Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Writing Dates

I'm lucky enough to have friend and fellow teen author Jenny Han in town this week. Right now we're sitting at my dining room table hacking away at our respective manuscripts. We type, we drink tea, we stop and toss an idea or two at each other, and go back to typing.

Sometimes with writing dates progress appears slower than when working alone, but I find that the companionship, the sounding board, and the shared energy of working WITH someone, even if you're not working on the same project, more than makes up for it. One of the few things I miss about having an office job is having colleagues to make the work go a little faster.

So yesterday and today, I have a colleague. And, so far, a bunch of new pages in my manuscript and a clearer idea of what I want the climactic scene to be.

(Also a toddler running around asking for more Elmo's World, but let's ignore that, shall we?)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Something for the Mom-Writers

When I'm having a week where I can't get enough writing done, or I'm completely distracted by toddler antics, toddler illness, pregnancy insomnia, and broken garbage disposals, among other things, I read this quote from Elizabeth Berg's Escaping Into the Open, and I feel better.

When you have young children, and you are the primary caretaker, I think they must come first. If they don't, I think it will hurt both of you. This is not to say that you should put your writing aside when you have children; rather, it is to encourage you to work around their schedule as much as you can...

In order not to cheat yourself, you have to make writing a high priority... But you have to live the rest of your life, too; you have to allow room for all that makes you you, for all that feeds you. In my mind, being more than a writer, means you're more of a writer.
My hats off to other writers who are also full-time moms to young children and manage to get a little work done everyday. I shoot for four days of writing a week, and usually do it. But sometimes life happens and nothing gets done, and then I feel guilty, when really I shouldn't bother feeling that way. Because I will never make the choice of writing over caring for my sniffly daughter, or taking her to get a balloon on a day that she really, realllllly wants one, or lying on the living room floor while she gives me a pedicure with a crayon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What I'm reading now

I always like to have a good stack of books on my bedside table. Here's what I'm reading now:

Sophie Simon Solves Them All by Lisa Graff - Chapter book about an 8-yr-old genius who solves her classmates' problems.

Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes by Lisa Greenwald - MG novel about three best friends and their mission to spread a little community love on a snowy Valentine's Day in NYC.

Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson - The sequel to Chains, one of my favorite reads last year!

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly - A new contemporary/historical fiction YA about how a teen in today's Brooklyn finds the diary of a girl living in Paris during the French Revolution, and the effect it has on her.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mother/Daughter Books & Tea

Fellow author Jennifer Allison and I hosted a Mother/Daughter Books & Tea event at Politics & Prose bookstore last Sunday and, happily, it was a huge success! The event was sold out, with both daughters and mothers squeezing into the downstairs "Remainder Room" at my local indie, anxious to discuss their favorite tween books, ask Jen and I questions, and get their books signed.
Several of them were aspiring writers, which always makes for
great questions.

The Chevy Chase Patch covered the event here.

If you are a bookseller, librarian or teacher and would like to host a similar event, please email me!