Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Writing- a part time job you do during your full time job

It's March already. In my house St. Patrick's Day is considered an official holiday. My husband takes the day off of work to watch the little ones while I take the boys (who get the day off of school) all over town performing with an Irish dance group. We usually start at 5:00 in the morning with the news and end the day around 9:00 pm. And all this happens two weeks from today.
But that's not the best part of March this year. My editor is sending my manuscript sometime in the next two weeks for me to review. I can't wait to see it.
I've been thinking about how things started a lot lately. Maybe it's because this rollercoaster ride of writing still has me reeling. I didn't spend my childhood wanting to be an author someday. I didn't even really consider writing until the day I found the story. Even then, it seemed like I was pretending.
In college I took an English class. Back then it was called Ricks College. My professor had us read a book. That's it. We discussed the book every week. I never had to write anything and we never talked about writing. I think he just really liked the book. It was "From Beirut to Jerusalem" by Thomas Friedman. I still have the book on my bookshelf.
By the time I transferred to Boise State, most of my credits were useless. The way the classes were set up, most of my credits didn't transfer. Instead of re-taking things, I tested out of them. English was one of those classes.
After I started writing my novel, I soon learned how much I didn't know about novel writing. What a long process. I feel like I got my English class after all these years.
But- about the picture. That's my older sister Tonia. She won't mind me sharing her photo :)
That picture was taken the day after Thanksgiving 2007. She was visiting Boise and we were hanging out. I asked her what kind of books she read. She said strictly nonfiction. "I'm writing a book. Does that mean if I ever finish it, you won't read it?" Yeah, that was my smooth way of telling the first person in my side of the family that I was writing a novel. It was Tonia- who travels the states and sometimes the world- who was she going to tell? My secret was safe.
Of course she said if her little sister wrote it she would probably read it. Thanks Tonia.
Back then I didn't know how long it would take. I had written 23 pages as of the day of this picture. Not very promising. That was before I knew about word count, double spacing, half inch paragraph indentations and page headings with numberings.
If my writers group had seen me then.
Six months after this picture I wrote the final words to the novel. Already I had edited and revised. But it's never enough. More and more and more editing and revising. I learned to enjoy editing. Until the upteenth time when I wanted to throw up just thinking about my story. I was sick of it. That's when I got my contract.
I read somewhere that when your story turns into a monster, it's time to send it out to the real world and let them deal with it. I agree.
And as for my full time job. Mom of five kids. When I wrote Alvor I had three year old twins and a seven month old who eventually turned one. Twins are something else. Writing helped me hold onto my sanity. Did I just say that? I love my kids a lot. I really do. Even when permanant marker is the color of the day.
I tell my husband all the time- If I can write a story, anyone can.


Nate and Robin said...

You get to review it soon. That's exciting. I'm excited to read it. I enjoyed reading the first chapter that you have on this blog. You had mentioned that it will come out in May. Is that still the time line? Do you know when in May? I was never much of a reader until I met Nate and now I'm in our ward book club. I'm looking forward to using your book for us to read. I'm glad that things are coming together for you.

Laura said...

As for now, Alvor is scheduled to go to press April 15. That should put it in the Cedar Fort warehouse sometime in the first couple weeks of May. From there, it distributes out. I don't have a solid date for when it will be in the bookstores. I'll keep you posted. I'm glad you're in a book club. That's so fun!