Saturday, September 15, 2012

Maternity Leave

I think it's time to call it quits. I've seen so many mommas keep writing, querying and blogging right up until labor, but I think I've reached my breaking point. Between my toddler, my day job, keeping the house and laundry in check, remembering to feed the family and occasionally having a few moments to connect with my husband, I have nothing left at the end of the day. I love writing, but it's become something on my to do list instead of something I want to do. I haven't been great about blogging either and it's become a burden more than a delight. I'm exhausted and in pain almost all the time (hooray for pelvic bones separating and baby dropping!), neither of which is very conducive to creative pursuits.

So while I wanted to finish my work in progress and send out a bunch of queries for my completed manuscript before this baby arrives, I'm taking my leave early. Sometime in the next six week I'll have a whole new person to get used to and I need to take time now to rest and enjoy my son. I need to be free from my own expectations and the sense that I should be writing every time I get a free moment.

So thank you, Sweet Readers, for joining me on this journey. This is just a momentary pit stop along the road. Some time in the future, when I can see my toes and breathe again, I will be back with a vengeance. I'm certainly not giving up in my dreams of finding an agent and getting published, but I'm ready to take a break from the daily grind. I appreciate all of you who have read something I've written or ever given me words of encouragement. It means the world to me. I can't wait to share with you all again!

Until then,


Thursday, September 13, 2012

What I Learned Last Weekend

My family and I spent Labor Day weekend at a music festival in Northern California called JoshuaFest, so I got to spent five days stalking teenagers without being a creep. JoshuaFest is a Christian rock festival, so it's a pretty specific subset of teen culture, but I think a lot of what I saw is universal.

The biggest thing I realized is teens haven't changed that much in the decade since I turned 20. They still love to hang all over their friends (same and opposite gender). They still write on arms and legs. They still stay up way too late (and make noise even with a toddler sleeping in the tent next door). They're still in a hurry everywhere they go. I forget the intensity of my teen years because I've mellowed with age, but watching a fifteen-year-old rush across the fairgrounds to join the pit for a favorite band, it all comes flooding back.

A lot has changed too. I got my first cellphone when I left for college. It made phone calls on a tiny, black and white screen. Almost every teen I saw had a smart phone - and more often than not, spent more concert time staring at the screen than at the stage. These particular teens seemed less cliquish too. In my days, the goths didn't hang out with the emo kids, who didn't hang out with the hardcore kids, who didn't hang out with the punk kids. I grew up in the Christian rock scene so I think I have a fairly good comparison there and I have to say I recognized a lot more unity than when I was a teen. That's encouraging to me.

Obviously fashion changes (hello Katniss braids!), musical taste changes and technology changes. But so much stays the same. Girls still try to keep their appearances up in dusty camp grounds. Boys are still too shy to profess their feelings for their girl friends. Every small hiccup is still the end of the world. Somehow, I find that reassuring.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Pep Rally: Agent for a Day & A Winner!

Congrats to Robert Kristoffersen! picked you for my giveaway! Your dowmload code should be in your email! Thanks to everyone who entered!

Today is our first Monday Pep Rally over at YA Misfits! Each Monday we post a question and you can answer on your own blog, then post a link on the Misfits post so we can all enjoy. Today, Dahlia "The Bible Thumper" Adler asked this question:

If you were an agent, what would be on your wish list?

I would love to see some good middle grade adventure - like the Goonies, but a book.

YA urban fantasy that isn't the same old creatures rehashed. Must have great atmosphere (setting is a character too!) and believable characters.

YA romance that makes me believe in true love and brings tears to my eyes.

YA horror that brings chills to my spine. Nothing overly graphic or gratuitus. Just the kind of thing that makes me glad I don't sleep alone.

A bedtime picture book WITHOUT an obvious ABAB rhyme sceme and a story that both my two-year-old and I can enjoy.

So there you go: my wishlist! Now go answer on your blog and post your link in the Mistfits' comments and mine!