Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dueling Ideas

Somebody, I don't remember who (booknapper's hazard), once said, "I never run out of ideas, just time to write."

Currently, I'm knee-deep in writing a YA novel. Yesterday morning, a random image got me thinking about something that happened when I was 13. It doesn't matter what it was. What matters is that I started thinking, "I wonder if kids still do that these days?" Then I started thinking...yadda, yadda, yadda...MG fiction idea--the kind that won't quit flicking little ideas across the brain. You know the kind of ideas: This could happen. Then this could happen. The whole story would show young readers that...

The details don't matter. What matters is that I am knee-deep in a YA novel. And when you're knee-deep, that's when it's hardest to keep going. I am not waist-deep, which would imply half-way. I am further from the end than from the beginning, and when I glance back at the shore where I started, what do I see?

This shiny, new idea that requires half the word count of a YA novel. Possibilities reflecting off of it in every direction. But is it a mirage (aka, procrastination)?

Bloggees, I can't be the only novelist with a short attention span. What do you do when your ideas duel? Do you take time off of your current project and give the other a chance? Or is the only way to finish to ignore those shiny, new ideas and stay faithful to one project at a time? Help a blogger out.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Thought for Friday

"I really would like to stop working forever--never work again, never do anything like the kind of work I'm doing now--and do nothing but write poetry and have leisure.... Just a literary and quiet city-hermit existence."

-Allen Ginsberg

(Thanks, yet again, Mode Room Press for today's Daily Literary Quote.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

From: "Her Majesty Loses Her Touch"

"Back in the days
when I was called Queen of Cherries
I used to write.
Not like this.
I'd lie in bed at night
composing bawdy lyrics,
a regal drifter through my private orchard
of no regrets.
Cherries simply rained
down on my head."

from A Working Girl Can't Win
by Deborah Garrison

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Booknapping from the Depths of Despair

Hey bloggees, I didn't die, but I thought I might. I've been really sick--sicker than I've been in a long time. I thought I might never write again. Have you ever been so busy, so sick, so something, that you started to become blind to the light at the end of the tunnel? (I just typoed "The Light at the End of the Title." Children's book idea!)

I know I'm dramatic, but that's how my mind works, peeps. For a few days, I could not foresee a time in my life when I would ever have the strength or time to work, write, have a social life, or blog. I felt like I was so behind, I would never catch up. Then, I bit the bullet and called the doctor.

Long story short: I'm feeling better, more than better. Feeling like you may never write again does wonders for your motivation. I have washed the accumulated dirty laundry, both literal and figurative, and my betas have nudged me with a gentle but firm request for new pages. I am truly blessed, yo.

While I was gone, I hardly even read. That's how sick I was! But I did manage to catch a lovely turn of phrase here and there, and one in particular kept me going:

"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings."

Victor Hugo

I am back bloggees, with a vengeance, and I feel the need to look back on my time in the trenches and offer a hand to the peeps who might be there right now, wondering if they will ever write again. So help a bloggee out, peeps. Have you been there? How did you escape the doldrums of your life and get back to being a doer?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

From: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

So, Howard Zinn died a few weeks ago, and I realized I never gave him a proper booknapping. Today, I am making amends. Howard Zinn was an incredible teacher, writer, and historian. If you haven't read his seminal book People's History of the United States, you might be a little under-informed.

Here is a booknapping from his autobiography:

"The events of my life, growing up poor, working in a shipyard, being in a war, had nurtured an indignation against the bullies of the world, those who used wealth or military might or social status to keep others down. And now I was in the midst of a situation where human beings, by accident of birth, because of their skin color, were being treated as inferior beings. I knew it was wrong for me, a white teacher, to lead the way. But I was open to anything my students wanted to do, refusing to accept the idea that a teacher should confine his teaching to the classroom when so much was at stake outside it."

People who stand up or speak up for the little guys and girls are my my favorite kind of people. What qualities do you look for in a hero?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Dr. Seuss

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes! It's magnetted to my fridge. What's your favorite Dr. Seuss line or book?