Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Violet Writing

I'm learning to accept that I have so much going on all the time, I'm not going to stay ahead of everything. That's a personal choice, even if I don't carefully or consciously decide to keep things hopping. I'm lucky to live according to my own schedule--and some of the things I've put in that schedule have a lot more flexibility than others. This blog, for instance. Consequently, I'm not exactly steady about posting. But here are some more thoughts about writing.

During these hot summer days, I've been watering and weeding actual plants, not just everything growing in my imagination. And I can't help noticing how many analogies gardening has to give about writing. Yes, I know, it's a big cliche to compare writing and gardening. But bear with me; I promise not to be too terribly hackneyed.

When we moved to this house, the only things growing here were tumbleweeds. Some of them, known as "goat's heads," would grow into nightmarish tangles of very sharp thorns that easily worked their way into any skin they happened to touch. Then they'd break loose from their stalks and go bounding around on the wind, planting themselves far and wide. When sprouting, they looked kind of pretty--bright green, perky, fast-growing. But even when small, they had a sting.

I've learned to pull them up the instant they push their way out of the ground.

What does that have to do with writing? Well, I could get eloquent about caring for your imagination, giving it the equivalent of good soil, water, and sunshine. I won't go there, at least not today. But you see where I'm going, right? Part of taking care of flowering plants is making sure the goat's heads don't choke them out. And part of being able to write day after day is pulling up the doubts and fears that can become so thorny if allowed to grow big.

I'm thrilled to say that my fairy tale, Violet Wings, is now out in paperback. And I want you to know that to get Zaria's story written, I had to pull up more than a few inner goat's heads. So if you're struggling with your own version of thorny tumbleweeds blowing through your mind, all I can say is: Keep digging.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Seer and the Sword in print for 10 years today

Okay, it's pretty obvious that I've been neglecting my blog. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It only means I've been busy with life. Not that a blog isn't life . . . well, maybe a blog isn't life.

Is it really important to stay current with reports about my life and musings?Aren't there already plenty of blogs in the world? And I'm such a restless person, I'd rather be out gathering new experiences than sitting at my computer. Know what I mean?

But I can't let today go by without a mention. Today, April 21st 2010, my first book turns ten years old. The Seer and the Sword is still in print. It has (quietly) continued to sell, for which I'm so grateful. Here's to you, readers! Thank you! It's always a leap to reveal myself on the page, and it's good to know that others are resonating.

I've learned a ton in ten years. Much of that is shared in Wild Ink: How To Write Fiction for YA. But a lot has simply soaked into my heart and mind as all experiences do, ready to water ideas that still lie dormant.

As spring drives new buds to open and young plants to grow, I feel a renewed appreciation for everything under the surface that's yet to be discovered. Once again, here's to you! May this spring give you confidence and energy for your own writing projects.