Why? Because it is vacation and that means, as a mom, all my time is spent going from one fun place to another; and then cleaning up after whichever fun activity we just did. Here in Lake Tahoe that entails drives to the grocery store, beach, pool, cousin's house and mini-golf. And I love, love, love watching my daughter have so much fun.
On the other hand, it reminds me of when I first started to write and I was squeezing time in during her baby naps. That's when I first started going to Starbucks to write. I would have my baby carrier next to my chair hoping that she would stay asleep long enough for me to finish a new chapter.
It's never easy to find time to write; something I frequently hear mom writers talk about. I've also heard just as many ideas for combating this: getting up before the kids in the morning, bringing the computer in the car for those times you are stuck waiting for a game or class to end, date-time for yourself. But fundamentally, it all comes down to forcing that time... on ourselves, our spouses, even our children. And sometimes, like on vacation for example, it is hard to motivate to do this. When that happens I let my characters speak to and for me. I allow their voices to drag me back into it, demanding that I finish whatever scene I left off at.
My newest character, Marybeth, is right in the middle of a critical choice between the safe, known love interest and the unknown, dangerous one. Which will she choose? Well, she is saying there is still more to discover about both and she's ready to get to it.
Tomorrow, with or without Starbucks, I know I will need to get back to Marybeth and the story she would like finished.
“The publishers don’t have any interest in taking all their children’s books and putting them into digital format; there’s no money in it for them.”
“All I know is that my brother’s kids are 7 and 3 and they’re always trying to get to the ipad.”
I feel like I have been hearing and having this conversation a lot lately. What is epublishing? How does it happen? What will happen to traditional print books? The questions are everywhere.... on every writing website and, in this case, overheard even at Starbucks.
When I start talking about writing books, though, the first question people have is how do I get my work out to traditional publishers. As most writers know, this is a tedious question to answer, boring for everyone except those who have to go through the piles of queries and rejections. Yesterday I read a rejection letter Usula Le Guin received on her first novel (BTW - thank you for putting that out there Ms. Le Guin!... if you want to read it yourself check out my Writer's World link to her site).
So, the idea of epublishing is particularly appealing, I think, if for no other reason than it feels like there are no gate-keepers. Of course the problem with that is that there may well be a lot of unedited and unusual stuff that gets published. The responsibility begins to fall to the reader to sift through the books and find what is worth reading.
But, I have to say I agree with the second speaker at Starbucks... there are a lot of reasons why epublishing is taking off right now, but one of the most important is that the readers of today have already gotten used to picking their books in Amazon. Even more importantly, kid's school libraries now have computer systems which mimic the 'If you like this you will like this' feature and the 'Your friends are reading this' feature of Amazon, Goodreads and Facebook.
So, ultimately, the readers have become the gatekeepers. And if you are a writer like me this is a good and bad thing. Good because we can get right out to the people who read our books. But bad because there is way more pressure to build a well written, fantastic story, with great characters and a voice that appeals to a targeted reader set.
I'd write more on this topic, but I have to get to the library... I have books to return!
"I love chocolate. Do you love chocolate?"
This was from two little girls who had to first negotiate which of the many tables would be the very best to sit at in Starbucks. It made me think...
Have you ever noticed how kids conversations are the most honest and sincere reflections of true emotions? Here's the thing: I love chocolate too.... really love it (though not as much as my husband). But I can't remember the last time I told someone I loved it. Or, more importantly sincerely asked if they liked it too.
Instead, most of my conversations are about who's meeting the bus; or when the mole catchers will be returning to our mole infested back-yard.
Today I think I will try to have at least three, kid inspired conversations. But first... I have to figure out what I really love!