Sure, t’is a lovely day to be writing.
It’s a wee bit rainy on this St. Patrick’s Day morning, but that’s all the better for this lass to keep her pounding at the keys. If the sun were shinin’ bright, a certain strawberry blonde might be up to all sorts of shenanigans. So a big thank you to the good Lord who brings the rains, and a big thank you to Margo L. Dill, who is any day now releasing her new novel, CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO CURSES! Margo invited me to answer a couple questions on the writing process (and if you want to know all about Margo’s news and process, check out the last stop on the blog chain here.)
On to the Writing Process questions!
1. What am I working on?
Whew! Just last night, I had a wee bit of a panic attack, wondering how I would manage all that I’m working on! I’m finishing up a children’s book for the Korean education market that’s been as much of a learning process as a writing process! I’m having a blast, tapping into my picture book writing-side over at Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12. But honestly, it’s 12 books in 12 months and SO many writers, sharing info. And contests. And must-read books. My wee little brain is about to bust! And I’m working on a bookmap in preparation for a plot intensive by Cheryl Klein at the Springmingle conference in a few weeks. (And something tells me, I’ll be revising yet again when all is said and done.)
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Let’s see…I suppose I can answer this question as it relates to the EL book I’m finishing. It’s a bit different for me to write with such specific guidelines, in meeting reading levels, defining topics, creating review questions. And it’s a departure from fiction, where my comfort zone lives. But when I jump into non-fiction for kids, I learn so much–and I’m challenged with having to come up with a creative story framework to keep the kiddies interested. So it’s been stretching my writing process, but in a good way!
3. Why do I write what I do?
At this point, seven years in to my writing career, I try to choose projects that will bring me closer to my ultimate goal: writing books for kids. It doesn’t mean that I won’t pen a limerick for the Saturday Evening Post contest or send out a Chicken Soup for the Soul story. But mostly, my humor finds its home in children’s writing, and that keeps me pretty darn busy.
4. How does your writing process work?
Hmmm…my writing process. Honestly, it’s not that complicated. I have a calendar over my desk with everything I want to work on during the month. First thing every morning, I pick a project for the day and then I do a little hop-skip dance around the office, maybe sing a bit, twirl a chicken over my head, toss glitter at the keyboard.
Nah, just kidding. I do look at my calendar, decide what I need to work on, and then put my butt in the chair and get to it. I joke about getting ideas in the shower, but that’s no joke. The creative part of the writing process–the time when I need to think up a plot, figure out how to get from point A to point B, fine-tune a character–comes most often when I’m doing something else, something where I don’t have to concentrate. That just happens to be bathing.
Faith ‘n begorrah, I’ve gone on enough! It’s time to pass the chain along for the next bloggers who’ll be answering the same questions on March 24th.
Friend and author Suzanne–well, she writes as Suzanne Lilly, which is just about the BEST pen name ever, is a full-time teacher who somehow finds the time to write sweet and suspenseful, YA romances. Her latest published release is about gold rush days and…you know what? I’ll bet that’s exactly what Suzanne will be talking about, so join her next week at her blog.
Kathy Halsey is a newcomer to the blogging world, and she’s joined forces with a terrific group of children’s writers over at GROG (it’s an acronym; go check it out!). Kathy’s a former school librarian and teacher and enjoys the middle grade humor, so I can’t wait to see what she has to say.
And now, t’is back to work for me. Though it’s hardly work when Irish eyes are smilin’.
As much as I like the idea of throwing glitter on the keyboard – oh, inspirational, creative fairy dust, maybe?! – I think it would be awfully messy when typing. 🙂
Good luck with all of your projects! They sound like a lot of work but also a lot of fun.
Well, now, fairy dust is totally different, Madeline. I’ve got a ton of that stuff. 🙂
I’m a little disappointed to learn that you don’t twirl a chicken over your head, not gonna lie. I don’t believe you about the singing, though. I think you sing. I’m pretty sure of it. I’d even bet that your make up your own lyrics. 🙂
Okay, yeah, I sing. But only after work, Lisa. And I sing loud, not gonna lie. 🙂
Cathy–You make me tired just reading about all the writing you’re doing…and I feel a little guilty, too.
Hey, how about putting a chair in the shower? Then you can get some great ideas/writing done while you’re in the shower and also BIC?
If you take this idea and run with it and start selling the “Muse in the Shower” chairs, I’d like a cut…
Sioux, you made me laugh out loud! And if my laptop were waterproof, I’d for sure be sitting in my tub with it. 🙂
Sioux made me laugh out loud too. I love the chair in the shower bit. Sioux, have Linda help you turn that into a Chicken Soup for the Soul essay somehow. 😉
I’ve written for the Korean education market, too. Which publisher are you working with? Compass? Nice blog hop post!
Next time, we’ll get you on the blog hop, Tina. 😉 (I’m working with Darakwon, on an elementary level book. Still learning the ropes, but I’m getting closer every day!)
Thanks for participating, Cathy. I loved reading about everything you are doing and can’t wait to see what the two you tagged are doing next. Plus, I’m super jealous that you’re going to the Cheryl Klein workshop. I got to hear her speak one time in Kansas City. Have a great time!
I’ve heard her speak several times and pssst, Margo? You’re going to be even more jealous. I’m her angel at the conference!
Thanks for including me, Cathy! You’re one speedy writer, since you’re almost done with your EL book. Congratulations!
Um…I don’t feel speedy, Suzanne. I feel like I’m dusting off my teacher brain cells–and those old brain cells are putting up quite a fight! 🙂
Reblogged this on TeacherWriter and commented:
Aye ‘n’ begorrah! My good friend and funny writer, Cathy C. Hall is on the Writing Process blog chain, writing about her latest shenanigans!
Yay! I always wondered how that rebloggy thing works. 🙂 (Thanks!)
Yes, I’m quite impressed with how busy you’ve been keeping. Rainy days always make me want to curl up in bed with a good book, not write one. 🙂 Kudos to you for working so hard! I can’t wait to hear how all these projects turn out!
Oh, I’m reading a book, too, Debra. Several books, actually. And when I say “read” you know I mean “open the book and look at the page and fall asleep.” 🙂
What a funny photo and a cool post. I can picture you sprinkling fairy dust. What I really like about your writing process is that although you’re super creative and have so much going on you also are organized and focused. That’s something I need to work on.
Have fun at Springmingle. It’s cool that you’re Cheryl Kline’s angel. Like Margo, I heard Cheryl speak at the MWG conference in Kansas City. She is an amazing speaker and editor–and might I add that she’s originally from Missouri?
Why, thank you, Donna. But I’m not so organized that I wrote anything for the Erma Bombeck competition–and HUGE congrats to you for your Top Ten Entry! Again! (And I didn’t know Cheryl was from Missouri, but I’m not surprised. There are an awful lot of amazing writers–and women–in Missouri!) 🙂
Shower power? You bet. Fairy dust and glitter? Yes, it’s everywhere because I use so much at school I leave a trail. Produce as much as you do? NEVER! You are an amazing writer, and this was a fun post.
Oh, Linda, go on with you. You run circles, writing around me. (Shower Power Ladies Unite!) 🙂
I enjoy your sense of humor Cathie…you enjoy writing and it shows in your posts. Great to meet another blogger who is passionate about writing. Thanks for visiting and following my blog…I look forward to reading more of yours!
Thanks for dropping in, Bev! I need to take a run by yours!
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