A little while back I was participating in a Twitter Pitch event and noticed that one of my fellow pitchers looked . . . familiar. Not his profile picture though, his name. AJ Vanderhorst! How cool was that? And the story he was pitching sounded seriously awesome to boot.
AJ, who blogs here: http://returnofthebrickhouse.com/ and tweets here: https://twitter.com/ajvan, tagged me for the Writing Process Blog Hop. I've answered the four questions below and it might give you some insight into what this writing thing means to me and how I make it work in a house full of four (often screaming) little girls.
"We writers share these things, but informally during workshops and at conferences (and, for a handful of established writers, in printed interviews), but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions. How long it takes one to write a novel, why romance is a fitting genre for another, how one’s playlist grows as the draft grows, why one’s poems are often sparked by distress over news headlines or oddball facts learned on Facebook…"
What am I working on?
I'm currently redrafting the latter half of my YA Contemporary Fantasy novel, What Lies Between. The story of a teenage pianist who sees monsters in every reflection, until one day she sees a boy instead. It's full of teenage angst, humor, and a magic system that ends up taking more than it gives.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It feels arrogant to say I'm doing something different or better than the awesome authors in the YA Fantasy genre. My work has a balance of poetry and humor that I'm kind of fond of though, so let's go with that.
Why do I write what I do?
Because I can't not. I could tell a long story here about the kinds of books my mother read to me and how my taste in stories evolved over the years and affected my writing. But what it comes down to is that these are the stories bouncing around in my head, demanding to be told. These are the characters who live and breathe in the fragile shelter of my thoughts. I write them because to not write would be creative suicide, and I love that part of myself too much to kill her.
I know. Dramatic much, Kim?
How does my writing process work?
Or check Twitter. Or answer an email or two. And then maybe check Twitter again.
Ahem. THEN I get to work. And I write somewhere between 500 words and 3000, depending on how late the kiddos sleep. After I've been leapt upon by an armful or two of toddler cuteness (and desperately fended off the kicks of chubby little feet flailing way too close to my keyboard), I then snuggle my girls, do Mom-stuff and Wife-stuff and oh-crap-it's-my-job-to-clean-this-house-isn't-it? stuff.
At some point in the day, when the kids are happily playing Lego or Playdough, or something of that sort, I sneak back upstairs for some more quality time with my laptop. Sometimes I use this time to draft some more (if the scenes feel alive enough in my thoughts to trap on the page at that point), work on revisions, or crit for my CP's.
And then, I do more or less the same after the kiddos are in bed, if it's Neil's bath night and my brain hasn't gone sizzle-fizz-pfft from earlier writing sessions + kid tending + trying too hard to be clever throughout the day.
But the best parts of my writing day are the parts I spend with my fellow writer friends, whether by interacting online or by reading their stories. I've asked a few of them to participate in this blog hop, and they'll be posting their Writing Process posts within the next week or so.
The first is Annette Lyon, who I've been blessed to know for several years now, and who blogs here: http://blog.annettelyon.com/ and tweets here: https://twitter.com/AnnetteLyon. Annette is an award-winning novelist (Whitney Award 2010, Best of State 2007 & 2013), freelance writer, and editor. She has taught me so much about chocolate, grammar, gratitude, and just generally being fabulous.
My good friend Rebecca blogs here: http://rebeccablevinswrites.blogspot.ca/ and tweets here: https://twitter.com/Rebecca_Blevins Rebecca writes some of the most charming children's literature ever to not be published YET. She'll soon be taking the literary world by storm with her delightfully funny middle grade novels.
My CP Holly blogs here: http://hollyvandyne.blogspot.ca/ and tweets here: https://twitter.com/hvandyne Holly is repped by the inestimable Josh Adams of Adams Literary and her stories are masterpieces of intensity and world building. I just know you'll be seeing her books on shelves SOON, and I can't wait to brag that I read them before you did. Because I'm snotty like that.