Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking Back at 2008 - The Year of Writing

A self indulgent look back...

January - I had a car accident (his fault, not mine!). My first YA novel began to take shape. My faithful friends and fellow Wire groupies gathered to watch at my house as the best television series ever wound to a fabulous finish. "There Will Be Blood" shook me up, and I took a friend to Disneyland. I began another year of gaming with a group of like minded geeks. Yes, I game. So sue me for having an imagination.

February - my novel's plot got clearer. I planned my trip to Europe with my friend Wendy. Our pick - Prague and Budapest in October. The flu laid me low, and I finally got the car fixed. I passed the time with a couple of very nice gentlemen.

March - more writing! Took a screenwriting class from my fabulous friend Pilar, applying the ideas generated there to my novel. I really got under the skin of my main character. My critique group gave great feedback. I underwent extensive dental hell, but it all ended up costing less than I thought. Phew! The schmoozing reached unprecedented levels at various writing and media-folks gatherings.

April brought the beginning of my 12-week YA novel writing class. I refined my plot drastically, rewrote chapter one three times, and finally started to feel good about it. I endured a root canal and rewarded myself with wine tastings, good company, and watching friends perform in front of appreciative audiences.

For May, my calendar has "WRITE!" written in nearly every day of the month. And I did. I churned out pages and got great feedback from my class, which gave me incentive to keep going. May 8, I scribbled: "rewriting like a maniac" in my worst handwriting. Along the way I had a few rum drinks at the Tonga Hut.

June brought the final chapters of my novel, which I managed to churn out in spite of five fabulous days spent in Hawaii not writing. I reconnected with some of my closest friends and acted like I was 16 all over again.

In July I finished my writing class and the first draft of my novel. Hurray! I fell for "The Dark Knight," and attended the SCBWI (Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators) conference in Los Angeles, where there was much schmoozing, attending of lectures, and writing.

In August I stepped back from my manuscript for a few weeks, supposedly to give myself perspective. But mostly I was lazy and hated my writing and figured I was doomed. My lovely mother came to visit and the latest dentist appointment revealed that I now have fabulously healthy teeth. I spoke on a panel at work about working as a creative exec assistant in Hollywood.

September brought me back to my book, and I rewrote and tightened and honed and felt the love again. I put together a website with help from a fabulous friend. Okay - so I have nothing to sell yet, but what the hey! My friend Diane visited and completed a triathlon - yay! I played poker at work, and started sending out queries. My bathroom flooded, and I hit a few Tiki bars because life is short.

From here on, I can't really discuss the query/agenting process, but let's just say so far so good. In October I ventured to Prague and Budapest with Wendy at marveled at how those countries are recovering from Communism. The men in Prague? Gorgeous! A Polish man told me that Hungarians are more passionate. Duly noted. I made notes in case I need to use those locations in a novel.

In November I rewrote a spec TV pilot I'd begun last year, and it actually got a lot better. Hey! Maybe I am learning something along the way. There was much feasting on turkey with loved ones, holding of newborn babies, and listening to live music.

December - I finished the rewrite on the TV pilot, and the beginnings of a new novel begin to appear in my brain. I start to jot stuff down - and signed up for another class, to begin in January.

So yes, I wrote more in 2008 than I ever have before, and I had my share of heartbreak, frustration and fun along the way. And I plan to write even more in 2009. The more I write, the more likely it is that something concrete will come of it, right?

I hope your 2008 was even more productive, satisfying, and delightful. Here's to a creative, adventurous, fearless 2009!

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