I’ve just returned from my annual family holidays. We do that English thing where we go for our holidays in winter-time to semi-tropical places and pretend we are hardy enough to brave the icy cold resort pools.
Holidays, sand and icy cold pools are good for writers, I
As it happened, we chose to visit tropical Aussie this year, and went up to the Whitsundays, on the tip of the Great Barrier Reef. Aside from various activities around the resort – which included lots to do with stingrays and small sharks – we also visited world top beach, Whitehaven, where the sand is really “squeaky”.
And I read books, geniune inspiring salivating books – the kind a writer reads and then gets all, like – “Meh. I’m not capable of writing that good. I suck bigtime. Why even bother when that author can write one word that totals my ten pages of dribble?”
And so on…
Except something about tropical sunshine on the skin means that I currently see those books as motivation and a challenge, not an excuse to not persue the whole thing.
- Savvy by Ingrid Law – a middlegrade superhero novel, based in Southern America, with a fantastic voice.
Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers by Mary Kole- I’ve not been reading writing craft books for some time, but was blown away by this. NOT just for kidlit writers – this is the ultimate writer’s reference.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – as the movie is out, I grabbed a copy from the airport newsagents. After completing it, I handed it to my eleven year old daughter (bad mother!) knowing the adult content wasn’t anything more than she accidentally sees on primetime viewing on Australia’s television channels. She may not have understood the full nuances and themes going on in this award winner, but she adored it, and is currently re-reading passages from it.
Just a point – there’s a current rash of blog writers posting up defenses of why adult writers should and can read young adult fiction. This is the result of a Slate article suggesting adults should be embarrassed to be reading teenage fiction.
Personally, I’ve always read it. There is no need to defend myself – as a writer I want to read all types of genre as inspiration. As a mother, I want to make sure I know what my daughter is reading. As a person, I just want to enjoy reading. The only books I might hide behind a brown bag whilst reading in public are possibly full-on erotica.
There should be no embarrassment in reading anything – we suffer as a society from our younger generations falling out of love with reading entirely. Why judge anyone for picking up a book?
Plans and Lost Plans
Before flying off on holiday I started writing a series of posts on productivity. But the subject was too big to complete in time, and draft articles need splitting up. So, some time in the near future this blog may publish the series.
I also want to publish a new Tech4Writers newsletter, as there has been a few more signups.
And I’m currently in the planning/outlining and plotting stages for the first standalone book for a possible series. If you look closely into this week’s #52Tech post, you’ll see what I’ve been up to partially. I did most of that planning over my semi-tropical holiday, managing to not get pool water or Pacific Ocean onto my iPAD.
With respect to all those writers writing under deadline, I’m slowing down on this series. I was doing the How to Write a Series Expansion Pack of Holly Lisle’s (which helped a lot in pinning down the story core and made a first draft standalone into something much bigger) but this week she’s announced a month deadline on writing that first book of a series.
Although mine was mostly written, there are big changes happening and I do not want to leap into rewriting it for the sake of meeting that deadline. Something tells me this one requires time. So I’m aiming for outlining and planning to be completed for the first book by end of the current school holidays, and rewriting to be done over the next couple of months. If I come in shorter, all the better.
- Fault in our Stars quote – Risa Rodil
- The rest – holiday snapshots