My Writer's Journal

My "Weekly" (?) Journal

June 10, 2012

The idea was to post a journal entry once a week. Now it seems I can barely manage once a month. Sometimes not even that! So what happened?

The problem is that there's so much more to being a writer than just plunking myself down in front of my computer for a few hours every day. Aside from the daily stuff that everybody has to deal with--grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning up, paying bills, doing laundry--there are the things I'm determined to do to stay healthy and intellectually alive: getting enough sleep, walking 3 miles every morning, working out at the gym 3 times a week, keeping up with the news, reading something that isn't related to what I'm writing, staying in touch with family and close friends.

But there is the work that goes along with simply cranking out a certain number of pages a day. At the beginning of April I traveled to Philadelphia to give a talk at a university about historical fiction for kids. At the end of April I was in Chicago taking part in an International Reading Association day-long institute. Both of these events required hours of preparation, plus airport and flying time, and I got home wanting to sit and do nothing for a couple of days. But I couldn't.

This Tuesday and next I'll be at the Albuquerque Zoo, teaching a class of 7th graders about Charley Darwin, prompting them to imagine that we're on board the Beagle and to write about our voyage. I've spent hours meeting with the directors of the program and working on projects to keep the kids engaged from 9 am until 4.

Next Saturday our wonderful Alamosa Books is giving a launch party for THE WILD QUEEN. Last week I did an email interview for the Albuquerque Journal, related to the event, and I've just spent most of my Sunday afternoon emailing everybody I can think of who might be interested in coming. Deciding what to read and how to present the book will take me an hour or so later this week.

It's still a month away, but I'm now preparing to teach a writing workshop in Taos, NM, on Young Adult books, a subject about which I'm supposed to know something. I do know something about historical fiction, but what if these students all want to write about zombies? Meanwhile, I need to contact them, find out what they're doing, if it is zombies, and shape the workshop around what they want to do.

It's a good idea to keep things going on Facebook and Twitter; I've been told that I need to tweet about 3 times a day. I manage in spurts to think up tweets and posts that aren't completely inane, but then I slack off, which is supposedly very bad. I do pretty well at keeping the content of this website up to date with new book covers and excerpts of reviews, except--obviously--for the Writer's Journal.

And then there's my current work-in-progress, BEAUTY'S DAUGHTER, for which I have not yet figured out an ending. It's due July 15th--the day I leave for Taos.

Fiction for Young Adults

Three gutsy girls go looking for adventure in the West in the 1920's
Anastasia and her three sisters are the privileged daughters of the richest man in the world, until their world begins to crumble.
YA Historical Fiction
What's it like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world? When Helen of Troy elopes with Paris, her daughter, Hermione, stows away on a Greek ship in search of her mother, hoping to bring her home--and perhaps to find a love of her own.
The future queen of England lives a life of privilege, but privilege comes with a steep price of isolation and loneliness--until she meets Albert.
She leaves Scotland as a child, is sent to France to marry the future king, returns to Scotland as a young woman to rule; a wild queen in a wild country.
First published in 1992, my first historical novel, has been reissued with a new cover.
Cleopatra has been chosen to be the next queen of Egypt, but she faces ruthless competition from her sisters. (Watch a video of Carolyn on this page)
The dizzying rise and horrific downfall of the last queen of France. Young Royals series
Who would not fall in love with--or at least have a mad crush on--young Will!
Marie van Goethen was a dancer in 19th century Paris and modeled for Degas's famous sculpture.
A fictionalized account of the early life of Charles Darwin, narrated by Charley himself.
Mozart's talented sister, Nannerl, struggles to achieve life she deserves--in music as well as in love.
Contemporary YA
Four characters, four big issues, four compelling stories: BECAUSE OF LISSA; THE PROBLEM WITH SIDNEY; GILLIAN'S CHOICE; THE TWO FACES OF ADAM

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