Ten writers for children. All with something to say.



I will preface by using one of my favorite sayings: Free advice is worth exactly what it costs.

So, as I continue, please pick and choose...

Honestly, it's all about the writing. My 2011 is going to be about fixing the wrongs I committed in 2010. For starters, I spent way too much time on the internet. For some reason, I thought that I should be seeking out and communing with other writers. But that meant less writing. Way less writing. So I'll be keeping my blog over at http://latteya.livejournal.com/ , but instead of it being a social thing, it'll be mainly to let people know news about my writing. Like that The Gardener was named a 2011 ALA Quick Pick and will be out in Russian soon. Which was the whole point of it in the first place. Italic

Secondly, I have curtailed my time in writer based sites. Again, I spent way too much time not writing. Hmmm, I'm sensing a pattern here...

I get story ideas all the time. I hear words on the Discovery Channel or I hear about some crazy piece of history on the History Channel, and I jot them down on the backs of receipts and bills that happen to be lying around, and then I can never find them. Yesterday I took a big step toward putting value on my little bursts of inspiration. I own several journals that various people have given me over the past few years.

Beautiful things that I lust after whenever I see them in stores. Know what? They are all empty.

Why? I'm not a journaler, for one. But mainly I have believed that I need to come up with something worthy if I'm going to mar those lovely pages. I realize I have been wrong. So last night I picked the prettiest one, with watermarks on all the handmade pages and a leather cover with snaps, and even a fancy pencil with its own compartment. It was a gift from a place I spoke at in March 2009. I opened it up and jotted down some of my ideas. Scrawled more like, given my handwriting skills.

That was it. A couple of novel ideas. Three vocabulary words I heard yesterday. Even a cool name of a band. That was it. No great prose or poems. Nothing I would want anyone to see. But it doesn't mean those words aren't worthy. Do I believe I will write those novels one day? Absolutely. They are great ideas. Just disjointed, incomplete sentences at the moment, but they are safe and I know where they are when I need them.

And I'm looking forward to opening up that leather cover again soon to add more ramblings of little value to anyone but me.


Christy said...

Wonderful, Stephanie! I too have beautiful empty journals, that I am now inspired to mark up with triflings--or what currently may seem as triflings. I've probably shared this before, but always love that William Stafford said he never got writer's block because his standards were so low.

Keep it all flowing!

Stephanie said...

I love the word triflings, that's exactly what I meant. That's a great quote. There is a William Stafford celebration at our library this week to commemorate his birthday on the 20th.

Christy said...

I'm again sharing a poem I first saw on Stafford's refrigerator in Lake Oswego in the early 80s. It fits with the idea of triflings and your post:


Love the earth like a mole,
fur-near. Nearsighted,
hold close the clods,
their fine-print headlines.
Pat them with soft hands --

Like spades, but pink and loving; they
break rock, nudge giants aside,
affable plow.
Fields are to touch;
each day nuzzle your way.

Tomorrow the world.

~ William Stafford ~

Let's nuzzle our way!

Edie Hemingway said...

Okay, Stephanie, I'm digging out my collection of empty journals and picking the prettiest one to start writing in this year. Thanks for the advice!

David LaRochelle said...

There is never enough time in my day to do all that I like, and what is the one area where I think I could save time: limiting my time on the internet. Even if it is just trying to keep up with friends whom I love, several hours can go by in the evening, then I'm too tired to do anything else. I, too, am trying to limit my internet time this year.

Lauren said...

Long ago I began to fill all of the gift journals I received, realizing the mix of my earthy scribblings and the decorative watermarks were perfect metaphors for my lofty dreams and human capabilities. And using the Internet less is also my reolution for 2011!
Great news for your new book Stephanie- congratulations!

Mark said...

I love your honesty, Stephanie, which seems to have inspired the rest of us to look truthfully at our own time-wasting tendencies. Who knew that so many artists/writers have blank journals and notebooks; and here I thought I was alone in having fancy journals and notebooks all with pristine, unwritten-on pages!!!