Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I like to get all kinds of feedback on my writing. In fact, I'd say it's crucial. My writing gets so much better when I receive and internalize constructive negative comments.

However, I feel good about positive feedback about 4 times faster than I feel good about negative feedback. I get there eventually but for some reason it takes longer for my brain to process it when people are not telling me how awesome I am. This is a mystery.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Too Many Eyebrows

50,000 words into the book and I’m writing a scene where one of my characters raises an eyebrow and I start to think, “Do my characters raise one eyebrow too much? Because it seems like they raise their eyebrows way more than normal people do.”

In truth, there are a lot of crazy, “eyebrow-raising” moments in the book so it’s sort of forgivable. But then I start thinking about the fact that I am incapable of raising just one eyebrow unless I’m holding the other one down with my fingers. I am deficient. And I’m not the only one. I know lots of people who can’t raise just one eyebrow.

So I do a text search of my book for the word “eyebrow” and find that I do indeed employ eyebrows heavily to show that my characters are shocked, surprised or skeptical about what’s happening around them. It may be too much.

But interestingly, one of my main characters nearly always raises one eyebrow while the other main character nearly always raises two. This is just too fun to be a coincidence so I edit the two cases where their eyebrow gymnastics are out of character.

Now one of my characters shares my eyebrow raising disability and I feel in some small way like I am not alone in the world.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life Taking Over

There are times when the book takes over my life. I think about it. I write. I edit. I revise heavily and edit some more. I write. But life always ends up taking back over.

One important lesson I've learned since I began the project last summer is not to get too discouraged when things slow down. When I do that, I risk going for weeks without writing and the longer I go without working on the novel, the harder it is to believe I can complete it.

I need to keep my mind on the story and take the time to write every day, even if it's just a couple of sentences. Truthfully, if I write a couple of sentences, I almost always keep going.

But sometimes I have a week where writing my own stuff isn't possible. I have posts to write for my day job, kids to play board games with over spring break and eye doctors who want to dilate my pupils.

I'm a writer so I keep writing when I can and I don't beat myself up about the times when I can't. This week I'm having too much fun to write. That's not a bad problem to have.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vor-each-iss Reader

I tend to get a bit overwhelmed when I read about the process of getting published. Yesterday I wrote half a chapter and then spent a good chunk of time reading and researching. I'm reading The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, a book that came highly recommended by a published friend, and I also stopped by Query Shark and several other sites.

Venting to Dan, I said, "I don't know how I'm supposed to find time to write if I'm worried about attending conferences, formulating pitches, developing a social media presence, networking, maintaining the status of "voracious reader", and you know, being a mom and having a life and stuff."

"What's a vor-each-iss reader?" Laylee asked.

"It means you read tons of books all the time."

Then today I got cozy on the couch with my laptop and Laylee curled up on the floor beside me with book #1039 from the Guardians of Ga'hoole series.

"Are you gonna read with me while I write?" I asked.

"Yeah. You worry about writing. I'll do the vor-each-iss reader part for you."

Sweet. So now I need Dan to attend conferences for me, Magoo to work on the pitch, and Wanda to tweet and post to Facebook after her nap.