I wasn't going to blog first thing this morning, since I've had stories nudging at me for a couple of days now--they know it's time to get back to work, so I was going to dive right into them. I find, however, that the blog entries help me make concrete my vague ideas about what I've done, what I'm doing, and what I need to do. Which is sort of the reason I started the blog to begin with (in addition to that old writerly exhibitionist tendency).
For having been on vacation, I still managed to fit in a good deal of "work." I read a longish article/shortish book on writing scenes that I'd been meaning to read for a while. I read a YA novel (Tamora Pierce's Wild Magic) and was surprised to find that I liked it more than I'd expected to, even though it turned out to be more middle grade oriented than teen oriented. Which led me to thinking about YA novels in general, specifically in my previously unconscious attitude toward them. I never expect to like a YA novel, at least not at the same level that I like, say, a Robert McCammon or a Tad Williams--a book that I'm reading just for me, by an author I know I love. Which made me question why, then, I think I can write one. Which led me to dissect what I do like about the YA novels I've liked, as well as how well Crowmaker meets those criteria. So, not a bad exercise in familiarizing myself further with the market. I also managed to muddle through the copy of The Prince of Tides on the bookshelf at the villa where we stayed. They also had a copy of the movie, so I watched that. There were pieces of the story that really seemed to sparkle, but there were other places where it tasted kind of flat. But I learned things about writing from reading/watching it, hopefully, so I count that as more "work" effort.
Over the weekend, I did some internet research on Tamora Pierce and followed links around to research some of the other writers and books suggested in a discussion of good books with strong female protagonists for teen girls. I probably can't get around to reading all of them, but I should really get my hands on some of them. I have a reading list from the boys, too. Research! All of it counts as research!
On the actual writing front, "The Blue Wall" has developed an itch. I know it's not quite right as it is, and I have some vague ideas on how to scratch the itch. It's starting to feel less like a story for Cricket, though, and more like a story for Cicada. Which is perfectly fine, except that Cicada is currently closed to submissions. So I may wind up having to hold onto "The Blue Wall" until I find a more acceptable market for it. In browsing some articles related to the Carus Publishing family of magazines, I came across a recent interview with one of their editors in which she mentions wishing for more submissions for Spider. That's a younger age group than I've written for before, but I may have an idea that will work there. I'll spend some time, hopefully this afternoon, doing some doodling and idea charting and see what shakes out. "The Blue Wall" is on my list of stuff to doodle and idea chart with, too.
Crowmaker is still bubbling on the back burner. I have moments of revelation now and then, so I jot down a note or, as was the case this morning, write a quickie couple of paragraphs into the ms for a partial scene--this morning I had the first post-climax scene occur to me, so that's a good sign, I think. Some of the plot that I trashed along the way still tickles at me now and then, but the possibility that those pieces belong in a potential sequel also tickles. Whether that's a real possible sequel or just my subconscious trying to convince me we don't really need to do the work of adding plot back to the story right now, I can't tell yet. For the moment, I'm just taking notes for maybe next week or so, when I sit down for a more serious look at the story's status.
In the meantime, Joey's fever is back, and we're off to the doctor. And then there will be makeup homework for both boys, from the vacation days missed. And a few odds and ends of errands that I need to get caught up on.