YA Vs MG

Let’s get this settled once and for all. Where is the line between YA (young adult) and MG (middle grades) literature? What ages are we talking here, let alone themes and appropriateness? (Please note that this debate has been worn out just about everywhere else on the internet, but I have not settled it for…

Paying Attention

Let’s be smart about this. I am all for intuition, as a writer. But the other day, I had a moment where my subconscious writing process made a leap to my consciousness, and that’s when one can all of a sudden share that process. We’ll call it a teachable moment. Whereas before what I was…

Mind Your Firsts

I pay close attention to first lines. One of my writer aspirations is to have such a great first line that they’ll be begging me to use it in the “First Lines” section of Poets & Writers. I read that section, every month, scrutinizing the novel lines. Then whenever I start a new book, I…

Novel Planning: a NaNoWriMo Update

They all said to make a plan. I even chirped the same advice to my writing friends: October should be NaNoPlaMo, National Novel Planning Month, we said. Because if you want to succeed at the 50,000 words demanded of you to conquer National Novel Writing Month in November, you want to have all guns blazing…

Livin’ la Vida NaNoWriMo

Still in the middle of National Novel Writing Month. Still spending five-plus hours per day getting those 2,200 words on the page. (Normally, it would be more like 1,600, but I was behind due to a sprained spine; more on that to come.) I am trying to keep writing and stop wanting to lollygag and…

NaNoWriMo

In case you are unaware (and I haven’t spoken with you in the past couple weeks), November is National Novel Writing Month. Now, it is true that every day and every week and every month is some sort of official something day or week or month, but this one–believe it or not–is widely observed by,…

It Could Have Been Worse

My intention was to find a writing group to join sometime this year. It was still sitting there on my list of Owl and Zebra goals when I was thrilled to find myself, one evening last spring, in a conversation with a new acquaintance about a burgeoning writing group which would happily include me, if…

What Writing Means

I have been reading an article in Poets & Writers about current writers (and book sellers) in Egypt. (Yes, I am a couple months behind on my trade reading.) With the continuing upheaval (think Arab Spring and then lots more) in the country, it is precarious to be a writer or to be selling modern…

The All-Important Character

One of the things I have learned about writing while writing is that it often takes writing to learn about writing. Make sense? You know, I like to read about writing, everything from plotting journals to autobiographies of writers (and magazines, oodles of magazines). But in some ways, there is nothing like writing, and then…

Chain Awards and Blogging Laurels

I have been awarded the Sunshine Blog Award. And now, before we discuss that further, I’m going to–in true Devon style–get all pensive about it. From my hasty research, I conclude that there are two kids of blog awards. The first is backed by some sort of organization of some kind. That can be as…

And the Winner Is…

Me! That’s right, folks. The Paris Book Festival has posted their annual competition results and I have taken an honorable mention in the General Fiction category. Thank you, thank you very much. I would like to thank all you little people who have helped me get where I am… Now, the award will only be…

The Life of a Writer in a Few Hundred Bulletted Words

Things I don’t particularly like about being a writer: Marketing Publicity Talking to people, especially answering questions on the spot (Crotchety!) Not getting paid for long periods of work Tweeting Distractions (from working at home) Not being taken seriously Self doubt Snooty writers and snooty critics Needing a GRE or 12 conferences in Hawaii Editors,…