New things

I’m working on a play right now. It’s a rewrite of “A Christmas Carol,” but set in my hometown. The local theater will be performing it at Christmas time. Auditions are Oct. 6-7, so I really need to have most, if not all, of it done by then.

I also have an idea for a picture book biography that I’m excited about. It really isn’t my normal thing, but I like this idea and am intrigued by this person, so I think it will be fun to do. And I am good friends with an amazing picture book biography author, Gwendolyn Hooks, so I am sure that she can help me out if I run into trouble.

Once that is done, it’s back to the two YA contemporaries I haven’t completed. Maybe I’ll be able to work on those and the biography at the same time. But I don’t think I can with the play because I’m on such a tight deadline.

I’m going to a revision retreat this weekend, with SCBWI Oklahoma. I don’t have anything currently that I want to revise but I’m excited about learning new ideas for the future.

I am also doing a writing retreat in early November with some friends. I’m looking forward to this, big-time. Last year I got a lot of words on my YA contemporary on sexual assault. Maybe I’ll get it wrapped up this year. Or maybe I’ll focus on the other one. Or maybe I’ll be completely done with both and I’ll focus on something new, lol!

Just realized that it’s kind of nice that we’re going in November. I could maybe tie my work in with NaNo to keep the momentum going.

But! The next thing I am going to write is a message to my agent, because her debut novel is coming out next week. I’m proud of her. <3

Mindfulness

Yesterday was our first day back at our homeschool co-op. It was a good day. I was mean to my son later that day, over something that seemed important at the time, but in the long view, I don’t know if it was worth being mean or not. It is ever worth being mean? I don’t know how I could have handled it better but I am thinking on it.

Probably the best part of yesterday was when I was about to leave, and another mom asked me how my husband was doing with his medical issues, and I was honest and told her how I was feeling about all of it – to the best of my tongue-tied ability, at least. She listened, and she tried to understand, and she prayed over the whole situation. It was such a relief to have my feelings not explained away or dismissed. I didn’t feel ridiculous or regret sharing with her and it was such a balm to my soul.

Today I’m back in the office, considering my to-do list and working on checking off some things. I’ve got a calming blend in my essential oil diffuser and relaxing spa music on spotify, and my big chunk of amethyst next to me. I feel okay. There’s a small tension still within, but overall I feel better.

I have several projects in my mental inbox, and I’m trying to decide which one I should focus on first.

  • The WIP on sexual assault I was working on before I went back to my Rat Queen revisions. This story feels very close to my heart, and I was making good progress before I put it on pause last month. I could probably get that one done in a month or two if I really put my nose to the grindstone.
  • The WIP I was working on before the sexual assault one. This one was a lot of fun, but I got overwhelmed by the whole thing when I was working on it. I think it will be amazing, if I can ever figure out how to get it where I want it. I’d like to get it over and done with.
  • A play I promised my niece I would write for the local theater, for Christmas. Honestly, it should be done as soon as possible so they have time to prepare for it. This shouldn’t be hard at all, because I’m basically going to just redo “A Christmas Carol” to be set in our small town, but I’m not looking forward to actually putting in the work setting everything up. Making the changes I want should be easy. Getting the rest of the play transcribed from the original story sounds like it’s going to suck, big time.
  • The new, fresh middle grade magical realism that I haven’t even got set solidly in my head, but sounds SO VERY MUCH FUN to write and create! But I really can’t let myself get too deep into it, because I have the other stuff I need to do first. Bother.

So, yeah. I know I need to do the play first, gross. But that way the actors can get to work on their lines and stuff. They definitely need those by November…and October would be even better. Then I think I’ll get back into the sexual assault one – hopefully can wrap that up before the end of the year. Then back to the other YA WIP…and then the new shiny one?!?!?!

Fingers crossed.

Back to School

Tomorrow is our first official day back for the year. I know it’s late. We homeschool.

So we have had school already, but it’s been around our dining room table. Or lounging on the couch. Tomorrow is our first day back to co-op.

This means that today I’m sitting at my desk, trying to work on my extensive to-do list and write this blog, but there’s two smallish people in here as well (one is actually larger than me, but whatever) and I’m trying to force them to read what they need to have done for tomorrow morning. One has to read the first four chapters of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE and the other has to read “at least some” of THE BRONZE BOW. I have threatened that I will not be buying their school supplies for tomorrow if they do not accomplish this. This is an empty threat. Of course I am not sending them to class tomorrow without pencils or paper or binders. But so far I have them somewhat fooled. The older one continues to talk about everything and nothing, and the smaller cannot keep her hands off the cat and the dog (and she’s distracted by the fact that she is getting a guinea pig today, so help us all) but occasionally I hear a paperback page turning and so it’s fine. For now.

In the adult front, the man of the place and I are still sleeping on the hide-a-bed (don’t know if I mentioned that before) because the window air conditioning unit in our bedroom is throwing the breaker whenever it runs. I am sick of sleeping on the hide-a-bed and rolling into the center as I sleep. I am a person who prefers to not touch others as I sleep, so there’s a body pillow tucked between us. But I am still tired of battling the hill every night.

The man of the place is going back to work on Monday. I think this will help the rest of us to get back to our regular routines. He is going to have a heart procedure soon that troubles me, but I am just focusing on taking a deep breath and trusting in God no matter what the future brings. It will all be okay.

This was a weird blog post, and I apologize for that. But it felt kind of good to write and get it all out there.

So that’s that.

Sending it off

I just got finished sending off a rewrite of my YA novel, THE RAT QUEEN, to my agent. It’s always a little shocking finishing a novel, whether the entire draft or an intense rewrite. This one added more than 10,000 words to the novel and completely changed the ending, so it was a big deal, at least to me. I’m happy with the way it has turned out. It’ll be interesting to see what else will change.

Once my agent decides it’s ready, this will be my third novel to go on submission. I hope this is the one that sticks.

I have gotten behind on a lot of things, so I’m hoping to get caught up on the rest of life, then get back to my new YA manuscript. I’m about 18,000 into that one.

I don’t really know what else to say. Like I mentioned above, I’m always a little shocked (and shell-shocked) when I finish something big like this.

Anyway.

A hot commodity

A hot commodity. That’s me.

For more than a month, I’ve told myself that today is the day I get back to writing regularly, and seriously. For a long time, I didn’t have my office and it was hard to focus with the family all around me. Then summer came, and with it, a busy summer at the local theater. But the final production of LOST IN MY WONDERLAND was last night and now it’s time to write.

But I’m a hot commodity because I try to help my family with things. I enjoy it. And they know that the show ended too. And so I’ve gotten requests to work on things for them today. And I had to explain that I have been planning to write more starting today. So that was a thing.

Anyway, between the kids’ chores and stuff and balancing things with the husband at home (probably haven’t written on here that he’s here for two weeks because of heart issues), plus helping my mom with some financial stuff and helping to get ready for the next show, and taking over our family finances, I’m stretched kind of thin. But I have two hours. I’m actually thirteen minutes in right now.

So probably my warm up time is over and it’s time to get crackin’.

<3

Lost in My Wonderland

My three awesome kids were in a cool show this past weekend and it’s going on this weekend too. Lost in My Wonderland is an original musical that was written by some friends of mine and has played already in New York and other states, but this is the Oklahoma premiere. So that’s cool.

Less cool is that my husband is currently in the hospital. I’m sitting next to him in one of those hospital recliners. He’s having heart problems and is getting an angiogram today. He’s 43. So that’s crazypants.

These another other amazing things keep getting in the way of my writing. I’m trying to focus better on getting the writing done first and the rest done later, and hopefully I will improve. I have a lit new planner so I’m expecting good things.

Anyway. Later, gators.

Photography

I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures and have taken thousands over the years. After I took a record setting number at my daughters’ annual dance recital, I decided to share them online in a more professional way.

The site I selected carries a yearly cost, so I am attempting to sell photos to recoup some of that cost. If you’d like to see the photos, they’re at garvie.smugmug.com.

I’m still uploading photos. (And some of the older ones aren’t that great or are mostly my children and those around them but I uploaded them anyway, just in case someone wants them.

Revisions and dance

I’m at my daughters’ dance competition, listening to music in my earbuds and also super loud dance music while I sit in the back row with my laptop. I am looking at my new revisions and thinking about them.

I sound so boring today, but I kind of feel that way. I’m only blogging because I thought that would be a good thing to do today, since I’m not actually writing new words. And I’m only planning to read all my agent’s revision notes, not actually begin revising. But reading all the notes and thinking about them is still progress.

I’m doing well with the instagram writers’ thing. I’m on day 13 and I actually haven’t missed a day yet. It’s basically a miracle.

I’m also just too darn busy with all the other things I do. My eldest is graduating next month and there is an awful lot to do. There’s only ten graduates, since it’s for our homeschool group, and they all get a lot of special things…but Mom gets to do all the work! I’m also swamped with stuff for the dance studio, the local theatre, and my scbwi group. And I love all those things, I really do, but I’m not quite as good at balancing everything as I’d like to be.

Anyway. Back to work. Wish me luck.

igwritersapril

So I’m doing this thing on Instagram this month under the hashtag #igwritersapril. It’s supposed to be fun but it is also a challenge because I am so gosh darn lazy. Anyway, I did the first two days and they weren’t super easy but today’s subject is bookshelf and that sounds very appealing. All I have to do is actually clean mine up a little so it looks presentable and then take a picture of it. Much easier than trying to describe my work in progress using photographs.

Of course I actually have like six bookshelves, so theoretically I could take pictures of all of them. But then I’d have to clean all of them. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So maybe I will. But writing comes first. I can’t really claim to be a writer on instagram if don’t, you know, actually write and stuff.

My darling writing conference starts on Friday. I’m so happy to be going again. I really enjoy it. There’s still time to get registered over at the SCBWI Oklahoma web page, so if you are or wanna be a writer or illustrator, get thee to the site and join us!

A new twist

So I hosted a SCBWI thing at my house on Saturday. That went well. We didn’t have a lot of people but it was fun and informative. Afterward, Kim stayed and talked to me a little about a manuscript that I am working on revising. I was having issues with something, but after talking it through, I was able to recognize a problem in it I just couldn’t see, and then I had an idea how to fix it – and bonus, it gave me another interesting wrinkle to add to the manuscript, which I love. It just takes things a little bit deeper.

I have critique group tonight too, and I’ve got my pages printed out but not stapled yet. Oh, and I just remembered that I was going to print those double sided and I never turned the paper over. Maybe I should check on that, lol.

Also, here’s a picture after the thing at my house.

Critique partners and writing friends are highly recommended.

Now to check the printer.