Monday, July 21, 2008

Two Hours of Bliss

Gifts come in many forms. Today, my gift came in the form of spending two hours with Jane Kurtz, talking about the ups and downs of writing for children and gleaning her wisdom on every subject from agents to plotting. Ahh, this business of writing is hard and wonderful and frustrating and fulfilling.

But I guess that's the way it is with everything that's worth doing.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Yesterday Jim and I went to see Journey to the Center of the Earth with Aaron and Page. What fun! This was my first 3-D movie, and I have to admit at one point, I actually jumped and let out a little whoop when something on the screen came in my direction unexpectedly!

But one thing was bugging me as I started watching the movie. I knew I'd seen the "nephew" before but I couldn't place him. Finally, it came to me (about half way through the movie so I could enjoy the rest!). He was in The Bridge of Teribithia...which made sense since I noticed at the beginning that the film was produced by Walden Media, the same company that produced Teribithia--and Narnia and Holes...and sometime in the future, The Giver. (Get the picture--yes, I couldn't resist--this company produces movies of great books. I love it!)

Now to get Mary to read Journey...and then let her see the movie. (with friends, of course...she wouldn't dare see it with the 'rents.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Brain stutters

When we lived overseas and I was forced to speak German (with a VERY limited vocab), I always rolled the words over in my brain before they came out my mouth. In my brain, they were right, flowed out smoothly, and made me look very intelligent. When they came out my mouth, they were oftentimes wrong, came out in stuttering jerks, and yes, made me look STUPID.

That's how I feel about my writing.

I can think whole scenes, dialog sections, and character descriptions in my brain. They are brilliant. But when I begin typing those brain visions on the screen, they come out all garbled. And I have to work. Really hard. To make those scenes flow naturally and realistically.

I guess that's why I like the rewrites better than the original drafts. I can see where I'm going, and then try to get there. Of course, from all the conferences I've attended, I know those rewrites are numerous. Numerous, as in sometimes over 30...I said 30...rewrites.

Perhaps my current novel will be finished when I'm 60. If I'm lucky.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

lunch and more

Today, Jim and I had lunch with Jane Kurtz, children's author and head of Ethiopia Reads, and her husband. The focus was Ethiopia Reads--the organization that began the first children's library in Addis and has since expanded, thanks to Johannes, the Ethiopian national who had the dream to start the library in the first place. (

I am continually inspired by this story of a national giving back to his country in such a sound and responsible way. Most kids in Ethiopia never get to even hold a book in school--if they even get to go to school. All gov. schools are taught by rote with the teacher having 50plus kids and writing on a blackboard. (In some schools, kids wait patiently to use the ONLY pencil for the class!)

Jim and Jane went to school together in Addis Ababa when they were kids. Now we're all linked up--on different levels. And Jane lives in Lawrence, KS. So we're even close. I don't believe in coincidences. This was somehow PLANNED!

I also had the privilege of talking to Jane about her successful writing career. And joy of joys, we've scheduled a separate lunch in a few weeks to "talk shop" without our husbands. ha 

Dreams of having a published book still dangle in front of me. I sure hope I get to GRAB that dream soon!