Wednesday, February 11, 2009

it's deep, dark secret time folks...

Okay, so some (or most) of you actually know this by now,
but I...

want to be a .....

and personally, I think it's the most embarrassing, lofty goal ever, and I'll tell you why.


People who are amazing writers, people who are terrible writers, and everyone in between want to be the next Stephenie Meyer or J.K Rowling or what not, and it's hard to admit/talk about/fess up to because, when you haven't published anything legitimate, people automatically group you in the "just another untalented nut who wants to write a children's book or something" category. And that's an embarrassing category to be stuffed into. So, if I haven't been particularly forthcoming about it up till this point... now you know why.

It's a very scary, special little secret dream of mine, and about 6 months ago, Kyle and I were talking, and a story idea popped into my head and I couldn't get it out. Then, characters started forming out of nowhere, and before I knew what was happening, I was writing.

Like, a lot.

...and here I am 80,000 words later, wondering "What the heck do I think I'm doing?!"

This is nuts.

I decided to read Stephen King's book titled: "On Writing" and it was really helpful.
One thing he said was "If you don't have time to read, you don't have time to write."
He believes whole-heartedly that you become a good writer by reading great books, and also by reading books that would better serve their readers when used as toilet paper. (Oh, and by the way, "On Writing" was a really useful guide, but our little Stevie-boy is one crass, cussy, son of a gun! Consider yourselves if you didn't already know ;)

So, anyway, I have been reading a lot more than I even normally do, and I have begun to include Young Adult books since I'm thinking that that's what this little laptop creation of mine is going to be, though it's only halfway finished and already much too long for the norm...

So I have recently read:
(which was amazing, and simple, and not at all what I thought it would be like at first glance.) This book will TOTALLY be mandatory reading for the Kort-meister when he is 10-ish years of age. Such a great story. Every YA should read it.


"Rules of the Road" by Joan Bauer
And can I just say that this woman is MAD talented?
I wanted to share a few excerpts with you. I love her style.
The story is about an awkward teenage girl living in downtown Chicago with her single mother and a slightly younger sister. Her dad is an absentee alcoholic who only comes around every once in awhile to make every one's lives miserable before disappearing again for months or years on end. In order to help out with the meager family finances, she works at a local shoe store chain, and she loves it. Loves selling those high quality, good-lookin' shoes (and I can't say that I blame her.) Anyway, one day, the elderly, millionaire owner of the entire chain walks into their store and later asks the protagonist to work as her chauffeur for the entire summer (and a really great salary). And the story goes on from there. It was so delightful. Here are a FEW of the many excepts that I loved in this book:

When a woman came in apologizing for the battered-up shoes she was wearing, Harry looked at those disgusting things and said, “Those’ve been good friends.”
When an older man came in looking sad, Harry said to him, “How’s the world treating you today, my friend?” and that man almost broke down because his wife had died last month and she always came with him to pick out his shoes.

I was sitting at the library study table. My grandma always said that God made libraries so that people didn’t have any excuse to be stupid. Close to everything a human being needed to know was somewhere in the library.

I stood by the sink in the bathroom and washed my face with cold water to get the red splotches off from all the crying and despair. No paper towels.
I stuck my face under the handblower which made my eyes tear, praying no one would walk in. If opal was here she would have told me that tears weren’t anything to be ashamed of, that crying in front of people just makes you closer. That’s how opal and I met. She was crying at the bus stop after school. Her new wallet had been stolen and she didn’t have enough money to get home. I paid her fare and we rode home together. By the time we’d passed North Avenue, I’d told her my dad was an alcoholic, she’d told me her aunt believed in alien abduction, and we’d become best friends right there on 22 North. Like my grandma always said, you never know the blessings that can come from suffering.
I dried my eyes on my sleeve and walked out to where Mrs. Gladstone was sipping coffee. There were two pieces of coconut cream pie on the table, my absolute favorite dessert. I sat down reverently in front of all those calories.
She leaned forward, studying me. “You want to talk about it?”
I shook my head. I figured she’d make me spill my guts, but she didn’t.
“Some things go too deep for words,” is all she said.
And we sat there eating our pie.

Wow, reading stuff like this makes me feel SO SMALL!!!
"I sat down reverently in front of all those calories?"
Are you kidding me?
Love. it.
Her warm, genuine writing makes me feel small,
but it also makes me feel inspired and spurred to push my game to the next level as well.
I imagine that's what sassy-pants Mr. King intended, so hopefully I'm on the right track.

Time will tell.

(As will a lot of rejection letters, crying, and a whole lotta "what were you even thinking's?!")

...and NO, I will not tell you what it's about. (I'm ready to fess up a little, but not THAT much.)
...and YES I will need feedback readers once the "first" draft has been edited its first hundred times. So let me know if you're interested. I'm thinking...February of 2012? ha ha!
(let's hope not)


Kristina P. said...

This is exciting, Laura! I'm sure you will be awesome.

Scott and Jillian said...

I definitely want to be one of the feedback readers. I just joined a book club, so I will have lots of reading under my belt by then!

Ashley Koz said...

You are a AWESOME AWESOME writer, and I'm totally not saying that because your my good friend and I feel I have to. It's for real yo

Aubry Macbean said...

I will so be one of your readers. I love books. I must confess that I have about three story lines on my computer. But I hate typing so my motivation to finish any of them is pretty much non-existent. So good for you for wanting to finish your book.

Kevin and Lynne Smith said...

I love young adult literature. It is pure writing in order to keep readers enthralled. My most recent favs are the "Fablehaven" series and "The Candy Shop Wars". Happy Writing to you. I am writing as well. I am currently on a hiatus as Ineed to do some research and so don't have the time to do it. Good writing!!

Kiersten said...

Good for you! My first book took me a year-and-a-half to write, AND it was only 45,000 words!

How time has passed. Keep going! Don't be afraid to claim you're a writer.

kim dance said...

I'm in. I love books. I make myself have time to read at least one/month.
I'll be looking forward to reading YOURS!!!

Shilo Robertson said...

I seen your blog through Kellys and thought I would say Hi. I have not seen you of heard how you were for a very long time ! You are quite the blogger, I just started a few weeks ago so I am still figuring it all out. You have such a handsome little boy. His eyes are so very pretty. Glad to see that you are doing well!

Shilo Robertson

Anonymous said...

K you're already a good writer and I can see you whipping out some successful teen novels no problem!
And don't be embarrassed. Whenever people ask me what I want to be I say Beyonce.
ALSO-Sorry I haven't gotten back to you. I broke my phone and haven't gotten a new one yet. As soon as I do though you get the first phone call.

the Lola Letters said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement! I knew my secret was safe with you...

Shilo- Hi! It is fun to hear from you! I can't wrtie you back for some reason, but if you check back on this, email me at I would love to find out how you are doing!