I looked at this page for the first time in a year. I am sorry, my dear blog. My fault, I fear. In the 12 months I spent not blogging, I completed a 57-page paper on the idea of QUIRKiness in writing for kids (thanks, Polly Horvath, Nathalie Babbitt, and Anne Ursu) and I completed 116 polished draft pages of my middle-grade novel. I had to give the book a name. The title AGNES VON KLINER, FASHION DESIGNER no longer worked since my MC (main character) changed to Agnes's pal, Carly Blye. The working title (is it working?) is Leave a Message for Carly Blye.
SO, my friends, you ask: The graduate degree is done. You know all there is to know. Now what? Well the answer is simple: No, I don't! I am still not sure how to finish the novel, all of my picture book manuscripts need overhauls, and I've had a sudden revelation about rhythm! (As in, my writing has none!) I want so much to be one of these people with a rule! What rules? Okay here are some examples: Write every day. Write every day for 7 minutes. Write a poem a day. Come up with a schedule and adhere to it! Okay, done. I hereby promise to write every day. NO MATTER WHAT. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll post some of my new-found rhythmic ditties here. Please stay tuned. You may not feel so lucky if you have to read them. Hah!
One the reading front, I recently read something I loved: GOOD GIRLS by Laura Ruby. It's a full-on YA with love, lust, rumors, and pain. It's very smart and not over the top, but thoughtful and important. It had everything a teenage girl wants. It's also a bit of a primer on teen romance if you have a boy who's willing to go there. I wouldn't give it to my kids (10 and 12) for fear they'll just laugh at me. But maybe if I leave it out, my tween will notice it. Nah. He's still re-reading Matilda. Henry and I have slowly been enjoying The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. While. Oh, the joy of a slow, unraveling simple plot.
On the life front, I lost my dad last year, and it's still so hard to believe. I had school to finish this winter, so I found a way to put my sadness away for a little while in order to focus on writing. But, it's here. It's back. I miss him. I hope to write about him and about my amazing, surviving mom in the near future.