Tag Archives: laurie halse anderson

What can you accomplish in 5 years?

time bloomingHow about 20?

Taking a break from writing my YA Paranormal first draft, I hopped over to see what (one of) my fav YA authors was up to. Laurie Halse Anderson focuses more on writing her books, than blog posts, which I truly admire. But, Here’s a post she shared back in September, 2012 that got me thinking.

Yes, I’ve been struggling with my own creativity doubts, droughts and bouts of frustration. Some bouts and droughts last long. Too long. And then, I start to think… “Am I REALLY a writer? Or am I posing as a writer because that’s what everyone THINKS I am?” Have I been at this writing thing too long with not much to show for it? It’s depressing. It’s defeating. Anyone else with me on this?

So, reading Laurie’s post about giving herself 5 years to make a name for herself in writing gave me an idea. What if I started right now? Like, took it seriously. 5 years from now, I can have a book published. 5 years from now, my oldest son will be a freshman in college, my younger guy will be a freshman in high school. They’d both be pretty independent and not need Mom around as much as they do now. I could go on a book tour! Ha! O.K. One.Thing.At.A.Time.

Finish first draft.

Submit my piece to my crit group TODAY. (eek!)

Meet with said crit group on Wednesday.

Critique one more story on CritiqueCircle.com

Complete first draft for Anthology 7 & post on CritiqueCircle.com

Where will you be in 5 years with your writing? With your life?

Random tidbits…

Written to the musical muse of: A Fine Frenzy – “Almost Lover”

Movie I’m psyched to see: Warm Bodies

Book I’m reading: well, just finished Anne Lamott’s Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith


Filed under Believe, books, goals

Reader Wednesdays

What I'm reading now

I’m a voracious reader, as every writer should be. My fun reading list consists primarily of YA novels, since that is what I write and love to read these days. Perhaps I’ll break down my favorite characters, plot or theme for a post or two. One day.

But this series idea came while I was scribbling away in my hardbound journal while hiding out in Michigan last weekend. Hiding out from the internet, phones, TV, family and pretty much life in general. All that distracts me from Writing. My. Novel. So, while journaling, I was also reading my other favorite genre: books on writing craft and writing life. Like fiction, I can read several books simultaneously (I am easily distracted.) I figured, since I’m reading these great books on craft and doing the exercises or otherwise gleaning knowledge and motivation, why not share my findings with you fine readers? Kind of like an on-line nonfiction book discussion/group/thingamajig. Win-win?

So, let’s start with authors who inspire us and why. In The Art of War for Writers (fiction writing strategies, tactics, and exercises) – James Scott Bell, Bell suggests we find pictures of 3-4 of our favorite authors. Bonus points if the picture reflects the essence of these authors and why you admire them. Mine area always changing, but when I thought about it, I came up with this list…

Laurie Halse-Anderson

~ Laurie Halse Anderson…

  • mass-producing,
  • writing across genres
  • prolific and poetic
  • Her characters make me ache
  • writes about the tough stuff with painful truth
  • words that follow me into bed at night

o   REMINDS ME… to speak from my VOICE


Becca Fitzpatrick

~Becca Fitzpatrick…

  • Was never interested in writing,
  • took a fiction course as a joke
  • if she can do it, I can do it!

o   REMINDS ME…of what’s possible


Stephen King

~Stephen King…

  • The master
  • Determination
  • experience
  • hugely successful
  • always working
  • he’s real and he’ll kick my ass into gear!

o   REMINDS ME…to put the work and extra effort in!


Toni Morrison

~Toni Morrison….

  • A legend
  • Weaves worlds with her words
  • Plucks your heart
  • Writers in layers, each scene peeled back to reveal a new surprise

o   REMINDS ME… of the beauty of writing, why I want to keep doing this

>>>>>>>>What do you think? Who would be on your list and can you find these authors’ photos to hang around your writing area – filling your space with experience, passion, motivation and art? I’d love to hear who you selected…


Filed under books, Reader Wednesdays

NaNoWriMo: Half-Way Point!

When I was a kid and we’d make the 2.5 drive from Chicago to Dowagiac, MI for weekend getaways, the whole car load of us would “hoot” when he passed the half-way point. Think of old school Arsenio Hall’s “woot-woot-woot!” with the fist in the air.

So, my fellow NaNo’ers – lets’ Woot Woot Woot! even if you’re not at the desired 25,005 word count, you’ve made it through 15 days of NaNo Mania!

And, for my wager on words yesterday:

Yesterday’s Word Count: 3,297 !!! just shy of the 4,000 goal I had, per Liz ; )

cumulative: 17,770

Mood: Delighted, hopeful, loving the mess that is my novel again! Till next time…

Check in: How are all of you doing? Anyone make it to th half point intact? Are there any NaNo’ers out there who’ve already “won?”

P.S. I’m Super Stoked about getting to meet one of my fav YA authors tonight: Laurie Halse-Anderson. Hoping to get SPEAK and WINTERGIRLS signed 🙂


Filed under Believe, books, NaNoWriMo, Novels

What I Learned This Week…

…in Writing, Teaching, Marketing and Life

Most of my “learns” this week were a result of some awesome tweets posted on Twitter:


As a writer or reader we need to support one another. But let’s face it, everyone’s wallet is hurting (mine is technically on long term disability leave!) But we can still provide (and ask for) support for written works. This article

breaks down 10 easy and cheap or zero-cost ways to do just that!

{Courtesy of:} @Becky_LevineRT @ShrinkngViolets: Lisa Schroeder’s blog “Supporting authors when your heart’s bigger than your wallet” — http://tinyurl.com/nj85r9

Can you believe Book Banning Week still exists in the sense that books are still under scrutiny to be banned in schools and libraries? HEllo, people, this is the 21st century!  Yes, I am a parent and yes I am concerned with the things my sons read, view, hear. However, I am raising them to be responsible, open-minded adults who can feel comfortable talking to me and my husband about anything. So, my 10-year-old is reading the Cirque DuFreak series (vampires – the gory, not sexy variety with reasonable, not gratuitous violence and petty cursing.) Guess what? I’m reading them too. Opens conversations. Remember talking to your kids?  Off my soapbox: check out the article Teen Author, Laurie Halse Anderson posted. Thoughts?

{Courtesy of:} @maureenjohnson: Please take a moment to read this awesome post by @halseanderson about challenges to her #books. http://is.gd/3zd1z


Can you give a 5-second pitch on your book? Not sure I can give a 5 second description on anything- I like to blather ; )

But, sources say, concise is key – especially when trying to grab hold of an agent/editor! Check this out

What would your 5 second pitch be?

Friend Me! Yes, your writing business needs friends – that’s how it gets popular and invited to all the cool parties. Mashable, once again, breaks it down for us: How to create a Facebook Fan page for your business. I’m totally jumping on board with this one…I’ll post the link once I’m finished with mine (next week?)

Do you have  a Facebook Fan Page for your writing/teaching/freelancing business?


My style of teaching is based on my own writing and publishing and school experiences. But, I am always flexible in my lessons, to allow for discussions. It may seem like a distraction, but those tangents turn into conversation that builds trust and opens kids up.  Let them talk and you be sure to share, too, when appropriate. In other words, kids don’t want to be preached to. They want someone or some event they can relate to. Use your own experiences and life-learned lessons to connect with them. One little way I’m doing this: I’m friending my students on Facebook. They can see the real me and my personality. I can pick up on things they’re into, too, which will help with future writing assignments.

What are you doing to build that relationship with your students?


I’ve been hearing it a lot lately: Get up an hour earlier and spend time with yourself! Well, it’s true. When I can do it, I feel unstoppable. On these days I get up before the sun, do some yoga or light workout, then have time to just free write and express my concerns, frustrations, epiphanies (yes, you can still have those!), dreams, ideas and to-do lists.

Try it! You’ll surprise yourself and that’s a pretty cool feeling!

If you still want more to read, jump over to my WriteLikeCRAZY blog today, where YA novelist Adam Dustus is guest blogging and giving away one copy of his debut novel, High School Asylum to a random young writer who posts their writing goals! Go get inspired by these wee sprites ; )

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Filed under Advice, books, Education, goals, writers, writing inspiration