I prefer quality over quantity, but then, I’m an INTP who wouldn’t be able to blog every day to save her life.

    • I love to blog; I just don’t always know what to write about or what people want to read about. 🙂 I want to offer valuable content, but I feel like a lot of things people want to hear about are in the archives!

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