Next Stop on the Writing Process Blog Chain (Hint: It’s Me)

2009-02-10 16.23.12Sure, 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’.