Thursday, December 16, 2010

To Get To That Center Of A Tootsie Roll Pop

How many licks does it take to get to the end of a revision?

I had a great NaNo this year.  I didn't write 50,000 words, but I did give myself permission to start a new novel.  It was something that I needed to do, but for some reason just hadn't.  My MG revision was my single focus, and I felt panicked about the idea of starting something new.  I don't have a ton of time to write, and I thought that if I spread myself thin, then I wouldn't be able to finish my revision. But I also knew that drafting taps into a different part of my creativity--a necessary one.  Maybe I could be even more productive if I allowed myself to work on a few things simultaneously.  So I NaNoed a new novel, and I am having a great time with it.  That novel and the revision are rolling forward.

But the amount of time I have spent revising this one MG novel brings to mind this old Tootsie Pop commercial.  Just how long does it take to get to the center (read: end) of a revision?  How many licks does it take to polish off a book? It's a frustrating question, one that makes me compare my process to the writing process of others.  And comparing can lead me to say things like: "so-and-so can revise a book in a year.  What is wrong with me that I'm not there yet?"  It's dangerous.  And it's one of the reason why I collect so many journeys from other writers.  If you haven't read the Friday Journey Toward Publication Interviews, please check them out.  ------------------------>

I love that everyone has their own process. I love finding out how others get to their center.  And I love how there is magic involved.  How you work so hard, plug away, toil with words, and then *CRUNCH*--the perfect solution comes to you.  Whether by talking to a crit partner, or just letting your brain work it out, the magic happens.  Things come together.  There's that satisfying crunch. The point where things fall into place.  A bit of magic. You hit that tootsie roll middle and know that you're on to something great.

How do you get your crunch?  How are you balancing writing and blogging with the holiday rush?  (Hopefully a bit better than I am! :)) How many licks does it take you to get to the end of a polished book?

And maybe the question really is: How many crunches does it take to get to the center of a revision? How many crit partners?  How much magic?  How much toil.  The world may never know. :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Giving and Receiving

I always feel as though the months of November and December are the NaNo equivalent of charitable giving.  I try to be charitable all year round.  But in the months surrounding Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, there are so many opportunities.  And, giving at this time helps me focus on the spirit of the holidays.

In that vein, LitWorld is sending books to Liberia and Sierra Leone.  Their goal is to send a 20-foot container filled with thousands of books, which will go directly into the hands of children.  My favorite Christmas memories as a child always included squirreling away in a cozy corner with all my new books.  I can't imagine what my life would have been like without having owned a single book as a child.

You may send a gently used or new book to this address before December 31st:

LitWorld Holiday Book Drive C/O
Deacon Sharon Brennen
Christian Pre-School
Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church
43 Ashford Ave
Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522

Or, you can visit the Litworld site, to find out where to drop off books if you are local to NYC.

On the writing front, Tina is whipping me back into shape.  When I have trouble finding time (or motivation) to write everyday, Tina cracks her whip.  She'll do it for you too.  Just come write with us for an hour at the practice room, and see how productive you can be.  It's not scary at all, unless you have a whip phobia.  Join us!

Happy Hanukkah all!  I leave you with a message from the LitWorld website:

"Just one book can change a life. Imagine what joy that one book can bring to a child who has never held a book before, and what a difference it can make in that child's life!"