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Three Things Thursday


I’ll be off all next week.

Working on the conference.

Hope to see you there.

And for sure the following week.


Cheryl Van Eck:

Have you all seen this article in Forbes about The Fault in our Stars?

It’s a debate that’s not only affecting Hollywood but YA as well. The idea that women will go to see movies or read books about men but men won’t do the same for a female protagonist.
However, the concept here is that while that might be true, so many more women go to see female-driven stories that it makes the endeavor more than worth it.
What do you think? Do you want to see more women in movies and YA?
Brenda Bensch:
On Writing Like a Writer!
The morning after WIFYR is over, my husband has to begin driving to California (L.A. area) to stay 2 or 3 weeks caring for an ex-wife who’s having open heart surgery on the Monday after WIFYR. Of course, I’m worried about how tired he’ll be, and how tired I will be. But here’s what I’m going to do about it: really write like A Writer: Saturday, while he’s driving, I’ll take one day off. I’ll plan my days to include blogging, rewriting the novel we workshop at WIFYR, playing with writing some new short stuff, some marketing of essays/articles, and reading. That sounds like too much (and that’s me all over!), but I want to give equal time to reading and writing. I work best if I write for an hour, or slightly over, then take a break. In this case, to read. I’ll have a couple of days a week where the writing will be on the short stuff, the rest will be my WIFYR novel. And short stuff will usually be confined to later each day, leaving my “prime time” for the heavy duty. Evenings, I’m going to quit and pay some attention to the house and things which have fallen behind. Wish me luck: even with timers to let me know when to change (rather like bells at school for all the years II taught in the public schools and colleges) it’s pretty ambitious.
How will you write like A Writer after WIFYR? Or during WIFYR, if you’re unable to attend?

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Three Things Thursday

Cheryl Van Eck:

A few weeks ago I had to employ the 50 Page Rule on a book by a beloved author because the book was, well, terrible.
The 50 Page Rule is this: If I hate a book after 50 pages, I get to put it down forever, no guilt allowed.
By the way, the childhood version of this is the 2 Chapter Rule. I never make a child read more than 2 chapters of a book.
The reason I do this is simple. Bad books slow me down. It takes me a hundred times as long to read a bad book as a good book. I’m not sneaking a chapter in here or there, I don’t wake up desperate to get to the next page, and I swear my actual hourly word count is significantly slower.
If there was an infinite amount of time to read and a finite number of books, then sure, I’d put in the work. But it’s the reverse. And with so many brilliant books out there, I simply can’t waste time on bad books.
Brenda Bensch:
Went grocery shopping today. By myself — my husband and I usually share the chore if we’re out and about. I had a list. I had a couple of things I KNEW I needed but hadn’t added on yet. The Hubby had requested a couple of items which one or the other of us had written down. What slowed my process down the most? I could not find the parmesan cheese — one of his few requests.  Oh, it was there, but I couldn’t find it. It turned out to be in a very narrow shelf unit near — surprise! — tons of canned spaghetti, dry pastas, etc., etc., etc.  Right where it should be. It was only three shelves (slightly below my eye level), one-and-three quarters of which were totally bare. It took me three trips down that aisle to “find” it.
Wasn’t shopping years ago easier? Fewer weird-o products, more room for items I would consider ordinary if not staples, no 500 competing brands of essentially the same product. We have more choices now? Maybe. Or just more confusion. Indecision. Hunting through all the junk to find the gems you’ve relied on for years.
How old is your MC? Does s/he do any shopping? What does s/he have trouble finding? What happens if s/he can’t find an important ingredient or something special a special person in his/her life requested? What would a shopping trip reveal about the MC?
Off this weekend.
So much to do before now and the middle of July when I plan to come home and JUST read.
And write.
But no cleaning.
Or cooking.
Or planning.
Three books to be finished before July’s end.
And a draft of the book Ann Dee and I are working on (that I haven’t written in some time).
What are you doing to write like a writer?


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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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Monday, Monday–Writing Like a Writer

I’ve been writing like crazy.

Working on a book with Ann Dee. She is so funny. Her parts of the story, hilarious. It’s taken me some time to get into the swing of things–but I think I am sort of doing it right now.

I’ve also been researching for the next Just in Time mid grade series I write with Cheri Earl. I’ve found the girl I thought we should go with and Cheri approved. Have been gathering cool info about this character. This is set in the 1830’s. BEFORE I began research, though, I rewrote Book Four of Just in Time.

Each day I’m working on a novel that I wrote years ago. I finally figured out what I did wrong then. Now I’m trying to fix that. This book has been sold and I’m writing like crazy to have a strong draft to send to the editor.

Finally, every day I think about two other books that I have half–written. One is a YA–funny. In this novel I have chosen to use the names of all my grandmother’s siblings. There were seven children all together. I knew there was one great aunt who died of throat cancer long before I was born and I couldn’t remember her name. Then, accidentally I found it! Yippee! The other WIP–a darker mid grade–is based on my life and may cause a stir in the family. Heck, lots of my books are based on my life. I’ve stirred lots of things!

But the important bit I’m saying here is– sometimes you can do a lot of ‘writing’ without ever sitting at the keyboard. Let your brain work things over for you. Think about your projects. Dream about them. When I get back to both of these, I think the work will be mostly done.

I believe I can say last week I was Writing Like a Writer.

What are you working on?

What have you done this last week to accomplish your writing goals?

What are you writing plans for the month of May?



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