My friend Maggie has been struggling lately. I don't think it's writer's block but she has definitely been blocked by something. Motivation? Maybe. Time? Possibly. We talk about it over coffee at Strabucks. She narrows down the possible problems. Plot heads the list.
I love her story. It has great possibilities but I finally know what Maggie is going through.
You all know that I'm in the last phases of revisions with my novel Greenwood Girls. I love this story. It's everything I've ever wanted to read. I think tween girls everywhere will like it. (So maybe I'm a bit delusional but it keeps me going!) It's been nothing but a thrill every time I sit down at my computer and hammer out a new scene, or a tweaked scene or even delete a scene. It's fun.
But I can honestly say, I don't quite have the same zest for my work-in-progress novel. I use the same motivational tools for this novel as I did for Greenwood Girls; the display boards, the notebooks on back story and character sketches, etc. But it's not the same.
I submitted the first chapter to my new critique group. Let's just say they were kind. Just like Maggie had done in some past revisions, I got stuck on tenses. Some parts of the chapter were written in first person present, some not. Man! I swear this has been the most difficult thing to overcome. I've never suffered from tense confusion before so why now?
I can still see Maggie, her head lowered and, in a quite eloquent way, said that she felt like an idiot for slipping in and out of 1st person. I feel your pain, Mags.
Anyways, I think it's because I haven't decided how to tell my story. The Great Val Hobbs, my esteemed writing teacher, says this is something that needs to be decided straight off. I think she's right. Do I want Ainsley to tell the story as if it already happened? Do I tell the story as Ainsley experiences it? I think I need to step back and figure it out. Any suggestions?
My friend just dropped off the most beautiful invitation to the 1st Annual Literary Ball sponsored by The Junior League of Santa Barbara. My good friend, Rachael Steidl, of SBParent.com is being honored as Woman of the Year for her philanthropic contributions to our community. Way to go Rachael! If you want to attend, check out the JLSB website for more info.
Just a bit of back story on what the JLSB did last year. The provisional group (the JL newbies) rallied together and solicited manpower and funds to completely renovate a downtown library, focusing on establishing a children's and young adult section. Most certainly something to celebrate.
On a personal note...remember the shoes? Okay. Not such a great idea. By 11pm (way early in Vegas time) my feet had a thousand blisters. Man, they were sore. I think I'm wearing too many flip flops and running shoes. My mother would cringe.
Vegas, though, was fantastic. Strange land, I must say. I had no idea the entire city was meant to be enjoyed inside. I was expecting a Palm Springs setting with palms trees and lush gardens but instead found cars, concrete and lots of strangely decorated hotels. We had a blast and it was fun celebrating Darcy's 40th in grand style.
Now that my blog entry is done, I can sit back and read my critique groups comments in depth. Isn't it an amazing feeling to know someone is giving their time for your benefit? I love the children's lit circle!