Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The book I write, the book you read...and the real wars.

Home from San Antonio, it was a wonderful conference! Hundreds of teens were invited by their libraries, so I got to talk to a lot of kids who had read or were reading The Resurrection of Magic books. I carried books with me, as always, and extra ones for the Teen Book Drop http://bit.ly/cxAYH8  and placed them  here and there….

One boy (about halfway through Sacred Scars) was concerned about Sadima. He was hoping that Thomas Marsham would leave her alone and that Somiss would never find her. He sounded protective, angry, like she was his sister and he would stand between her and anyone who tried to hurt her. When he was through talking, he stared at me. "Marsham and Somiss are both still alive in Book three," I said, finally, quietly. He tightened his mouth, nodded, asked me to write faster, then walked away.

One girl hated Franklin, because he could and should have killed Somiss when they were boys, she said. We talked about it, about how hard it would really be, to be a child faced with another child who was that strange/smart/dangerous--and how Somiss and Franklin are, in their sad, distorted way, brothers.

Three girls stood in a line before me and talked to each other, arguing over whether or not Gerrard was really from South-End, or if he had made up everything he told Hahp. I am still not sure. I don't know how Gerrard knows what he knows. I told the girls that he is the most interesting character for me; he rarely talks to me, in my head, or through my fingers and the keyboard. He is silent, angry, stiff, fierce, and, I think, scared.

…..And on the last day, in the airport, I saw a young man crying. I sat near him and after a few minutes asked him if there was anything I could do to help. He looked up and said this: "Can you make this deployment go fast?"

I put out my hand and he gripped it hard for a little while. Then he sat up straighter, squared his shoulders and hauled in that long breath, the universal human sound of acceptance and determination. We talked a little. He was carrying a book. He said he liked dark fantasy. I had one copy of Skin Hunger left in my backpack, so I signed it for him. Actually, I signed it to anyone who might read it because he said people always leave their books behind when they go home, to build a library for the incoming soldiers. Being a writer has made me a better human being--one of a thousand perks.

No matter how you feel about the wars our country is engaged in: http://www.anysoldier.com/WhereToSend/

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



On April 15th, I will be finding places in San Antonio TX to leave books for teens to find.
There are many ways to participate in the fabulous event.  The amazing READERGIRLZ explain it all here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When to stop....and where...

Last night I stopped writing in the middle of a scene. I often do, it saves me the "blank page doldrums" that can somehow take a perfectly normal-length morning and make it disappear without producing a single word. But last night I wasn't ready to stop writing. I quit because the story was dragging me in a direction that flummoxed me.

I know this happens to every writer now and then. It's happening to me more and more often. I think it means that I am finally past the point where I am thinking about craft--or anything else--while I write. It feels more like I am watching the characters, following them around.

I went back and reread it the moment I got up this morning and it now seems inevitable. Of course. Nothing else could have happened.

So: conscious effort-0
Getting myself out of the way-1

Thursday, April 08, 2010

April 8th and wondering...

Most writers have too many ideas. I certainly do. I am in the end stages of the four Faeries Promise books for younger readers. I LOVE the way they have turned out and I love the covers.  And within 3-4 months, the last of the Resurrection of Magic books will be finished.  And THEN what?

I feel like a cartoon character at a crossroads, staring at one of those old  fashioned posts bristling with little signs, angled in a dozen different directions.