Saturday, December 26, 2009

Road Trip

Remember Mommy’s new car – I first blogged about it in the November 18th post?
She did eventually get a top for it, and one weekend she announced, “We’re going to Reno!”
She wanted me to see snow – for the first time.
On our way back to the San Francisco Bay area it was cold, and slippery. We came to a stretch of road that had recently been plowed, but a sheet of ice remained. The car spun out of control. Around and around we went, down the wide desolate road.
When we came to a stop, Mom sighed in relief, realizing that we were okay.
While I giggled uncontrollably, “That was fun, do it again!”
So, she did. Again, and again, she spun donuts. Just to make me laugh.

Though it seems that my Mom was not aware of a car’s need for antifreeze, and soon learned what can happen without it: a cracked engine block.
That’s pretty bad, right? Well, remember, this is my Mom we’re talking about … it gets worse. The car caught on fire ... in the parking lot, while picking me up from daycare the next day.
Yes, that would be the same daycare I mentioned before. And once again, like she had on many other occasions, the snooty Mrs. Armstrong rolled her eyes as she watched us leave, hoping we would never come back.
You might be asking, what ever happened to the cute little convertible?
Well, Mom only had the car about six months. She had one problem after another with it, and the fire was the last straw.
She had the car towed to the dealership that night. She left the keys inside, with a note that read:
To whom it may concern;
I am sorry, but I cannot take care of this car anymore.
You can have it back.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Coming Soon

I will have a new post after the holidays. Sorry, I've been busy working on my manuscript, hoping to send it out after the new year. Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Writing and Editing Process

A little over a year ago I wrote the first words of my first young adult novel. I didn’t have a plan, or an outline, just a couple of characters and a hint of an idea (that’s right, not even a complete idea). So, I just started writing – and I do mean writing, with pencil and paper. Page after page I scribbled down what ever came into my head. After about thirty pages I began trying to decipher my notes and copy them into the computer. It didn’t take long for me to realize it was easier to skip the first step and ditch the pencil and paper.
I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning, but kept at it. The plot changed over and over as the characters evolved. The more I wrote the better I got. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote, and then I wrote some more. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, now the process of editing.
I’ll break my novel into three main parts and my problem.
1. My protagonist, Melinda, is a present day sixteen year old girl. She’s a normal teenager, with not so normal problems.
2. My story started with a small prologue. Don’t cringe like I just said a bad word. I know a lot of people have issues with prologues. I was on the fence about it myself, but I needed to write a historical piece that would explain the world that Melinda was to uncover. Problem was, over time my small prologue grew. Eventually I had a prologue that was upwards of twenty pages. Not cool. But I felt that revealing more about the characters from the past, gave more weight to the journey in the present.
3. In addition to Melinda, I had Luke, a present day seventeen year old boy, and the link to the past that I mentioned. His story was unfolding at its’ own pace.
My problem – how do I cohesively blend these things together?
The process I used to overcome this obstacle was the very technical, not for the faint at heart. I call it Operation-sticky-notes. I had seen it done before, and wasn’t sure I could take it on, but I did.
Each sticky note represented a scene or chapter. I started by writing the time and place at the top, followed by some key points. Then I laid them all out in front of me and studied them. In no time at all, my chapters had found sequential heaven. What a great feeling when everything comes together and works!