Thursday, February 17, 2011

Grow up, will you?

I say this a lot, and maybe one of these days it will stick: I want to blog more regularly. I’m not going to go into how I [once upon a time] set a schedule for blogging, hoping that would keep me on track, or how I even put, “New post every Monday!” in my header- I’m blogging now, and that’s what is important. So, I open up a new document* on my computer, and sit here, mouth gaping open like a large-mouth bass** wondering what on earth I’m going to write about. I could talk about critique partners, or editing, or review something, or brag, or post pictures relating to my manuscript, but I’ve done all of that, or read it somewhere recently. I have decided that every topic has been covered in the blogging world, and that I’m not contributing anything meaningful. So, I’m quitting! This is the official last post of YDE. It’s been an amazing experience, and I thank you all for coming along on this journey with me. Cheers!

*I almost wrote “new Word document” instead of new document. I think it’s fascinating how technology has weaseled itself into our vocabulary. What do you say if you’re going to go look something up on the internet? You say that you’re going to go Google it. Do you actually use Google? Meh. Sometimes. I use Bing, DogPile, Ask, but the point is that “Word document” as in Microsoft Word, (I’ve had my MacBook since 2009, and wrote on a Mac for over a year before that- I haven’t actually USED MicrosoftWord in years) and Google are our defaults. We are a strange people, and I like it!

**Will someone tell me where the fish/fishing reference came from? Because I have NO IDEA.

KIDDING! So anyway, I was sitting around, wondering what to talk about, and twirled my braided pigtail around my finger. Yes, I said pigtail. There were two of them. I think they’re rather cute, still. Yes, I know I’m not five, but that is PRECISELY my point. When I was... Okay, I never stopped putting my hair in pigtails... When I was younger, I  braided my hair a lot. It’s something that’s stuck with me. I write YA fiction, and I’m turning 19 this year, but I’ve kept a taste for tie-dye, and pigtails* but I like to think that I’ve matured in some ways, and that those likes from my childhood aren’t childish, but rather just personal. That’s how I believe writing matures with age. One might gain a new skill set, or a better eye for sentence structure, but your character, your personality, will stay with you. (Okay, I would HOPE that your personality would stay with you.) Sure, tastes change, you might wonder what on EARTH you were thinking when you used that much eye liner, or tried to achieve the perfect feathered flip, but something that is special to you, or important to you will stay around. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Hey Arnold! to watch, while I enjoy my Ring Pop, pet my Furbie and listen to the Backstreet Boys. Later!

*Yes, I realize that I sound like a complete hippie- vegetarian, feminist, barefoot, tie-dye and pigtail wearer, recycler, mac user... Dude- I’m TOTALLY A HIPPIE!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Aaaaand now there IS a redesign!

So, what do you think?


Hello redesign!

... Okay, I know that everything looks the same NOW, but just give me a few hours. :)


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why I'm Walking

Happy New Year! Happy February! I unofficially took January off from blogging, so that I could get my bearings. This is my last semester of high school ever. I have four classes, plus a job and a half, and the stressful yet exciting prospect of college. New York. It’s all that I can think of right now, worrying about the money, or getting there- it’s pretty stressful. But I’m not writing this post about my life, or my vegetarianism, (three months, still going strong!) This post is about the race that is publishing.

Before I go any further, let me say that I’m not saying no to being published, getting an agent, or writing a bestseller in two months with no sleep and too much caffeine. I don’t think it will, but my life could change at any time. I could sign with an agent (though I’m not querying) I could land a book contract, though I’ve not sent any work out- that’s the nature of life, anything is possible.

Once a writer becomes (even moderately) serious about his or her craft, the question of publication will come up. Some teenage authors will write a draft in their junior year of high school, find an agent or two (or three,) be published before college, and have four (possibly more) books published before the age of twenty. There are people like that who exist. I give them all the credit and admiration in the world, but I’m not one of those people. I’d like to be, oh boy would I. But either those teen prodigies before me were amazing at time management, or I’m REALLY not good at it. I tend to think that deep down more than anything, they were ready sooner than I, and want it more.

Publishing is a marathon. I’m starting slow, or even starting normally. I’m writing, working, getting my head around who I want to be myself, while establishing who I want someone else to be. I’m writing one life story while smack dab in the middle of my own. Every author started at the beginning, everyone had struggles along the way. You work and walk to the midway point, (sometimes run) where, hopefully, you manage to earn the support of an agent, who continues on beside you, carrying a water bottle and a granola bar. You both continue on your way, sometimes stopping, often hitting rough patches. Once your literary child sits on a bookshelf, you hop on your agent’s golf cart, drive to the midway point, and start again.

I’m sitting here in my bedroom, working on homework. Simon and Garfunkel is playing in the background, and sunlight is considering peeking in through my window. I have a cup of coffee (obviously) in my lap. I just read an email about getting tickets to a Broadway show when I’m in New York at the end of this month. I don’t have a copy of March, or Alaska Junction, or The Darcy Complex, or 40 Weeks sitting on my shelf. But I have ideas beyond my wildest dreams, I have ideas that were once dreams. I can flip-flop projects, because I really want to work or March more than Alaska right now. I could take a week off of writing if I wanted to. I’m still walking. But this is the time that I’m supposed to be walking. I’m warming up, I’m stretching my muscles. Before I know it, I’ll be at the “send out a query” checkpoint, but right now, my primary objective is to learn and to live along the way. Sure, it’s not glamorous, or even individualistic. How many adults spent their teenagehood writing in battered notebooks in every spare moment that they could find? I join the ranks of people passionate about their work, who are content where they are. I could not be happier.