1920s, goals, writing

All Change

I finished the first round of revisions on the novella I mentioned a couple posts back. Which means, of course, that I am now firmly in the “This is terrible why do I even bother trying to write” stage of things.

Which, in turn, means it’s time to stop thinking about it (this is why I pawn it off onto beta readers, because I cannot be even remotely objective at this point in the game), which means I need to think about something else.

Ah-ha. Time to get back to Magic In Disguise! That’s been stuck at 20,000 words for way too long now. I claimed writer’s block when I first got stuck, decided to work on Wings of Song for a while, and when I hit a wall there (not a huge one: it’s Christmas in that story now, and I can’t bring myself to write winter when it’s so lovely outside and our winter was so long and miserable, so I’m waiting until my memory has faded a bit. I’ll probably get back to it in August when I’ve started to melt from heat) I took a break from writing all together until the novella demanded I write it.

The brick wall on Magic In Disguise hasn’t gotten any less solid, but I think I’m finally ready to bash away at it until it crumbles. (Don’t you like my elegant metaphors?) Plus I miss Maia and Len. And Becket. Every so often I feel guilty for not doing more to promote and market Magic Most Deadly, because I feel like I’m letting my characters down. Then I remind myself that the very best marketing/promotion plan is to just write more about them, and write well, and so I dive back once more into their world and determine to give them another chance to shine.

Come July or August or whenever, when I start to feel lonely for Julie &co. from Wings of Song, I’ll give Magic In Disguise a rest, and change once more.

I’m not sure it’s entirely healthy to be this attached to all my characters, but it certainly is the best motivation in the world.

children, Life Talk, philosophy

My Own Dancing Star



Saturday was Joy’s first ballet recital. She started taking lessons in November, and they quickly became the highlight of her weeks.



“I love to watch her smile when she dances,” her teacher has told me after lessons sometimes. “You just can’t teach that.” After the recital, she said it again: “Even on stage, she didn’t look at all nervous, she just beamed. You can tell she loves it. It makes me so happy to see it.” Other people, too, commented on how much she glows when she dances.


I asked her, as I parked the car at the school before the recital, and it was just the two of us, if she was nervous. She looked at me as though I were a little strange. “No,” she said, it apparently being the most obvious thing in the world.


She had so much poise in the dance itself, and even afterward, despite the crowds and the noise and the newness of it all. She posed for picture after picture with the family, with her friends, alone. She never stopped smiling. When I think of how far she has come from the little girl who was crippled by new situations, by loudness, by crowds of people, by fear, it makes me want to weep with thankfulness and delight. She’s a different kid than she was even a year ago. She’s still unique, still Joy, but so much of a healthier, happier Joy than she used to be. I am so glad to see it, so privileged to be her Mom.


She’s looking forward to a summer of fun at the beach and park, but she’s also already counting down the days until ballet starts up again in September.

goals, Life Talk, seasons, writing

Novellas, Laundry, and Revelations

I’m supposed to be cleaning the apartment right now. My parents, sister, and niece are coming out tomorrow evening for the week (not staying here, but still will be plenty of time spent here), and my mother-in-law is getting here on Friday for the weekend. Joy’s first ballet recital is on Saturday, hence the family. Hence the need to clean.

Which is why I’m blogging, naturally.

What I really (really, really) want to be be doing is editing the sci-fi novella I wrote in four days last week. Three points against that:

I wrote 29,000 words in four days and pretty much broke my brain; it needs a break from excessive wording.

I finished writing it yesterday morning right before church; it needs to sit for a while before I go back to edit, there’s no point in diving in now because it’s too fresh.

Because of all the mad writing last week, the apartment is a disaster, and even if I didn’t have family coming in this week I would need to clean. I need to trade in my writer hat for my real person hat this week.

So, I’m trying to be good. But I still don’t feel much like cleaning, and I drank too much coffee this morning so I’m wired, so I’m hoping blogging satisfies the writing desire and also calms me down enough to tackle the mountain of clothes teetering next to my bed, and the school papers that I need to grade (Joy  discovered the concept of grading recently thanks to Daddy’s papers and assignments, and now she begs me to grade all her school work, strange child) and sort, and scrub the tooth powder stains out of the sink.

And then bake some brownies for getting together with a friend this evening.

(I’m starting to convince myself to get started here.)

I have to say, as exhausting and overwhelming and bizarre as it was to write a 29,000 word novella in four days, it was also kind of amazing. The story grabbed me last Sunday, and I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t go away, so I tried to jot down the plot outline so I could write it later, but that didn’t work, and finally I started to write it thinking that I could just peck away at it whenever I needed a break from my two current “real” writing projects, and then the next thing I knew I was writing madly every spare moment (and a few not-spare ones – hence the pile-up of chores). Then, Sunday morning, I typed the last few hundred words about ten minutes before we left the house, and now I’m still trying to figure out how on earth that happened.

Exhausting and amazing and kind of encouraging to think that someday, in about thirteen years when Grace is off to college or whatever she chooses to do with her life and Carl’s no longer in school and we can share chores more equally, it might not take me two to four years to write one book.

And that, in turn, makes it easier now to put more focus on the everyday-life things, and ease up on my own internal pressure to do more writing, because the seasons will eventually change and things will be reversed, and I’m not missing out on my chances if I’m a slow writer now.

So all in all, an incredibly satisfying week last week.

And now I think I’m really done procrastinating.

Happy Monday, everyone!