Charlotte’s Room

And now, as I slog through line-editing this manuscript by Monday’s due date, I point you to a beautiful, and surprising post on Charlotte’s Web.

Help Me with My Vacation Reading List?

Three years at my company and, as a reward, I got an extra week off. So, what to do with the week? Go to an undisclosed location overlooking a notoriously turquoise sea, sit with E on the sand, and read as many books as I can fit in my suitcase. (Note to self: Bring extra sunscreen.)

So far, I have plans to take these books with me:

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder—because I am hopeful I can someday write a screenplay.

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino—I hear you, I hear you. Does the story take place on a winter’s night? If so, it will be a nice contrast to the hot and muggy place where I’ll be. E, I want to borrow your copy to take with.

I also want a good, thick novel I could drown in.

A book of short stories.

Maybe an edgy memoir.

And something classic I must read before I die.


E, we may need to bring an extra suitcase.

Forgot to Mention

I finished the YA novel yesterday morning. I lie. I didn’t exactly finish—I just wrote through to the end. It’s about 6,000 words too long and choppy in some places, but now I have the weekend to get it in reading shape for Monday. Also it’s only a first draft, so a revision is a given. I’m always better on revisions.

The last page is my favorite part of the whole book. I guess it took me 190-something pages to get cooking because there I am, last page, in love with the thing at last.

The Day I Said No

I was asked if I wanted to write another one of these series books for next season. (The first draft of the one I’m writing now is due on Monday.)

I considered. I sat there a minute or two, looking at the email, feeling inside myself to see how I should respond.

I wanted to say no, because I’m tired, so tired, and also I want to write other things.

I wanted to say yes, because I do like writing them more than any of the other assignments I’ve had, and because I’m sort of tied to the series. I have real affection for it now.

I said no. I can’t believe I said no. Well, really what I said is that I wanted to, but I needed a break, and maybe I could do one in the future. And you know what happened? They said okay, and that was that.

I feel like I lost out on something. I feel sad.

Also I feel relieved. I feel like the weeks are opening up—once I get through all the deadlines I already said yes to—the free weeks up ahead. That time is far away, but it’s there. I saved it for myself, and for what? I don’t yet know. I hope I don’t regret this decision later.

Lesson Learned from Stopping Before I Was Done Yesterday

That maybe sometimes that’s not so bad? I did the scene I couldn’t complete this morning and I’m extremely happy with it. There was a moment where I moved even myself and was smiling inanely at my Starbucks table, to the confused looks of the people around me. I’m glad I waited. It turned out better this morning than it would have ended up yesterday.

And yet what is the lesson in this? I thought I was supposed to push myself really hard until my fingers are burning (or bleeding, see that post below). I thought I supposed to FORCE MYSELF to finish.

I admit I’m confused.

Sometimes It Happens…

…that you just can’t write another word.

I think it’s happening right now.

Regarding distractions—hence the name of this blog—in the last hour I started thinking up ideas for a YA series I would like to pitch, the novel I would like to write, and a short story I would really like to finish. It’s always easier to think about what you might do next week, next month, next year rather than what you have to do in the here and now. I’m stuck in mud but fantasizing about marshmallow fluff. And even while doing it I can’t make myself stop.

I’m such a spaz.