|Me and Laurie Halse Anderson|
But I did want to get back into blog mode so I could share my amazingly kick-ass retreat from October. I traveled over 4 hours into Vermont to do writerly things for 5 days with the one and only, Laurie Halse Anderson.
The Stone Spirit Farm Intensive brought together 15 brilliant women, published and non-published, for a retreat that was not only inspirational but pivotal for many. I am honored to have been a part of such a great group--and honored that Laurie took time from her busy writing life to be with us. In fact, she was on deadline for her fall 2013 YA novel--and she finished it while with us! We got to hear her read an excerpt, and the only thing I can say is: Get ready. If you think her other books are powerful, this one is sure to be a bestseller.
|Laurie Halse Anderson reads from her|
I applied to the intensive knowing that I seriously needed to overhaul my first novel from grad school. I wanted to undo all that things that had been done, because it wasn't a good story the way it was. I needed to start again, throw out what wasn't mine and really write the hell out of it. Thanks to feedback and a wealth of advice from Laurie and YA writer Sarah Aronson, I am actually excited to do another revision! And it was awesome to see other writers catch that same feeling, that energy that gives you butterflies when you let yourself dive into the words...and go. We all needed reassurance, validation, inspiration, invigoration. And we got it.
I was so pumped that I applied for the Novel Writing Retreat at Vermont College of Fine Arts next March, where I'll get to study with Lauren Myracle.
|Fall day at Stone Spirit Farm|
Plus, I am using NaNoWriMo to complete my first draft of my second novel. I really want to complete it, but am having doubts I'll reach 50k by the end of the month. I'm still trying to figure out the work/health/sleep/writing schedule. It can be hard when you write all day for your normal job then have to write MORE for your personal life. But, that's the life of a writer. And Laurie told us how she has been writing for 20 years! Every day she makes herself do it. Every day she gets in the chair, no distractions, and just WRITES. Discipline is something I've been working hard to master....