Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New York trip and lessons learned

Hello everyone! Long time no blog. Recently, Kazu and I got back from a trip to NYC. It was great to see old friends and say hello to colleagues. I only wish we had more time to stay and see more people!

Check out my flickr stream if you're interested in how it all went down...

I'm still trudging my way through the book, but I'm very excited about it. I lost track of how many drafts I've done, but with each one I get closer to something I can be proud of. That's the thing about writing, there really isn't much to show until the whole thing is done. Aw, heck. Here's a paragraph I just wrote a couple hours ago:

"Tabby faced the quivering blackness in front of her, her heart pounding in her ears. Terrible fear gripped her, and she tried to focus on what lay on the other side. Her home, her friends, her school, her mother. She took a deep breath in an attempt to calm her nerves. She closed her eyes, then extended her fingertips, and reached through the darkness."

Looks kind of silly out of context. Quivering blackness, what? Will it be in the final draft? Probably not. It's funny, because it isn't the craft of writing that's been so hard for me, it's the storytelling. The storytelling is the hard part. Rema has become such a huge world in my imagination with so many parts of it I want to tell, it continually pushes in unexpected directions. It's been difficult choosing one direction to stick to and go all the way to the finish line with.

Well, needless to say, writing has been and still is an adventure. I also recently quit my retail job, and I've learned (or re-learned) several things from it.

1) The value of money. Seriously, I don't know how anyone can get by on minimum wage. I don't want to waste my money on things I won't use.

2) The value of time. Time is precious, more precious than money. It shouldn't be wasted.

3) The value of kindness. If you give people a little love, you can change their day.

4) the value of my own talent. I am so incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do, and to be able to do it well enough to get published. Most people cannot do what I do, and being surrounded by nothing but artists, I completely forgot that. I need to be grateful for my talents, and not let them go to waste. If you're someone out there who is talented, show your gratitude for your ability and make something with it!

5) A reconnection with my love for books. I love books. I love all kinds of books. I love how in the book world, variety is embraced and encouraged. I love how in the book world, there's room for everyone. I love how books make you feel included, encourage opinion no matter how controversial or marginalized, and foster the imagination. I love how anyone who can read is welcome to a good book, that the imagery within the pages is at the whim of the imagination that reads it. I love books.

I learned a lot working at the bookstore, but it's time to wrap up this novel. It's been almost a year now...