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How Do You Start a Novel?

The answer is not "It was a dark and stormy night."

The answer is also not on my blog. But the answer will be discussed at the SCBWI-Illinois Far North Suburbs network meeting on Wednesday, April 1.

Join me at the Hawthorne mall Barnes and Noble at 7 p.m.

Hope to see you there!


Girl about town

I've got a few fun speaking engagements coming up. The first is this weekend! On Saturday, I'll be speaking at the Illinois Reading Council's annual conference with the lovely and talented Brenda Ferber, author of Julia's Kitchen and the soon to be released Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire.

We are speaking Saturday morning on the topic of how authors use emotion, and I think it will be a very useful thing to for teachers and librarians to think about, applicable both to helping their students become better readers AND better writers. But I'll talk about more about my thoughts there, after the conference.

Next week, April 1, I'll be at the SCBWI-Illinois far north suburbs network meeting. We'll be at the Hawthorne Mall Barnes and Noble from 7-9 pm.(It's not a joke, even though it's happening on April Fool's Day.) I'll be giving a talk about how to get started writing a novel. Sometimes the hardest part is just beginning.

Hope to see you there if you're in the neighborhood!


I dreamed a proverb!

I don't mean I dreamed the dream equivalent of "a stitch in time saves nine" or "a apple a day keeps the doctor away." I mean, in my dream, I invented a new proverb. A strange proverb.

Well actually, I didn't invent it. Justine Larbalestier did. In my dream she wrote me an email to talk about my work-in-progress.

No, I do not know Justine, nor have I ever communicated with her before, other than in my dreams. Yet I have dreamed her several times. I do not know why. I never dream any other YA authors. Though I do enjoy her books and her blog.

Here is what she told me regarding said WIP. That I was "too wound by the moldy milk in the mustardy."

I knew exactly what she meant, too. In my dream mind, this made up proverb comes from the fact that if cows eat too many mustard greens the milk will be mustardy-tasting (I have no idea if this happens in real life,) but here I was worrying that some of the milk got moldy, when I had the much bigger problem of all of the milk tasting mustardy. In short, she meant don't spend all your time working on a small part of the problem if you haven't fixed the bigger problem.

Only, I didn't think I was doing this with regards to my WIP, so I'm not sure I know what this dream was telling me.