Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Why? Because it's Christmas of course!

OK, that is EXTREMELY red, isn't it? Apologies to those who hate reading white script on dark background -- I might change it back after the festive season if enough people complain. :-)

Today is our first really snowy day here, and I'm spending a quiet morning writing Christmas cards. That may seem kind of passe but it's a tradition I hate to give up. Even if that's the only time we're in contact with someone from one end of the year to the next, I love having that little bit of contact. And of course we love getting cards, so sending them increases the chance of receiving them!

I'm enjoying not feeling the pressure to write 1667 words a day -- that gets to you after a while. Last night I re-read my (ahem) "novel", Paige Turner: Reluctant Writer, and groaned a bit over the inconsistencies, gaps, and long boring passages. But there are many aspects of it that I really like, so I plan to take it apart and try to fix the problems over the next few weeks and months -- just see what comes of it. Basically it is about a 12-year-old girl whose dad is a famous writer and who feels pressured to become a writer too -- but she is reluctant to do so for various reasons. She eventually takes "The Vow of the Blank Paige," refusing to write anything at all. This gets her into some scrapes at school and at home, and she's eventually forced to choose between her vow and what she knows is right.

I really don't know what I will actually do with this piece once I've tried to fix it up. There are thousands of "tween" books out there, as I can attest from the huge piles of books Allison brings home from the library each week -- so I don't know if publication is even a remote possibility. But just the process of writing and editing it and trying to make a character come alive on the page is a worthwhile exercise. And Allison is a great first reader: she remembers details very well and she has a good sense of what is funny and interesting from a kid's perspective.

Speaking of Allison, right now she's studying Romeo & Juliet. One interesting thing the Challenge class does each year is put on a Shakespeare play, and that's the one they'll be performing sometime in the new year. She's learning a lot of interesting new things so it has been a great experience for her to be part of this program. She has to do a project called Challenge for Change in which students (individually or in groups) develop inventions, do community initiatives, or create artistic works that can help make the world a better place. Allison is not really sure what she should do for this project; I suggested she use her excellent writing skills -- perhaps write her own "Choose Your Own Adventure" book about some issue that interests her. Her face lit up at the suggestion so that's a good sign. I hope she takes this route because she is a very good writer.


  1. Hi Jeannie, I like the premise of your novel. I think it would make a great "tween" book. The idea of wanting/not wanting to live up to one's parents expectations is a universal theme and should resonate with kids. I certainly remember expressly NOT becoming a teacher because my mom was a teacher and wanted me to become one too. Now I wonder if I made the right choice. Here's a thought...What about surrounding Paige's teenage struggles with a story about the adult Paige rediscovering the joys of writing? Then you could use some of the insights that you have from your current discoveries as a writer, and write something that resonates with adults, if you're not sure a "tween" novel would work. Maureen

  2. Maureen, that is a really fascinating idea, one I hadn't considered. Who knows where the story will end up!


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