Month: August 2014

Is dystopian dead?

I decided to write a book because it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. I love to read and I love to write, so taking on the adventure of creating a story, a whole world, and putting it on paper sounded like a great idea! I brainstormed for a while until I latched onto a storyline that set my heart aflutter and got my creative juices flowing. I researched how to approach writing your first novel and things like that, but I didn’t spend much time looking into the types of stories agents/publishers want to see. I didn’t do this because getting my story published wasn’t something that was really on my radar. Finishing my story was my goal. It’s still my goal. I’ll be perfectly content to complete my book and let that be the end. The process is quite the personal journey and I’ll be proud to finish this huge undertaking. That said, I still want to leave my options open.

So, out of curiosity, I started Googling a bit about the types of work YA agents/publishers are looking for and uh… it seems dystopian is not it. In fact, it seems that many push away anything with a hint of dystopia to it. It’s overdone, they’ve seen it all, they say. (more…)

Writing YA

I’m 25. I’m getting far enough removed from my teenage years that I don’t remember the full range of complex emotions that go along with adolescence. I’ve read a good bit about how to (and not to) approach writing from the point of view of a teenager and/or for a young adult audience. This article has some good tips to consider.

Fortunately for me (most days) my job has me surrounded by young adults of all varieties. I get to hear about what matters to them, watch how they act, and talk to them. I get to see how they respond to learning new/interesting/funny things, and I get to see how they react to discipline, disappointment, and getting hurt. There is no shortage of the adolescent voice in my world, and that helps me write. I’ve told a large handful of my students about the plot of my current WIP and it’s been nice hearing their feedback…especially in the earlier stages. I a had few ideas that more the one student shot down as weird/lame/uninteresting. I did keep a few of those reject ideas anyway because I know they’ll fit naturally in the full context of the story, even though they apparently sounded strange when isolated. Either way, I appreciate the access I have to people at least somewhat like the characters in my story.


Sunday Adventure: Saving a Turtle

Here’s a fun story!
I was on my way to the grocery store when I saw a medium sized rock in the road. This was technically still inside my apartment complex and I thought I should probably move it. I glanced in my side mirror and inferred that since the rock seemed to have a tail and a head, it was actually a turtle. Genius. Now, I’m a lover of animals so there was definitely no way I was going to drive off with him still in the middle of the street. So, I pulled over and walked over for a closer look. Now, upon closer inspection, Mr. Turtle looked like the type to take a finger off — long tail, flared nostrils, spiky bits on the back of his shell. I checked my trunk to see if I had something to get him with. Angels sung as a golden light encompassed my lacrosse stick. A few seconds later, I stood there in the middle of the road, casually attempting to scoop a turtle with a lacrosse stick…. actually, that’s a lie. It wasn’t casual at all. After he bit my lacrosse stick, I’m pretty sure I screamed every time he jutted that head out, but Mr. Turtle did eventually find safety. I can only imagine what that scene might have looked like to someone looking from the window of their apartment 🙂

Mr. *Snapping* Turtle

Mr. *Snapping* Turtle


Managing Time

So as I mentioned in my last post, I’m struggling to balance work with keeping up with my writing. I’m a high school biology teacher so summer was the most perfectly beautiful, awesome time to immerse myself in writing my first novel… and many days were still a struggle! Now, the first week of school as a teacher is chaos, but as we get going, I’ll fall into a relatively comfortable routine. Still, teaching pulls a significant amount of time outside of work. I wake up around 5:30am most weekdays, get to work around 6:45, leave at 4 on a good day, get home, relax a bit, eat something, maybe grade a few papers and BAM it’s pushing 9pm and my eyelids are getting heavy. Let’s add on top of that that I’m three classes away from my masters degree in biology and I’ve got two classes starting week after next. Ah!! Let’s not even talk about what my days will look like once it’s time to put my lacrosse coaching hat back on.

It’s alot… but I did choose this life and I do love it! (more…)

Bookmarks for Landmarks! #3

Whoop! It’s a week later than I wanted, but I’ve reached 30,000 words.

My first week back to work was far more busy than I expected. I was bouncing from meeting to meeting, trying to prep for the first week of school and scrambling to finish up my summer classes. By the time I got home each night, I was beat. Writing just wasn’t happening. Naturally, this has made me a little nervous about meeting my goal of 10,000 words per month while working. I’m not going to change anything yet though. As always, we’ll see how it goes first and I’ll rethink my goals only if necessary.

Bookmarks for landmarks

Bookmarks for landmarks

Now it’s time to get ready for work. I’ve got a bunch of 14 year olds to meet in the morning.


Strange things that work

So, Friday as I got in the car to head home from work, I was slapped in the face with a rush of ideas for my book. Usually I’ll send myself a text message summarizing what I’m thinking if I can’t get to pen and paper, but there was just way too much going on in my head to fit in a couple of texts and it was way too hot in my car to put off driving. I started the car, got the AC going and backed out of my parking space. The ideas wouldn’t stop coming and they were too good to let go of, so I just started talking. It was like I was telling someone all about my story and the world I’ve built and how things work in it, only, there was no one else the car. I talked to myself for twenty minutes straight. I was pretty disappointed that talking to yourself isn’t socially acceptable when I stopped off at the grocery store, but by the time I got home, I was able to get my ideas down. 🙂

Do you guys do anything strange, awkward or quirky that pertains to your writing process or am I alone in this?