Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer report

Is that the longest layoff from this journal yet? Shame on me. There has been plenty going on that I could have written about.

The summer wasn't super productive. I had a real crisis with my first book, which I had planned to revise over the summer. I spent a lot of time on a completely new book idea. I had a few meetings of my writing group. I waited around a lot for my readers to get back to me on the "current" book -- the children's book. And I've launched into the revisions of that book.

Where it stands now . . . I continue to have problems with the opening, but it keeps getting better with each attack, I think. Of course, I always think I've found the solution with each draft and then get knocked down again. I'm set up for another knock down now.

After the opening, I feel like the book is in strong shape. I'm reading it through on paper and making revisions, and it looks like all sentence-level sharpening. Nothing major needed. Except for that damn opening.

That work is going slower than I expected, and I'm busy with other things, so I'm behind the schedule I set for myself. In fact, I was supposed to be done tomorrow. But I think it will be at least 2 more weeks, maybe more.

I call this the 6th draft, but as I've said before, the dividing line between one draft in another is mostly arbitrary.

The other thing I could talk about is the feedback I'm getting, particularly from child readers for the first time, but I'll save that for another post.

And the other thing I could talk about is some of the good books I've read as part of my ongoing learning about children's literature. I'll say just one thing now: Cynthia Voigt. How could I not have known about her before? I am so jealous of her talent.