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Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Crazy Things We Do Sometimes

Sometimes, I like a challenge.

I have been struggling to make time to write an early chapter book for a long time.  A long time.  And I am really frustrated with myself that I always put it on the back burner.

Not today. Today I turn the flame on under the pot.

As a self-inflicted challenge, I am giving myself 48 hours to write said book.

Impossible! you might say.  And you might be right.

But why not try?  I mean, who's it going to hurt if I can't do it?


At this point, I have the concept and a few pages.  I have no idea how long the book will be, but I'll count it a win if I get 5k words by my deadline.  (Magic Tree House books are 5k-7k, as are Junie B Jones books, however, Geronimo Stilton are 8k-10k, as are Marty McGuire books. And Humprey the Hamster books weigh in at an impressive 30k.)  I really have no idea how long this little book will want to be.  I am pretty sure it will wind up between 5k and 10k, but that's because that is where I WANT it to fall.  Sometimes stories have other ideas.

So, in addition to that little challenge, here are my January goals:

1.  Finish revisions of new middle grade novel.  Decide on a title.  (I have a couple of working titles, but I still keep thinking I will find the one that makes me go--WOW!)

2.  Start a picture book.

3.  Look at Chicken Wizard again.  It's sitting in my computer--no one has really seen it, and yet, I wait for this one piece of it so sing.  I need to figure out what it's problem is!!

Okay, I think I am good with those goals for the next few weeks.


Looking back on 2012, I am thankful for:

*Going to ALA in Anaheim and meeting the great folks at FSG, including my editor.
*Going to SCBWI for the first time.
*Getting starred reviews for the Seven Tales of Trinket from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, and Booklist, in addition to a really lovely one from School Library Journal.
*Having an amazing launch party (and getting to see my girls dance together  one more time!!)
*Working with extraordinary third-graders.
*Having a talented artist like Dan Craig paint the cover for Trinket.
*A new desk.
*A husband that realized I needed a new desk and found the perfect one.
*Beautiful, talented, smart daughters.
*Henry and Mikey

Okay, back to the craziness at hand!

ETA:  12:20, January 6th

Already 1,367 words into the story!  Now off to run a few errands.  I'd like to make Thai curry chicken lettuce wraps for dinner and need to get some things.  

5:43, January 6th

I've got 2,163 words, and will probably write for a bit again later tonight.  I  like where it's going, but something REALLY wild needs to happen in the next part.  Folks, this is way fun.

9:24, January 6th

2,416 words.  And I just named a box turtle after a president.  So there.  But now I am second guessing myself.  Is George Washington a better name for a box turtle, or is Teddy Roosevelt?

6:26, January 7th

2638 words, but I've barely had the time today!  In a few hours, my time limit will be here!  Oh no!  

9:45, January 7th

2949 words.  I wanted to do more tonight, but I am so incredibly tired--and the Nyquil is kicking in so I'd best pull up the covers and drift off.  

5:48, January 8th

3,305 words.  yeah, yeah, I know.  I am way over my time limit--almost by a day!  But I look at it this way, this is 3,305 more words that I would have had without my crazy goal.  I still think I can finish soon, but I am pretty sure that this is going to be at least 6,000.  (I really don't want it any more than that.)

8:55, January 8th

3,643 words.   Really cracked myself up with a certain scene. And the turtle has been named Teddy Roosevelt, in case you were wondering.  I really think I can finish this in a few days.  So jazzed!

7:06 January 9th

4,145 words.  Homestretch time...maybe.  But yeah!  

10:12 p.m. January 10th

Dudes--4,724!!  It is not done yet, but I think it will be under the 6,000 mark.  Okay,so it was not a chapterbook in a day--but it might be a chapterbook in a week, and I'll take it.

And I named the turtle Teddy Roosevelt.



Laura Marcella said...

Good luck with the chapter book!! I'm sure you'll reach your goal! Happy new year, Shelley!!

Rebecca said...

Hurray for crazy challenges! You go, girl!

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie Thornton said...

Yay for the chapter book!

BTW- My daughter and I are almost done with Trinket and we both absolutely love it. We don't want it to end!

Dawn Simon said...

You had an awesome 2012! Congrats! I have lots to be thankful for as well.

Good luck with your deadline. You've already succeeded since you're having fun and making progress!

Myrna Foster said...

I love it when you write about your writing goals! It inspires me.

And if you're really looking for opinions on the turtle's name, I like Teddy Roosevelt better.

Matthew MacNish said...

That is an ambitious goal, but I'm sure you can do it!

Kelly Polark said...

Impressive work, SHelley. A lofty goal, but you got a lot done!
I'm amazed by your writing work ethic!