Monday, April 29, 2013

April #WIPMADNESS — Final Check-in

Sorry for the late check-in. I've been under the weather and as it turns out, I might even have Strep. Perfect! ((cue the sigh and swoon))

So, I am a few chapters short of my goal, but I am thrilled that I have revised 17 chapters and converted those poor souls from 3rd person to 1st person. From the looks of it so far, it just might be working. By the end of the week, I hope to have it ready for my agent to take a peek.

How have the rest of you finished this month of madness?

Now it's time to set some goals for May.  Are you ready to keep it going?

Big THANKS to Deb for volunteering to host in May.  Everyone check in on her BLOG next week.

And we have more THANKS to Kim who will be hosting in June and Angelina who will be hosting in July.


Monday, April 22, 2013

April #WIPMADNESS Week 4 Check-in

I have no great wisdom, no huge milestone today, just hope and perseverance. Last week was difficult in so many ways. My personal battle with RA had me wanting to stay in bed all week, but I fought through and managed to revise a few more chapters while working the day job.

That seems so microscopic compared to what our country went through last week. The bombings, the manhunt, the explosion in West Texas, and other violence around the country. I'm proud of our first responders and our police and FBI agents who followed the bombers to the end, of the brave firefighters and medics who rushed to help the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion, and all the citizens who stood strong.

I can't help but recall last summer's YA SAVES campaign and the whole argument over whether YA literature has gotten too dark. I think of all the young people affected by the events of last week, whether physically wounded or emotionally damaged by it all. No matter how scary or dark this world gets at times, they can always find catharsis and company in a book. As long as we keep writing, they will never be alone.

How have you all weathered this storm?

Monday, April 15, 2013

April #WIPMADNESS Week 3 Check-In: Legacies

I've had my head buried in the day job and in some serious revisions all month, but I came out of the hole this weekend long enough to enjoy a little Native American culture. At times, I get so frustrated with this crazy passion that has me bleeding in pixels and slaughtering my darlings on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I cannot keep myself from it. I must write. And occasionally, I must find inspiration in diversion.

As I arrived at the festival Saturday morning, a Cherokee man was telling one of the great stories of his tribe. Lessons of compassion and violence and justice and tradition. A little while later, a family raised in the Aztec tradition danced a welcome to the day. Among them, two little girls who shook their rattles and blew the wind whistle right along with their parents.

As the young father spoke his invocation and taught us about the significance of the dance, he also spoke of raising his children in the Aztec culture and keeping their traditions alive through the generations. The most beautiful moment came as he referred to his two young daughters and how he wanted to teach them the ways of their ancestors, a task which required a lot of patience from the whole family. Then, with the youngest fussing a bit behind him, needing something at that moment, he calming explained, "She is instructing us now...."

Perfect. We often forget that children teach us. If we listen, if we watch closely, we can learn volumes from them. As a writer of fiction for young readers, I often struggle to remember what it felt like at their age. I try to draw on my own experiences and relive those tangled emotions. At best, success comes sporadically. If I watch my son and daughter, however, I read the emotions in every word, every little gesture, every exasperated sigh and crazy riff of laughter. Even those moments of conflict can teach us if we remember to look at with the eye of a student rather than a dictator.

We often think they just don't get the world as it is. This is just a phase that will pass and we all just have to survive it.

It is so much more. I hope that I am awake enough and thoughtful enough to keep learning from them, to see the world as they see it. To see the world as it is and give them what they need.

So how about it, Wipsters? How are your April goals going? Any epiphanies or fabulous diversions that got you back on the writing track this week?

Monday, April 08, 2013

April #Wipmadness Check-in Week 2

After splitting some spring break time and frying myself and Ghost Daughter on the beaches of Panama City, I'm ready to dive into some serious madness. I got the feedback I needed, and I'm filled with fresh motivation and determination to whip this MS into shape and get it out there in the next month. It won't be easy and I expect some ugly days ahead.

April always seems like such a short month. I don't know why, but it does. Even so, I'm hunkering down and doing some killer revisions all month long. I guess that sort of shoots last week's goal statement right in the face, huh?

How is it going for you, wipsters? Do you have your second wind?

Monday, April 01, 2013

Out of Control — April WIPMADNESS CHECK-IN #1

Welcome back, Wipsters! I hope March Madness launched your WIPs and writing goals onto a speedy path of enlightenment and publication dreams. A huge thanks to Denise and all the hosts and participants who inspired us all month long.

If you did not quite make your goals, don't despair. You are not alone. And this is the place to check in every Monday in April for a little motivation and commiseration.  I had a rough go last month primarily because of circumstances beyond my control. I hate that feeling. Just like this poor sot with the lawn mower. You have a plan and the best of intentions, but some unexpected force drags you in another direction. My mistake last month was pinning my goals to the actions of a 3rd party. It's not her fault she didn't get to it as quickly as I would have liked and I knew I was taking a risk, but I was full of hope.

Now it's time to shake off the road grit and patch my pants as I launch into my WIP for another month of madness. My goal is to get at least 3 chapters done. That is the only goal I am setting this time around. If my big benchmark from last month decides to put in its bid, I'll honor it in whatever way I can. Until then, I'm taking charge of this lawnmower and I'm gonna rock it!

What are your goals for April?