Sunday, June 21, 2009

On Novel Writing and Love

A recent blog post from lit agency, BookEnds, LLC put me in analogy mode, thinking about the relationship between novel writing and enduring relationships. Don't worry, I'm not writing a romance novel; I'm uniquely unqualified for such a task. Rather, my response to the blog's June 19 topic sparked the idea that writing a novel to the publishing stage shares much in common with maintaining a lasting, loving relationship:


  • The first draft is the "lust" stage of a new relationship.

  • The second draft is the first year of the relationship (but hopefully doesn't take a year to write).

  • The third draft is the "are we in this forever together?" stage.

  • The fourth draft (where I am now on my YA historical sci-fi) is the "holy cr*p, this relationship is hard work to maintain, but it means so much to me that I need to keep working on it. But first, let me take a week off and drink a few Mai Tais in Maui."
Simply put, neither art nor love is the result only of passion; both are the results of HARD work and persistence.

Now, enough blogging. Time to Focus and get back to that 4th draft. Thanks, Amy (my first reader) for your honest, poignant, encouraging comments on the 3rd draft.

Note to family members: If anyone needs clean clothes, there's a pile of them on the sofa in the office.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

It must be summer break if...

It must be summer break if...

  1. I am woken up by a mockingbird at 4:55 a.m. because we left open the window the night before. The Flip Side: Deciding to go to 5 a.m. swim practice to spite the darn bird.
  2. The street is blocked off for our kids’ co-ed baseball games at least three nights a week. The players set up right-field-bleacher seats for the adults in the garage. I love this game: High quality entertainment with free tickets and much lower priced beer.
  3. The toilet overflows for the first time in years. Too many kids in the house.
  4. I attempt to swim laps during a 15-minute adult swim but am interrupted five times – once when a child swatted my feet with a floatation noodle. Warning to Kids: If I only get 15 minutes of adult time a day, you’d better not interrupt me.
  5. I have a hard time figuring out when to get in all my work/writing hours, but don’t care too much about that, this first week. Novel progress: Third draft was read and critiqued this week. Fourth draft due July 14.
  6. My daughter has written more of her books this week than I have of mine. This is OK. Her writing is quite entertaining, with freakishly imaginative characters.
  7. 20% increase in grocery bill. Eat. Sleep. Swim. Eat. Sleep. Swim.
  8. 120% increase in towel-load laundry. Warning to Kids: Unless visibly soiled, if you throw a bath or pool towel in the hamper after only one use, it’ll be hung back up on the racks and you’ll have to figure out whose is whose.