Agentless Again, and Happy

Success. Whenever writers hear this word, we all have a similar vision pop into our heads. The most popular one is our book printed and bound inside a bright, shiny cover.  A close second is signing a publishing contract or getting an agent call. There are others we all conjure, like the first book signing, or typing the elusive “THE END” on the last page of a manuscript. At the beginning of last year, I considered myself successful. Well, I was on my way to success. I had two completed manuscripts, one… Read More

The D-Bomb

I’ve been around the block a time or twenty. That’s not copping to a specific age, but simply an assertion of life experience beyond the age of my YA readers. Way beyond. Think different galaxies. I am a post-middle aged Caucasian woman with centrist eyes that scan all sides of everything. In this era of diversity—the dreaded D-Bomb—life is tough for writers like me. It’s considered beyond poor form to write outside one’s ethnic, religious, preferential, societal, or experiential boundaries. So poor, in fact, that agents and editors alike scan my white-bread… Read More

Sandboxes and Ticking Clocks

I am thirteen and I decide to write a novel.  I title it Auryan Knight.  It’s going to be amazing.  Magic!  Multiple girl characters!  Talking Animals! Other Worlds! I am seventeen and I’m still in Chapter Four.  Chapter Four: where all novels go to die.  Instead, I write a thirteen page mini-story that takes place in the last quarter of the book I think I’m writing and turn it in as homework for my English class. I am nineteen when I finish a draft.  It is barely over 50 thousand words and… Read More

We’re Back!

All the Way YA will return in 2018! We are searching for YA writers to share their experiences. We want to know what it’s like in the trenches, whether you’re plotting, pantsing, querying, or selling your dozenth book. ATWYA is not a “how-to” blog, but a peek inside the minds of YA writers, whether our experiences are joyous or disheartening. We want to hear about the journey and what it felt like getting there. Have a great post idea? We’d love to chat. Fill up the form below and select “I want… Read More

For Librarian Writers: How I Find and Maintain Creativity and Brain Space

“Wow, you’re a librarian, huh? Do you get to read a lot?” What an old, tired question. I can already hear the collective sigh from other librarians reading this, because the truth is, librarians don’t get a lot of opportunities to read at all. In fact, when I was reading a book on a new arrivals cart, a colleague snapped, “Are you reading?” I put the book back like it was a half-eaten cookie from a jar and said, “No…..?” If I’m being honest, I became a librarian because I wanted to… Read More

Writing is a solitary undertaking. True or False?

When I first started writing a certain number of years ago, I didn’t know any other writers. I was just eager to sit down and write, happy to finally be finding the time to be creative again after a hiatus due to jobs, marriage, kids – you know, life stuff. I was excited, alone, but not realizing it could be any different. Don’t get me wrong, I would have liked to have met other writers at that point, but the fact that I didn’t know any didn’t bother me. I was writing,… Read More

Too. Much.

Too Many Cooks Reading Steph Keyes’ blog post from a few weeks ago struck a chord that resounded deep within my writer’s soul; her post was about knowing when you are done revising and the confusion that can arise when you collect too much feedback. In her “quest” to improve her manuscript, as she says, I had cast my net so wide…that I’d somehow accumulated too many opinions and changed far more than I needed to. Don’t I know that feeling! I’ve done it with two manuscripts that are now sitting in a… Read More

Taking Away My Own Power

From age 14 to 15, I gained 45 pounds. I started what would become an almost two-decade long struggle with food and my body in middle school, around age 11. Most of the struggle in the beginning manifested in sporadic guilt and regret: In my mind, I berated myself for the so-called roll of fat over my Gap jeans that preventing me from tucking my shirt in (God, did I ever want to tuck my shirts in like the other girls did), and I practically committed mental suicide over the way my… Read More

Happy New Year! Time To Stop Disqualifying the Positive

Got number 1,250,000 rejection letter from an editor last week. The months before I received it, I told myself that, with all the past year’s therapy, I have a new perspective of rejection, not just the hollow self-talk of yesteryear in the form of Euphemisms About Rejection (It’s Their Loss or Not Meant to Be) but rather solid, rational, cognitive challenging that was truthful and real and authentic and that I actually believed. I told myself that when (IF) the rejection came and the automatic thought, “I’m a total f*$king loser/failure because… Read More

Why I Said “No” To NaNoWriMo This Year

  This time last November you would have found me chained to my laptop, sucking down bars of semi-sweet Baker’s chocolate, with about two hundred post-it notes stuck to my desk, my hair, my kids, the dog, and any available space within a five-foot radius. Not only did I sign-up to “win” NaNoWriMo–which really consists of receiving a video with a bunch of people in viking hats cheering–but I was determined to finish before Thanksgiving so it didn’t impact my holiday. On top of that, I decided to write for a new age… Read More