children's writer

My Vision

Dec 13, 2012
I told my new writer friend, Rhiann, I'd participate in her blog hop today. I'm supposed to blog about something that inspires my writing, and while there are a lot of things that inspire me nothing beats being told I suck. Last night I spent a few minutes cutting most of my first chapter because it was too slow, too telling, too this, too that. I spent even more time trying to come up with the perfect first line. After lots of brainstorming and almost wanting to cry, I'm finally happy with my new first chapter. I hope whoever reads it will be, too. Truthfully, the one thing that scares me the most about being an aspiring author is the uncertainty.

We spend so much time slaving over sentences, paragraphs, scenes, and chapters. And at the end of it all, once we've completed yet another draft, we still don't know if all that hard work was even worth it. That said, after reading a free e-book, I took the time to write down my vision.

Vision: To write and publish great novels that inspire and evoke emotion in the reader.

So when I'm feeling down and questioning whether all of this cutting and rewriting will even make much of a difference, I'll try to remember why I write in the first place.

Do you have a vision? Have you written it down?


Dec 5, 2012
A few months ago, I mentioned wanting to enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. After some more thought, I definitely think I'm going to take the plunge and enter. In preparation for the contest, here is the shiny, new first page of GONE BY THE END OF JULY.

I totally got the inspiration to do this post from another writer. I'd love some honest thoughts on it.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me

Dec 4, 2012
It's Top Ten Tuesday again. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is "Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing Me." I've had my eye on some of these books for months.

1. Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield - I read the sample of this twice. The writing is so wonderful, and I really like the premise. I love books that take place in small towns.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - I don't think this book needs any explaining. I think I might be the only person on the planet who hasn't read it yet.

3. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson - I've heard nothing but great things about this book.

4. Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone - There's so much to love about this book. Time travel, romance, and the 90s are just a few.

5. If I Lie by Corrine Jackson - A lot of people are raving about this one, too. I can't wait to find out why.

6. Love Slave by Jennifer Spiegel - This is another book I read a sample of. I really like the writing. It's so fresh.

7. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles - Historical fiction that takes place in the 30s, 40s, 50s, or 60s is my favorite kind of historical fiction.

8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - I've heard that it's a really great and intense read.
9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - Who doesn't love a bit of magic?
10. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - She is still one of my favorite authors. 

This is one of those moments where I wish we could choose more that just ten. I can think of at least five more books I would want. Santa is going to be very busy this year.

Changing My Process

Dec 3, 2012
Many of you have probably already read Changing Your Process on Writer Unboxed. I just read it the other day and felt like it was exactly what I needed to hear. You guys know that I love to talk about the projects I'm working on, but I've never actually shared my writing process.

The main reason for that: It was pretty embarrassing how much time I spent thinking about writing but not actually writing. Some days would start with me getting a few words down, reading over those words, editing them, and then daydreaming about my characters.

But I've evolved.

Or at least I'm trying to. According to the post on Writer Unboxed it takes a while for new habits to sink in, as long as sixty-six days. I've given myself a goal of writing at least 1,000 words every day for three months in an attempt to get into "shape." 1,000 words might not seem like a lot, but I figured I'd be a lot more likely to stick with this goal if I didn't push myself too hard.

Today was the first day of my journey to being a better writer and it went well. With the help of Written? Kitten! and Pandora those words flew onto the page. I've had enough of those days spent not writing. I want to be able to declare that I've finished writing yet another novel. With my old process, that would take months, years if I completely stopped trying. This is my plan:


  • I will write at least 1,000 words every day, usually as soon as I wake up.
  • I will not edit anything until I've hit my word count goal.
  • I will not let the internet interfere with my writing.

I'm feeling very optimistic.