A radar of literary proportions

Along the way, I’ll find random books that I want to check out because it piques my interest. I’m going to share one of those books with you – and the reasoning behind the…pique-ing. (That’s definitely not a word.)

the-eagle-tree

This is called The Eagle Tree, by Ned Hayes. It was a random book I saw on Amazon. (I was getting the link for The Longest Night Watch anthology, and I saw this book on the main page.) The cover looked interesting enough, though it was clearly geared for younger kids. [Pretty soon, you can read a post on why I still read young adult and intermediate reader books, but I need to write it first.] It said something about being a book with a strong autistic main character, so I clicked on it. I saw the author lived in Washington state – like I did, so there was that connection too. I read the description of the book, and I just stopped. I was floored.

Why?

My three year old has autism. It’s been a challenge for me to learn how to see the world through his young eyes who don’t process the world like most three year olds. It’s been a journey of acceptance and unconditional love, and it hasn’t been easy. To know that people are writing books about CAPABLE main characters with autism warms my soul.

Representation is something really real. People want to be represented in a respectful way, and that includes people with autism. The overwhelming positive reviews for this book lets me know that not only would this be a great book for me to read as a mother of an autistic child, but, in a few years, it’ll be good for my son to read it too. I hope as more people are becoming aware and fighting the stigma against mental illness (and differences in general), there will be more literary characters with these traits flooding the mainstream. Until then, this book sounds like it’ll be really helpful in fighting that stigma surrounding autism.

 

*Please note that I haven’t actually read this book. I’m basing my opinion solely on the description of the book, the linked article provided above, and several reviews of the book.

Advertisements

I managed to do a bookish thing!

Writing has been a big part of my life ever since I could remember, and it has always been a dream of mine to publish something.

That dream has been realized! (And it keeps growing.)

promo

Three days ago, an anthology known as The Longest Night Watch, an annual anthology that serves as a tribute to Terry Pratchett, was published – and one of my stories was included. (You can order your copy here!) I’m so grateful for the group of writers who came together to use words to fight Alzheimer’s disease. We do this by donating all the proceeds from sales to a charity for Alzheimer’s research.

It goes to show that, if you continue to chase your dreams, magical things really do happen. Since then, the anthology bug bit me hard, and now I am involved with more anthologies than I know what to do with – and more are being created weekly! It’s exciting to put myself – including my stories – out there, get all vulnerable, and see some positive effects. I still pursue writing novels (especially next month during NaNoWriMo), but, for now, I’m content to hone my craft by writing short stories.

‘Tis the season…to write 50,000 words.

It’s always around this time of year that I remember I have a blog, and I start posting with some regularity. So, if you don’t know or haven’t heard, NaNoWriMo is coming up soon. [That’s national novel writing month, even though it should be called international novel writing month since it has basically taken over the world.] During the month of November, writers take the world by storm and write 50,000 words. It sounds intense, and it is. When you break it down to a daily word goal of 1,667 words a day, it becomes much more manageable though. A 50,000 word story, for comparison sake, is roughly the length of “Of Mice and Men,” so it’s not a complete novel but it’s well on its way.

This year, I couldn’t really decide on which of the several ideas I’ve squirreled away that I’d want to do, so I’m going in alphabetical order. (I’m sure there are worse ways of going about it.)

My WIP is called “All the Pretty Girls.” I’d classify it as a YA thriller, but it has elements of mystery and magical realism thrown in too. I’m really excited about this, and I just need to take the time to plan it.

There are two camps in NaNo – planners and pantsers. Planners create an outline and stick to it. Pantsers fly by the seat of their pants and, essentially, wing it the whole month. I’m somewhere in between the two. I like to have a road map that shows the beginning, middle, and (to a lesser extent) the end as well as a list of characters and their major roles they play. But I don’t want to spend a lot of time planning 2654 scenes in advance – especially when I know that things tend to change while writing the actual story. (Besides, it feels too much like writing the story without having written it, and my mind just gets confused with that.)

This year, I’m going to try something a little different, and I’m going to move slightly closer to the planner camp. Because I have two small children and a limited time resource (maybe an hour or two a day, post midnight), I want to stay 2-3 scenes ahead of the story. On the first day, November 1, I will have my road map plus the first 3 scenes outlined. Before quitting that day’s session, I will add either 2 or 3 more scenes to tackle the next day. What I’m trying to avoid is sitting around wondering what the heck to write while I’m losing precious time. I’ll see how this new system will work. If anything, I’ll learn something new about my writing process. All through November, I’ll be documenting this journey of writing 50,000 words on here. I hope you join me in this literary endeavor!

If you haven’t signed up, do so here. [If you want to follow me on there and track me in real time, find me here.]