friday five

1. It is too cold to work up in the loft today (without firing up the furnace and burning gallons and gallons of fossil fuel), so BH built a fire in the fireplace in our bedroom and I am working there.

2. I can’t wait until I get through today’s pages and go to the gym because I have new running shoes! And they were on sale!!!

3. I also bought the coolest outdoor running hat ever (also on sale). The V-notch adjuster thing in the back is perfect to stick my ponytail through. If you don’t have a ponytail, you have no idea what a pain it can be to run with a hat on because either the hat loosens the ponytail and then the hair gets in your face and sticks to it because of the sweat and the sunscreen and it fries your last nerve and you have a temper tantrum right there on the road in the middle of nowhere with no one watching except the half-rotted corpse of a squirrel and when you’re done you feel like a right idiot, or b) your ponytail bounces your hat off and it lands on the half-rotted corpse of a squirrel and, well, you leave it there.

But because of my cool new hat, that won’t happen anymore.

4. Just what I needed: more fodder for bad dreams.

5. You want to make hot chocolate this weekend.

Quick Thursday

Quick thoughts:

A 6am diner breakfast with my dad is a nice way to start the day.

Sarah Dessen’s North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team is still dominating. Sadly. But my Hoyas don’t completely suck.

Yesterday’s run was long, slow, and lovely. And I woke up with a sore right knee. I checked the mileage and sure enough, I’ve put in 325 miles in this pair of running shoes. The last time I had knee trouble, it was when the previous pair of shoes got to 325. You are supposed to only have to get new shoes every 400 miles, but I think I have a snobby knee. (Think Princess and the Pea. Or Knee.) So it’s off to the store we go. Thank you, darling children, for the gift certificate at Christmas!

Along with working on my book and keeping various family plates spinning in the air, I am preparing for my workshops at Kindling Words next week. Are any of you going to be there? If you are, help me out: this is my first KW (I’ve been wanting to go for years). What is your favorite part of KW?

Writing note – I keep circling around the description of a character’s room, putting stuff in, taking stuff out, walking into it, walking out of it, etc. Why am I struggling with this? Because I am still trying to understand this (secondary) character. Hmmmmmm.

An award list to dance to & how running helps my writing

Thank you, thank you American Library Association committee members!!!!

I am very proud that TWISTED made both the 2008 Best Books for Young Adults and the 2008 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers lists!!!!

This feels awesome. Excuse me while I take a moment to bask.

Ahhh. So, so sweet.

OK, back to work. I have spent the day rewriting Chapter 19, because the same thing happened to that chapter as happened to 17 on Sunday. But it’s all good.

nudged me about answering a question she posted to my Facebook a while back. She wrote: Do you think that running/excersize helps your creativity/creative process?

(Truth in blogging disclosure: I just finished a carb-heavy lunch and am staring at my clothes that are laid out for this afternoon’s long run. It promises to be a chilly one.)

Does my running help my writing? Yes. Absolutely. No doubt. Ja. Si. Absolutement.

If I ever write a book about writing (do you think I should do that, BTW??), it will contain long passages about how moving your body fires up your imagination. For now, here are my top five reasons why my running helps my writing:

1. Running makes me happy, thus, it is a very good reward and incentive to do my work.

2. When I write, I am a) sitting still and b) dangerously close to my kitchen. If I didn’t exercise regularly (and trust me, there have been times in my life when I didn’t) I eat more than my body needs. This slows down my brain and expands my rear end.

3. Running is a meditative exercise – it helps me process my stress in a healthy way.

4. My travel schedule is often grueling. Running (and weight lifting, which I don’t talk about much, but I do, too) keeps me physically stronger and better able to fight off the germs that try to attack unsuspecting travelers.

5. Running has helped me develop mental discipline, which allows me to stay immersed in my stories longer. I have several writing/running mantras that I repeat in my head when I am tempted to stop writing or hit the Stop button on the treadmill.

6. Yes, this is a bonus reason. The human body was designed to move. If we want our minds and spirits to produce their best, we have to help our bodies be the best they can be, too. It’s all connected.

(Thank you for the nudge, )

Now, I have three more pages and a long stretch of road ahead of me.

the clever shadows of sleep

I spent most of Sunday working on Chapter 17. This is the second draft, so the work was fleshing out the narrative details, making sure the action added weight to the emotional changes of the characters, and honing the dialog to be as crisp and short as possible.

By the end of the day, I was happy with what I had done.

Until I went to bed.

I crept under the covers, snuggled into my pillow, and felt the delicious tug of Dream pulling me under. And then, just then as my mind was straddling the two worlds, I realized that Chapter 17 was all wrong. No, of course he can’t see that yet. It’s too early. She can see it, but she thinks she’s the only one. They are still very much in the dark about each other. The chapter is completely wrong.

Yesterday I spent most of the day totally rewriting Chapter 17. Again.

Was Sunday’s work a waste? I used to think so. I used to get very upset when I would “waste” a day or a week going off on a plot tangent or approaching a scene from the wrong point. Nowadays, I just mutter a little and get back to work. I think I have to test out my characters, sometimes following them down the wrong path, to get to know them better and to measure the fabric of the story.

The magic moment between Wake And Sleep is when it is easiest to see.

2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 2 – Miles Run: 21, YTD: 41
Week 2 – Days Written: 7, YTD:14

Only 50 weeks to go!

How are your resolutions holding up?