Monday, May 28, 2007

Well, there's an awful lot going on in my world right now. First, and most importantly, I finished the first draft of Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris! Yeay! That's such a huge relief because whenever I write a book under contract, I suddenly fear I'll forget how to write. Or how to plot. Or how to get through the muddle of a middle. Or how to get to the end.

You get the idea.

So it's always a huge relief when I realize I haven't forgotten.

Second of all, Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos was selected as a Booksense Summer Pick! Thank you Booksense!!

And lastly, French publication rights to Theodosia have been sold, so for all of you out there dying to read about her in French, you'll soon have your chance.

And I betcha they get my last name right in France. Or here's hoping, anyway... ;-)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Second Author

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis were my favorite books for a long portion of my childhood. I think I reread those puppies twice a year from about age 8 all the way up to age 12, when I discovered Tolkien.

One of the books, The Magician's Nephew, is set in Edwardian England, and since my Theodosia books are also set in this time period, I thought I'd give TMN a quick reread to see if I could pick up any period details that were particularly evocative.

I was quite looking forward to reading the book as it has been ages since I've looked at it. I remember being so enthralled with the incredible world C.S. Lewis had built, how he described them in such detail, how rich and dense the language was. I couldn't wait.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that, indeed, there weren't paragraphs and paragraphs of description or world building, but rather very simple, albeit elegant, sentences.

And that's when it hit me: Much of the description and world building that I remembered from those books had been put there by me. My own imagination had filled in all the lovely white space C.S. Lewis had left between the words.

Which really crystallized something that's been rolling around in my head for years; that it takes two authors to complete a book. One is the original author who wrote the words on the page, but the second, equally important author is the reader herself. What she "reads" and interprets in the white space of the novel is just as critical to her reading experience as the words the first author put on the page.

I also wonder if that isn't part of the drive for so many authors to be published; that unspoken sense that their work isn't complete until a reader, some reader somewhere, has read it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Apologies All Around

Okay, I admit it. I have to be one of the people nominated for the World’s Worst Blogger list. My intentions are good, but we all know how much good intentions are worth.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m now juggling three blogs, but that’s my problem, not yours, so apologies for being such a lapsed blogger are definitely in order.

The good news is, that one of the major distractions keeping me busy is now over; the college application process. Both of my sons decided to go away to college at the same time, one as a freshman and the other transferring as a junior. Heavens to Murgatroyd! (or is it Murgatroid? Anyone know?) That college application dance is a part time job, I’m telling you. So all you parents out there, brace yourself! Your turn is coming, if it hasn’t already.

But that’s all done with now (both boys are going to their first choice college—yay!) and my schedule has freed up quite a lot. Which is a really good thing because I have a book due soon. Not only that, but I now have two college tuitions looming over my future. Must. Write. Faster.

My goal is to have my first draft done by May 12. I’m getting close, very close, so I’ve upped my words per day to 1750 up through next Saturday. I want to finish it and put it away for a couple of weeks for some fermenting and stewing time. Then, when I look at it with fresh eyes, all the flaws will be glaringly obvious and that much easier to fix.

When I did NaNoWriMo last year I discovered how valuable a full immersion writing stint was, so I’m really trying to replicate that more when I work on my first drafts.

For anyone who’s interested, I was recently interviewed over on Dee and Dee Dish…about Books. I’m sorry I didn’t think to mention in time for you to participate in the contest. My bad!

I will be better about blogging. I promise. And come September? When both boys move out? I won’t know what to do with myself, so I’ll likely be blabbin’ at you nonstop. Betcha can’t wait for that!