The Experiment, the YA Panel, the Failure, the New Cover, and the Attempt at Making Some Goals

My writing productivity experiment is delayed—I just have too much freelance work to complete in the next few days, so I can’t count these as normal writing days. Maybe I’m procrastinating because I’m scared, or I expect to fail, or I don’t want to push myself too hard. Who knows.

Friday night, I was part of a “Juicy YA Reads” panel at Inquiring Minds in New Paltz, New York, with Jennifer Castle (author of The Beginning of After, who I hope you’ll soon see here on this blog) and Kim Purcell (author of Trafficked, who wrote this beautiful Turning Point), and we had such a great conversation about the YA community, our book covers, working with editors, writing contemporary fiction, and so much more. We had a fabulous panel moderator, the awesome book blogger Nicole from WORD for Teens—and she really knew how to give us questions that got us talking. Thank you so much to Inquiring Minds for inviting me! Such a wonderful bookstore, and such a great night!

So there is the good. The bad is that I’m very sad to say that I failed in a secret goal I had this month: to submit a short story to One Teen Story before their submissions closed for the year. I switched gears and changed short stories in the last week, and that was my downfall. I was one scene away from making yesterday’s extended deadline… and I couldn’t get it finished in time. I’m really disappointed in myself.

But even though I have no hope of being a part of it, I can still be a fan. I can’t wait to read One Teen Story when it comes out. There aren’t enough short-story venues for YA fiction.

And this week I saw the latest—and I think maybe final?—version of the 17 & Gone cover. I am so in love with it. You hear that all the time from authors, I know. It’s sort of rote and maybe you think we have to say it, but oh wow am I happy. I can’t wait until I have permission to show you.

So this week, after a freelance deadline and a family visit, I will try very hard to do this experiment, and—most excitingly—I will try to finish up the latest version of the proposal for my next YA novel. You can see a peek of its inspirations on Pinterest. Or maybe I’ll finish that short story anyway—because I hate the idea of giving up on it just because I missed a deadline.

It’s a new week. Maybe I’ll accomplish what I wanted this time. And hey—if anyone tried that writing experiment and it’s going well, let me know!

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