“I would’ve written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have time…”

I’m finally getting a chance to SIT today and focus on editing Princess Amelia (Middle Grade, magical realism novel) to go to the Penguin Tarcher competition*.

I’m excited to have family around, to have moved to an actual _house_, and to have started an awesome part/time temp position in an insanely cool company I’m hoping I can convince to hire me. But it becomes a time management challenge to do that and write, and I take a few weeks to get fully ramped up.

I keep hearing 30,000 – 40,000 words for a MG novel, and editors would rather see that be on the shorter end for a first time writer. BUT… to tell Princess Amelia’s and Zoe’s stories/story as it needs to be told, in a character-driven way where we see both girls evolve?  I went from 35,000 to 38,000 on the first pass, and I see that growing to 40,000 easily.

Not to compare myself to the brilliant Liz Kessler, but I couldn’t help but notice the Emily Windsnap books are in the range of 40,000 to 45,000.

What do you think, followers?  Is the longer debut novel  something I can get away with?

*Which, I’d love to add a link to this but I’m still posting from my trusty but limited Droid. Apparently after 3 weeks it’s still too much to ask for AT&T to get their act together and send us the modem! I’ll drop this subject now, as anything further I have to say is highly inappropriate for a blog about writing for children.

New Beginnings =/= Excuses

Who starts a blog, then doesn’t post for a week and a half?

Someone who makes their first post two days before a cross country move, that’s who.

Now you might think a 48 hour drive might be a great opportunity to get some quality writing done.  I did, and was I ever wrong!  Surprisingly, sitting inches from a time zone confused baby who’s increasingly tired of being in the car (my son, not my husband) somehow doesn’t exactly provide the uiet I need to concentrate on writing/editing. I think I got in maybe a good hour, fueled by too much caffeine.

At the very least, I arrived safely in FL with a handful of story I
deas for the 12 x 12 (perhaps a second middle grade novel even!) and to an email from my fabulous crit group back in CA.  Sometimes constructive criticism is more helpful than praise, even if it is harder on the ego.

There really is nothing more frustrating than being forced to procrastinate due to circumstance, when you just want to get going!

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12 x 12 in 2012: Picture Book Writing Challenge

12x12

I’m very excited to be participating in the fabulous Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 in 2012: Picture Book Writing Challenge!

Just for fun, back in my pre-SCBWI days (around 2008/2009) I wrote a picture book based on a funny comment made by a child I babysat one day.  I did everything wrong with trying to submit it to a publisher, so I’m not really surprised that nobody even bothered to send me a rejection letter. Also, the manuscript was way too long.  So I failed completely across the board.

While I’m by no means going to completely abandon Logan’s New Friend, I am looking forward to taking all the weird, random ideas I have and seeing if they can be made into a book to appeal to the younger set.

Since my family is currently moving – the truck comes Sunday to take our stuff from CA to FL – needless to say the biggest obstacle I think I will have is time and staying focused.  It’s not just wrapping up all the loose ends here in CA, but getting ourselves situted in FL.  I’m looking forward to taking this journey with friends from my old and new SCBWI chapters.