One of the things you hear a lot as a writer is well-intentioned advice that’s mostly true. Don’t tell, show. Don’t make it easy for your protagonist. Don’t be predictable, don’t start slow, don’t dump too much backstory all at once.
Then there are the things that are generally good advice – except for when they’re not.
Today is Mr. Rogers’ birthday, and I do my best every year to make it a day of kindness. I write a check or go online to make a donation to a charity. I let people cut in front of me in traffic. I pick at least ten random people I interact with in a day and tell them how good they look or how good they are at their job or just how much I admire them.
And you know the funny thing? I feel so good after doing all this, I find myself doing a lot more of it the rest of the year, too. Continue reading
[Photo courtesy of Swoon Reads]
They did it.
They actually did it, y’all.
They printed my book. My book. And the books are in and in a short time, I will be holding one in my sweaty, shaking hand.
I am speechless. I am in love (oh my God, aren’t they just gorgeous?), and I am beyond grateful to every single person who got me to this.
Every. Single. One. Of. You.
Today is a very, very good day.
“Every love story is a ghost story.”
~ David Foster Wallace
A friend of mine posted that quote over the weekend, and it’s been haunting my mind ever since because it is sheer perfection.
Think about it. Every story boils down, in its essence, to the things that are haunting those characters, or that world you’ve built. What scarred them? What keeps them awake at night (good or bad)? What did they have to overcome – or still need to overcome? What question has been left unanswered that drives them on? What face do they see when they close their eyes?
You can’t really know someone until you know what haunts them.
Food for thought, as build these characters and the lives they’ll lead.
I spent Thanksgiving in Dublin, Ireland, and while there, I paid a visit to the National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, hoping to do some research on my next book, a fantasy YA story based on the Tuatha Dé Danann – the ancient gods of Ireland. This particular bit of sight-seeing comes with a story.
This stone is actually enormous and dates back to between 3000 and 2500 b.c. It bears a spiral design, which fascinates me because I was doing research for a book a while back and discovered that the spiral symbol is common (and sacred) to just about every primitive culture – check out Chaco Canyon and the sunstone there, or the carvings of the Inuit or the Maori, check out China, Japan, all over Asia and Africa – seriously – it’s everywhere in primitive cultures.
Anyway, I glanced around sneakily, and then I reached out and touched it, low down on the design, skimming and tracing the groove with gentle fingers. I know, I shouldn’t have done that. Continue reading
This won’t be news to you if you follow my other blog, but I’m boarding a plane today and going on an adventure! I’m hopping across the pond, and when I touch down on Thursday, my Thanksgiving meal will consist of a pint of Guinness in a cozy Dublin pub, where I’ll be listening and soaking in and writing, of course. Continue reading
Do you see this?
The amazing Lily Grant got good and inspired by a certain young pirate, and created the perfect frame for my Advanced Reader Edition of Traveler.
And of course, she totally made my day. Big love your way, girl. Thank you so much for reading – and loving – my book!!
Three different – very different stories. Three ways to go.
I’m never just writing one book. I’ll be grooving away, pounding out the words and suddenly, a whisp of an idea floats in that has nothing whatsoever to do with what I’m currently writing. Or maybe I’ll be daydreaming on my commute home, or listening to an old, familiar song, and something slides in, swirling around, trying to solidify. Sometimes I’m just watch my own teenage daughter navigate her world, and something she says or tells me about digs in, planting roots, insisting I visit and discuss.
The problem with that is, you end up with what I call “Irons in the Fire Syndrome,” which I had for years. There was a time when I had 6-10 partially finished books laying around at any given time. It wasn’t until I learned to focus and have the discipline to finish that I started making stories into books.
And now that book 2 of the Traveler series is in the editor’s hands, I look to the next thing on the horizon. This particular horizon can be viewed from a port that has three ships anchored in the water, waiting for me to throw the wind into their sails. Continue reading