A New Novel and A Whole Lot Of Accountability

Any time someone finds out that I’m a writer, the conversation is usually followed up with, “Oh, I’ve always told myself I’m going to write a novel someday, when I have some more free time.” No, seriously, that’s the response. If I got paid every time someone told me they were planning on writing a novel, then I’d already be living on that 5-acre farm my husband and I dream about with some sheep, a cow, and an underground greenhouse. But I’m not.

In fact, the reality is that I’m not much better than those people, despite my intense hatred of that line. Yeah, I have two children’s books. Sometime this week, the article I wrote for an RA website is going live too. And yes, I’ve been submitting shorter pieces I’ve written to different publications. But it’s be a really long time since I’ve written a book. Maybe I haven’t been doing such a great job at this writer thing?

I’ve been itching to turn an idea I have into a middle school/young adult novel. A few weeks ago, I started writing the first chapter. It’s a terrible first chapter, quite frankly, but I wrote it. I started. The hardest part is finishing. Unlike past projects that I abandoned halfway through (cough, NaNoWriMo) I really want to stick with this one. I need to prove to myself that I’ve still “got it,” and that I haven’t turned into that whiny-pants person that’s always complaining about lack of time to do things. I’ve done a lot of excuse-making recently too, but I’m over it.

But just to be on the safe side, Internet, I want you to hold me accountable. I’m one of those people who can’t stick to a diet for more than two hours unless I tell a bunch of people (I hate being a disappointment). If I know that random strangers all over the globe can read this, then I’ll be less inclined to indulge in a cheat day and skip writing for TV.

Now, excuse me while I go cover my closet door in sticky notes that detail my entire plot.


Blog Hop Part 2

9781618629166_p0_v1_s260x420Here’s the second leg of the blog hop. Like I mentioned in my last post, I was invited to hop with two different authors. Today’s thanks goes to Lisa Tortorello, who is the author of My Hero, My Ding and Moose at the Manger. She will soon be releasing her third book, Mark the Missing Moose.

Now for the last two questions…

1) What is the hardest part about writing?

Starting. I’m such a perfectionist, which is a curse sometimes. I find it hard to really sit down and write anything until I have a good idea of where my story is headed.

2) What is something unique you want readers to learn about you?

I’m creative in other ways than just writing. Craft stores are my second home. I do everything from crocheting to soap making (which I guess also makes me a bit of a hippie, since I could make everything I need to live). My Mom once owned a craft store, and my Dad spent a lot of time doing woodworking. I love crafting so much that I actually started my own custom jewelry business. You can find my shop here if you’re interested.

Children’s Book Blog Hop, Part 1

154811_124041874326044_2848493_nWelcome to part 1 of my little portion of the children’s book blog hop! I was invited to participate in this by two wonderful authors, so I decided to break this into two parts. First up is Aileen Stewart. In case you don’t know who she is, Aileen is the author of Fern Valley, a collection of twelve short stories about farm animals and their adventures. Her book is one of my favorite children’s books, mainly because it brings back fond memories from my own childhood.

So now, without further ado, I will answer the blog hop questions.

1) What am I working on right now?

Lately I’ve been focusing on writing short stories. Every so often I feel a need to switch gears and challenge myself to do something different. We grow as people, which means we grow as writers. Children’s books have been a huge part of my life since publishing my first book, Caroline and Rebecca: Rebecca Gets Into Trouble. I also dabbled in Young Adult writing for awhile, but at the time it just wasn’t working out the way I had wanted it to. Rather than publishing my own books, I’m taking a break to try to get some stories published in anthologies and literary magazines. This time next year I hope to be in a Master’s Program for creative writing, which means two years of my life are going to be dedicated solely to literary fiction. Does this mean I’m calling it quits with children’s books? Not at all. I’m just feeling adventurous.

If we’re going to get more specific as to what I’m working on, my current short story examines being a child at heart and how growing up sometimes robs us of that childlike fun and innocence.
 2) How do my works differ from other works in it’s genre?

This is a really tough question to answer. In general, I think all books are different because everyone has a different style and voice. That’s what makes reading so much fun. Plenty of people have written about the importance of listening to your parents, or why it’s important to wear sunblock. But everyone adds their own spin to their stories.

 3) Why do you write what you do?

Well in general, I write because I can’t see myself doing anything else. My calling in life is to be a storyteller. I felt the need to write children’s books because the books I read as a child are what got me to this point. They inspired a passion for reading and exploring that I think a lot of kids today are missing out on. I want to help pass on that love to the next generation.

4) How does your writing process work?

I refuse to sit down and force myself to write for x amount of hours each day. I think that’s counterproductive. I can go weeks without writing a single creative thing. I carry a notebook with me always, and if I’m out and see something that interests me, I’ll jot down a quick note and write about it later. My best stories come from the most random bits of inspiration. As far as sitting down and writing, I don’t have a specific formula. Sometimes I like to sit outside with a notebook. Other times I sit in front of my laptop at the kitchen table with my favorite writing playlist on. It just depends on my mood that day.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting two more questions asked by Lisa Tortorello, so watch out!