Work-In-Progress: The End

Yesterday after I announced celebrating the completion of my first draft, a friend confessed to me that she didn’t experience joy in finishing her recent manuscript–because she felt as if there was so much more work to do.

Yes, I have much more work to do: characters to round, subplots to weave with thicker yarn, themes to emphasize…

But today I blissfully mismanaged my time. I nibbled the congratulatory chocolates I mailed to myself–while reading a book for pleasure; I took a long walk in the middle of the day; I flitted about online, window-shopping; I played long games of fetch with my kitten. I still haven’t showered. And maybe I won’t.

Yesterday I hosted a cupcake party for my daughters. Living with a writer isn’t easy–I space off mid-conversation, talk about people who don’t actually exist, sneak away from home on weekends, and ask weird questions about plot possibilities–again for a story that doesn’t yet exist. The revision process is only more obsessive–so we all deserved a treat.

The truffles, however, were all mine. I stretched myself with this manuscript, trying out a new genre, working hard, fighting doubt and fear, finding courage. I learn so much with each story I write–no matter if it ever reaches a bookstore or not. And that’s something to celebrate!

I urge you to mark your own milestones by doing something fun & slightly indulgent. Finding joy in the process of completing a big task–like a polished, ready-to-submit manuscript–is the best part of the journey.

Do to the fact that I have not yet showered, Minnie will be starring in today’s vlog:

Just don’t tell my mother that I’ve posted a cat video online (she’ll never let me hear the end of it!)

Work-In-Progress: 59,595 words

As I recorded my word count today, I realized I probably should’ve written five more words to reach an even number. But aside from the fact that my 15 year old is most eager for driving lessons, I’m trying not to rush the end of this story (I sometimes do that). I’m taking it slow, but I am almost finished…

To see the vlog:

Today I ordered a small box of Martines Chocolates for when I type the words “The End” sometime next week…

Work-In-Progress: 53,446 words

I’ve decided that it’s okay to leave my character bleeding in the street… in order to catch a matinee movie with my family. I’m doing better at finding a good life/work balance, and the novel is still getting written. Here’s this week’s vlog (at for those of you viewing this elsewhere):

I can’t wait to finish writing my scene tomorrow!

Work-In-Progress: 48,090 words

My plans to sneak away and write over the holidays didn’t materialize, but I’m back at my desk every morning now. I’ve made it through the middle & I’m ready to write to the finish! Too see the vlog:

I’m already thinking of a 50,000 word reward involving some form of chocolate!

(That’s Minnie, the klutziest kitten in the world, trying to jump down from my desk.)

Work-In-Progress: 40,085

Apparently I’ve got more in common with my dog than I realized… I wonder how many dog biscuits it would take to get him to finish my novel?  Here’s this week’s vlog post (

Next week I plan to sneak in some writing along with holiday fun!

Work-In-Progress: 34,700-ish

I’m not really a superstitious person, but Chapter Thirteen… Ack! I’m still working on the right words, erasing the wrong ones. Here’s this week’s vlog post:

Next week if I make it to 40,000 words I’m buying myself a Peppermint Mocha! That’s motivation 🙂

Work-In-Progress: 25,189 words

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I got back to work on the story I put on hold last summer to work on another novel. Taking what I learned during that revision process, I’m making a few changes as I get to know my plot and characters again. I hope to really add to my word count next week! Here’s my vlog post:*

*Co-starring Ken & my dog Jack.

Wanna Know Scott Westerfeld’s Favorite Halloween Candy?

Yesterday I got all dressed up as my most klutzy self and headed to the Provo Teen Lit Fest.

Scott Westerfeld started us off with an inside look at how text and illustrations merge in his Leviathan series. I’m always curious to see what doesn’t make it into the book.

I loved spending the afternoon talking books and writing with teens, as well as chatting with author friends.  We mostly talked candy. Check it out:

I’m a Reese’s fan myself. Leave a comment telling me your favorite Halloween candy & you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of either Uglies or Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (your choice!).

Contest ends, Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at midnight.