Daily Archives: April 4, 2011

Get someone you love to start smoking.

I had another deep Waldo insight this week as I was researching the author and origins of the series on the internet. It really is quite fascinating but Cam says maybe I should keep my personal problems to myself which is pretty good advice. I will try to restrain myself.*

Instead, I will say that at the library we have also been checking out James Marshall’s GEORGE AND MARTHA books. Have you read them? I love them. I know some people probably hate them. I love them. They are funny and weird and each book has five stories which makes the boys feel like we’re reading a big book with chapters.

Today I am going to relate one of the stories as motivation for the upcoming writing marathon. Please, take this to heart.

George has a sweet tooth.

Martha is worried about George and tells him to please stop eating so many sweets.

George says he’ll be fine. He’s under control.

Martha decides she needs to get serious so she starts smoking. Like cigars. Big fat cigars (this is such a precious childrens picture book).

George is shocked. Why are you doing this?

She says she’s fine. She’s under control.

George says please stop.

She says she’s fine, the smoke billowing all over the illustration.

Then he says, Please, please, why are you doing this?

Then she says, will you stop eating sweets?

He said, yes. and he did.

Isn’t that inspirational? Doesn’t that tell you a thing or two about how to motivate a loved one?

Now for the marathon, how can we motivate each other? I have a problem where I make promises/goals to myself (write a page a day, write 1000 words a day, write 19 minutes a day, think about writing sometime during the day, etc.) and then I don’t do it.  I need someone I love to start smoking cigars or some other destructive behavior and then threaten not to stop unless I write 500 words a day.

Who volunteers? What can we do to push ourselves? Should we post our marathon hopes and then post the results? Have a post marathon party for everyone who reaches their goal? Partner up and email each other throughout the marathon? Send each other a prize if we make it to the finish line? What do you think?

I don’t have a sitter those days so my writing will have to happen at night. I’m trying to clear my schedule so that I can actually get a good chunk of a revision done. I hope.

What are you doing to prepare?

*Or maybe not. We’ll see how I feel next week.


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Marathoning this Weekend

Yes, it’s finally here. This weekend we’ll be starting the three-day marathon that we’ve done in the past.

I’m kind of excited. My marathon will be more rewriting and adding a lot to an old piece rather than starting a new.

The thing is, how does one write for long periods of time when there is so much to do?

If you think I’m gonna hand out answers, you’re wrong! I haven’t figured that out yet!


Maybe what you do is work fast during the time you have before hand.


So here’s what I’ll be doing this week:

Packing boxes

Helping home schooled children be home schooled

Preparing for a library visit


Trying to exercise every once in a while

Teaching and grading papers



THE MARATHON! (Woot! Woot!)


So, the DD has to be done. I think the first time we marathoned together I had to rewrite something then, too.

My goal, then, is that by the time Saturday rolls around, I plan to be into the third big revision of the book, ready to send to my amazing St. Martin’s Press editor.


It IS a good idea to prepare for the marathon. We’ve given you some ideas these last couple of weeks to get you ready.

As the day (Thursday) approaches, prepare to spend a goodly amount of BIC time. How can you do that?

Didn’t I just say I have no idea?

Well, here’s what I’m going to do. It coincides with what I have written above.


* Pack up all the empty boxes we have before Thursday rolls around. If this doesn’t happen, that’s okay, because I like to write 45 minutes and then spend 15 minutes stretching, doing something else and just getting up and moving around.  So if I DO get more boxes, I can use my 15 minutes off putting stuff into boxes.

* It’s actually kind of hard to write and home school my kids at the same time. But, if I give nice-sized projects to do in the 45 minute segments, that’s cool. A good way to work. Then we both take our break at the same time.

* My next two weeks are kind of full–I have a  visit to Hill School, an two-day SCBWI event in Idaho (yahoo!) and then a library visit at a Hill AF Base library!

* Allergy season! Take pills!

* I have a goal to try and lose a bit of weight and so I’m going to exercise.

* My students get the full measure of my teaching. No cutting corners there.



THE MARATHON! (Woot! Woot!)


So it’s all about the GO! This will be fun. Line up your pens and notebooks, prepare for a weekend of finishing your novel–or maybe starting a new one!

Good luck preparing.


Oh, I forgot to tell you all–I sold a book on Friday.



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