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My Writer's Journal

My "Weekly" (?) Journal

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. Read More 
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