Tag Archives: The Haven

Be Very Afraid

So a week plus ago, Ann Dee and I sent in the book we wrote together to our agents. The rewrite. It’s ready for submission. Woot woot!

Before we started our project, way back when, we decided we would write something we had never done before.

We would take some risks.

We had three pages (maybe) of a dark dystopian with elements from history. (That we still need to write. And we will. I think.)

Then Ann Dee sent me a new beginning and we wrote a middle grade novel exactly like the things we would both write on our own.

I love it.

It’s hilarious. And sad. And delicious. There’s lots of talk of food.

(Ann Dee is one of the best writers in America. Yes, I believe that. How did I luck out getting to write with her?)

GingerBelle Co. That’s the title. For now.

For me, it seems perfect for a sequel.

And a sequel to this kind of book is exactly the kind of thing Ann Dee and I write.

We’ve spent plenty of time giggling about how we were going to write something different and how we did exactly what’s comfortable to both us.


As we got closer to the end of the novel, I started bugging the lady with the five babies under the age of four, about our next book.

We sent each other ideas.


Wondered out loud.

Went for a treat and talked.

“It has to be different than what we’d normally write,” Ann Dee kept saying.

And I kept saying, to every idea, “No. We write that already. We write that already.”


Why should it be different?

My dear friend, a writer I love and admire, Matthew J. Kirby, told me that I should write the book I’m afraid of. Matt knows I’m terrified to even think a thought that may include a fantasy element.

He’s right.

Fantasy? I can’t even think a fantastical thought. (And when I shared my one fantasy idea with Ann Dee she said, “My heart’s just not in that.” She wanted to laugh. I could tell.)

Fantasy is different for me.

It’s scary.


I’ve done it a few times. Written what I was afraid of: THE CHOSEN ONE.  GLIMPSE. THE HAVEN. Those topics all terrified me.

What happened when I let myself explore these scary ideas?

I ended up writing books in new ways. At least new ways for me.

That meant anguish. Fear. Tears. And some joy. Joy because I succeeded.


After going back and forth for about a month, throwing ideas at each other and keeping Matt’s suggestion to be afraid of the next thing we write, Ann Dee and I may have found it.

Our new project.

It’s absolutely terrifying.

Historical. A terrible time in history.

A different culture.

I’ve been thinking of this idea less than 24 hours and I am afraid of it. Really afraid of it.

But if we add a dose of what we love, things Ann Dee and I are comfortable with, we may be able to pull this off. Things like family. Love. Sisters. Humor. Sorrow.


So what absolutely frightens you?

I really want to know.




Filed under Ann Dee, Character, CLW, Family, Life, Plot

Three Things Thursday

From Me:

1. Kyra is off to FL, waiting still to hear from her agent and an editor who is interested in her novel.

2. The Haven was picked up as a Scholastic book! I just found out yesterday.

3. Cheri and I are off to meet a couple of editors for lunch. Should be fun. And it will be very safe because I’m driving.

From Me Again:

4. Writing Exercise #1–Your character has to get away, fast. Why is she leaving? Is this expected or not? Is someone after her? What is her first reaction to keeping herself safe?

5. Writing Exercise #2–Your character has to tell a significant other (best friend, boyfriend, parent) about something terrible she has done. What is it? Why did she do this? How does she do the telling?

6. Writing Exercise #3– Every day for 21 days take ten minutes–at the same time and the same place–to brainstorm writing ideas. I’m going to start tomorrow. Same time. Same place. Pad and pencil in hand. Train your brain. Let’s see if something good comes of this exercise. End date will be October 9, 2014.

From Cheryl Van Eck:

For some people, the hardest part of a first draft is the beginning. For others, the murky middle. And for some it’s the climax. 
For me, it’s that part right toward the end of the murky middle, the point of no return that catapults you into the climax. 
It’s not because I don’t know what to do or how to write it. The problem is that it’s the point where I really start to get afraid. 
Novels in my head are beautiful, perfect. When I begin, I’m so excited that the beginning passes in a fantastic oblivion. It’s not until I’m nearly finished with the middle that reality hits–first drafts are terrible. 
Suddenly, I don’t want to finish anymore. My perfect novel had a perfect climax and if I write it, it’ll become like everything else in the first draft. Awful. 
The only thing I can do is sit and write anyway, wincing the whole time. 
What is the hardest part for you to write? Why? And how do you push through? 



Filed under CLW, Exercises, Kyra

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

I have a spring time cold. It won’t go away. It’s been hanging out in my lungs since my birthday.

Come to The King’s English for Ann Dee‘s book release party (May 15, 2014 7 pm). Then I can give all ya’ll my cold.

On Saturday, come back to The King’s English for my cute mom’s release party (May 17, 2014 7 pm). I will also be there to get you sick.

One day I want a party.
One day we will.
One day.

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Filed under Kyra, Life

For Yesterday

Some days you just can’t Write Like  a Writer.

It’s impossible.

Like this past weekend.

A 4-day migraine.

No Mother’s Day on Mother’s Day.

And I still feel like crap.


Today is the release date for my book Signed, Skye Harper.

And my head feels like a sponge filled with water.

A sponge with bulging eyes.



Ann Dee has a book launch at The King’s English.

May 15, 2014.

7 pm.



I have a book launch at The King’s English, too.

May 17, 2014.

7 pm.



Next time we’re signing together. Maybe for the book we’re working on. 🙂

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