"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Monday, June 15, 2009

DDDs, New Books, and Writing Time

After the week of Cub Scout camp, I escaped Saturday morning and headed to BookPeople to get some much appreciated writing time in. It's funny how there can be music and a meeting in the background and I can filter it all out, but when I'm at home, I get distracted.
And I've come to realize that an optimum minimum amount of time for me to write is two hours. I can do less, but two hours is really key. I can get a lot done and really start using my brain in that amount of time.

After my awesome writing time, BookPeople hosted a panel of five Austin YA authors. The Delacorte Dames and Dude (or DDDs for short). It was

April Lurie (author of The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine)
Shana Burg (author or A Thousand Never Evers)
Varian Johnson (author of My Life as a Rhombus)
Margo Rabb (author of Cures for Heartbreak)
Jenny Ziegler (author of How Not to be Popular)

all there in a panel moderated by Sarah Bird, talking about everything you always wanted to know about YA. Such fun! And so inspirational. Here's the message we need to repeat to ourselves every day multiple times:
STICK WITH IT!

Here's a photo of the panel


and a photo of the crowd



While at BookPeople, I of course had to pick up a couple new books. I bought:

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Chosen one by Carol Lynch Williams

And speaking of reading, I finished and loved Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill. This is a book which totally has as much guy appeal as girl appeal even though there's a female protagonist. I was really happy to see there wasn't a girl on the cover; lots of times this can scare guys away. (Actually this topic was also discussed at the YA panel). Smart marketing. Good humor. Fun concept.

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So this week it's Kung Fu camp all week for my son and art camp for my daughter from 1-4 each day. This gives me three hours a day of pure, unadulterated writing time. I plan to bring my computer, find a chair, and work for the three golden hours.
Nice.

26 comments:

beth said...

Oh, let me know how Demon's Lexicon goes. I hate the cover, but the more I hear about it, the more interesting that plot sounds!

PJ Hoover said...

Ditto here, Beth. The cover did not sell me at all. If anything it turned me away. But I kept hearing about it so I got it. I'm about 100 pages in, and it's good so far.

lotusgirl said...

That unadulterated writing time sounds absolutely blissful. How can I get me some of that?

PJ Hoover said...

I hear you, Lois! I'm so excited!

Casey said...

Looks like they had a great turn out.

Enjoy your writing time, PJ!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Casey!

Keri Mikulski said...

Wow! I thought I was the only one that gasses out after a certain number of hours. :)

Great panel and sounds like a great day. Wish I lived near you, PJ!! :)

Trisha Pearson said...

I can't wait to hear how you like your new books. Enjoy your three hours of writing time. I hope it is very productive. Now, I'm kicking myself for not signing my kids up for summer camps. What was I thinking?

Kelly said...

Cool panel!!
Enjoy your extra writing time this week!
I go to Starbucks to write and get more done there in an hour and a half then in two hours at home (too many household chores and children distracting me).

PJ Hoover said...

Wish you did, to, Keri! We'd have a blast! It seems like at this stage in the writing unless I know I have all day, my brain shuts down. Hopefully that will change soon.

What were you thinking, Trisha? I am totally loving those camps. And the best part is the kids are, too!

Yep, Kelly! There is just something about getting away from it all that makes all the difference in the world.

Thanks for visiting!

adrienne said...

Three hours a day - that was good planning!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Glad to hear you had a fab day of writing and more, PJ.
As for that Demon's Lexicon cover, I'm not so fond either, but if you want to see the UK and a rockin' Japanese cover check this:
http://entertainment.ie/Other/feature/Guest-Blog:-Sarah-Rees-Brennan-(The-Demon's-Lexicon)/6/243.htm

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Adrienne! The three-hour a day mentality is how I will make it through summer sane.

That is a way cool cover, Tricia! Thanks for the link!

Rebecca said...

I wish I could get up the nerve to write with a bunch of strangers around me! The most I do is scribble a few things down in a journal. Or I had in my car with my laptop.

beckylevine said...

I have a feeling you're really disciplined about diving into writing when you "write out." I need to get back to that. I agree, two hours is a great deal of productivity, once focused!

Justus M. Bowman said...

Enjoy your three hours; I'm sure the kids will enjoy theirs.

Angela said...

Looking forward to hearing what you think of your new books!

PJ Hoover said...

Whoa, Rebecca, coool picture!
It is weird at first, but I've gotten great at zoning out the rest of the world.

Since I know it's my golden time, Becky, I dive right in. It's nice to have email, etc, out of the way!

Thanks, Justus! They had a blast yesterday, so I'm looking forward to all week!

I'll let you know how the books are, Angela!

Danyelle said...

Have fun with your writing time! The books sound really interesting. :D

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the compliment on my picture, PJ! I decided that safe was too boring! I did the picture with the Photo Booth program on my new Mac.

BethanĂ¯e Shangri La said...

WOW! We've had a few authors come our way in the past new yr but none YA nor panel, nor very informative... more book plugging and crass publicity.

BUT I do love to read people takes on literature... would love to see some lessons learned tips from you're extensive background for some us noobies, ha.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Danyelle! The books are good so far! As is the writing time.

Mac software rocks, Rebecca!

Great thoughts, Bethanie! I'll have to see what I can do. And thanks for asking! We have so many great authors and events here in Austin, it's amazing. I think I'm spoiled as a result.

Kelly H-Y said...

BookPeople sounds so awesome!!!
Enjoy your writing time this next week!

C.R. Evers said...

what a great panel!

Sounds like you've got a lot of fun stuff going on!

Lenore said...

I was also unconvinced about DEMON'S LEXICON (not really being fond of demons), but the more I hear about it, the more I want to give it a try.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Kelly! The writing time has been wonderful!

Summer is packed with fun, Christy! I'm excited!

Lenore, I will really look forward to your review of The Demon's Lexicon. I'm almost done!

Thanks for visiting!