Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So what YA should I be reading?

Okay, party people. It's time to recommend some good YA for Libbie. Since I am still in the thrall of Good Idea that Won't Let Go, and as you know from the previous blog post it is a YA novel (damn it...I'm still kind of ticked that I am going to write YA. I've got nothing against the genre at all -- I like to read it, in fact -- but EVERYBODY is writing YA. It's like vampires and zombies. Everybody!) I need to read more YA lit.

So tell me...what should I be reading? Please recommend your favorites here. Danke!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hello, neglected blog.

I am TERRIBLE! Look at this poor neglected blog! It's awful! I haven't updated in fourteen days! Blah!

I do have a good excuse. The past couple of weeks have been more stressful than any other period in my life to date. I haven't been focused on much other than what I've needed to do to make it through each day. In the back of my head has been a little voice shrieking, "OH MY GOD, YOU NEED TO WRIIIITE!" and that little voice is absolutely correct. I've written through other stressful periods and the writing helped me stay sane.

Not that I'm insane now. But devoting at least a little time each day to my writing has been therapeutic in the past, and I could sure use some word therapy lately. So why am I not writing more? Don't know. Just stress, I suppose.

Well, I've got a carrot and a stick now that will hopefully get me back on the right track, writing every single day like I used to, and making great progress each day on my books.

I came up with an idea that just won't let go. I've been trying to sweep this idea under the rug for a couple different reasons.

1) I need to finish Baptism for the Dead. It's a damn good book and I should get it done, revised, and sent off to Natalie as soon as possible, so it has the best chance possible. Baptism has been hard to work on right now, though, because it's a really pathetic story (as in, it's heavy on the pathos) and I find it a little draining to write. I have to tap into some sometimes-unpleasant emotions to communicate what I want to communicate, and things have been so rough for me in my personal life that my brain just turns away from digging up all that dirt and sifting through it. I just want to have as much fun right now as I can have. (Un)fortunately, the fun will be cut short very soon and I'll be entering another period of mopey emo-ness, which is exactly the kind of mood that works for writing a book like Baptism. For me, anyway. I need to be feeling a little down and frowny, but not as stressed and upset as I've been feeling lately. So I predict that Baptism will come together and wrap itself up around the end of November. I'm satisfied with that.

2) Second reason why I am trying to sweep the Good Idea that Won't Let Go under the rug: I need to finish Egypt 2.0 and probably Egypt 3.0 as well. E2.0 in its unfinished form is with an editor at NAL and if they decide to buy it (unlikely, but fun to fantasize about) I want to have it ready to rock. However, largely because of Good Idea I am not feeling strong motivation to work on E2.0 and E3.0. I need to get over that. Writing isn't an opportunity to lollygag and dick around. This is a career -- or I want it to be. Deadlines will happen. Expectations need to be met. I need to stop screwing around and finish these two historical novels -- they're good stories, anyway, and I really like them. So I need to finish them and stop thinking so muh about Good Idea.

3) Okay, so there are three reasons. The third reason why I've been avoiding Good Idea as much as possible is a really stupid reason, but one I can't ignore. Good Idea is a YA novel with a male protagonist. That's basically what everybody is writing right now, isn't it? I hate the idea that I'd be jumping on a bandwagon of sorts. But if the past couple of weeks have taught me anything, it's that you can't predict when good things will come to you, and it's stupid to shut them out just because the timing isn't technically right, or because everybody else is doing it, or whatever stupid reason I might come up with.

Good Idea is a good idea, and I should write it and enjoy it.

I was rather liking being one of only two of my agent's clients who DOESN'T write for kids. But to hell with it! YA is fun, and I don't have to become Officially A YA Author. This could be a one-shot thing, written under a different pen name...I need to just loosen up and go with the flow.

Maybe working on Good Idea, which is generally going to be an upbeat and happy book WITH A HAPPY ENDING (rare for me, I know) will put me into a better frame of mind and get be back into writing with greater focus and drive.

Yeah, I've just gotta go with this, and see where it takes me. I'll outline it, at least, and then see if I can't get E2.0 finished up by the end of September. Should be do-able, and getting that chore out of the way will make me feel a lot better about myself.

This post was long, and you didn't care much about it, I know. Here's a tidbit: Working title for Good Idea is Band Geek, and it's going to be based on my REAL ACTUAL TRUE ADVENTURES in the high school band. And believe me, these were some serious adventures. My high school band was INSANE.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back to work, Libbie!

Life has bee extremely rocky lately. Rocky and surprising and sad and strange. But good, on the whole. Good.

The bad thing is that I haven't been writing, except for a poem a day, which I'm grateful for -- at least it's SOME practice daily, however brief. That's over with today, though.

I had a good talk with a friend about where Baptism is going, and it's made me think harder about the theme(s) I want to put into this book. In order to do it right, I need to finish reading a nonfiction book before I proceed with Baptism, take copious notes, and determine what from history I need to secretly weave into the manuscript. I'll need to set aside some reading time daily to get through this long book, but it'll be worth it.

In the meantime, in order to clear the cobwebs from my brain I'm going to return to the commercially fun Egypt 2.0 (still trying to think of a decent title for that one!) and hammer out as much as I can before inspiration re-ignites for Baptism.

The summer is getting close to being over, and I want to get as much accomplished during this season as I can. Time to get back to work with a vengeance.