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

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Loving it, Hating it, Round up, and Red Dirt

I got an email from a friend recently talking about how she did not love her current manuscript. And funny enough, this is exactly how I felt on the first draft of my current WIP. But a great thing has been happening during revisions. I like it. I really, really like it.
Did it write itself? No.
The not-loving-state of the first draft made me feel like each word I wrote had to be clawed out of some dark place. But I forced myself to sit there and get them out, thinking it stunk the whole time.
The good news besides the fact that I now like said manuscript is I don't think it stinks. Sure, it needs tons of work, but isn't that the whole point of revisions?

So that said, I hope all is going great with you first draft NaNo people out there!


In other news, I am now available to Skype! I'll Skype into your classroom for a Q&A session, so if you're interested, let me know!


A couple interviews with me:

From the November 2009 issue of The Houston Banner.

From The Not So Closet Geeks


A fantastic review of THE EMERALD TABLET from Jeannie at The Not So Closet Geeks! My favorite line from the review:
"The book, The Emerald Tablet, is one of the best books I have ever read."
Thanks, Jeannie!


On availability, my publisher told me Amazon just placed a huge order for both THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD and THE EMERALD TABLET, so if you've noticed they've been out of stock, books should be on the way!


And finally, The Red Dirt Book Festival was an utter blast! I met so many great people including my panel members Mel Odom and K. D. Wentworth (I already knew Stacy Nyikos). Those Oklahomans really know how to throw a festival!

Mel and Stacy

I sat next to screenwriter Andy Horton while signing books who I found has a love of THE ODYSSEY just like me. He told me about the poem ITHACA by C.P Cavafy that every Greek has memorized. I may have to add it to my collection of memorized poems including KUBLA KHAN by Samuel Coleridge.

Stacy, Me, Cindy Stevens, Mel

Me and Stacy


I managed to get out of the house and attend the Austin SCBWI meeting on Saturday where I heard the awesome Liz Garton Scanlon talk about Writing from the Gut, which she said she did for her brand new picture book, ALL THE WORLD. Did you know ALL THE WORLD is going to be distributed in Cheerios boxes in 2010.
You know you've made it when...
Anyway, her book was also chosen by both NY Times and PW as one of the best books of 2009. And the best part about is, it couldn't be happening to a nicer person!

Liz presenting


And finally, if you're in Austin or the surrounding area, I'll be presenting at the Hill Country Book Festival this Saturday at the Georgetown Library from 1:00-1:45 and signing books thereafter. Come see me, please!

Hope everyone has a great week!


Miriam Forster said...

I don't really love my first draft either. I keep longing for the day when I can move scenes around, trim dialogue and start to see the book shine.

Problem is, I have to HAVE a first draft in order to do all that. Back to work... :)

christine M said...

I'm glad to know there's hope for my first draft! :)

Kelly Polark said...

That is good to hear. I love my WIP except for the last chapter. I'm majorly reworking it.
Great pics, you are involved in so many fabulous events! You look so pretty in the pics, PJ!

Sherrie Petersen said...

You are a busy woman!

I think the great thing about NaNo is it gives you permission to write a bad first draft. No one has a perfect book after the first draft. But at least this way you have something to work with instead of letting your inner editor stop you before you start!

PJ Hoover said...

The first draft does come in handy for that, doesn't it, Miriam :)

You totally have hope, Christine!

Yay that you love your WIP, Kelly! And you are so sweet to say so!

That is a great thing about NaNo, Sherrie. We're so hard on ourselves as writers. Knowing our first drafts can stink is important.

lotusgirl said...

Glad you're making progress and happy with what's happening. Happy editing.

Adrienne said...

I heard the story of how ALL THE WORLD came about from illustrator Marla Frazee last year at a conference - it's always nice to see a success story unfold.

Great pics of the book festival!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Lois, and right back at you!

It is a great story, isn't it, Adrienne! I'm so excited for Liz!

Tabitha said...

I've never been a lover of first drafts. Like Miriam, I long for when I can revise that first draft into something better.

To me, a first draft is a big, shapeless lump of clay. And revising is turning that lump into the proper shape, and then adding the decorative touch. That's the fun part. But the shapeless lump is necessary, so I tend write and wish I was done so I can revise already. :)

PJ Hoover said...

Me, too, Tabitha, except when I am loving that first draft. Then it's like magic!
Love the clay analogy!

Tana said...

I love those pictures!!!! I love my edits way more than the first draft too, not sure why.

Anonymous said...

Yay for revision. And for having the stamina to keep clawing and exploring and getting some shape of things onto the page in that first draft. :)

Heather Zundel said...

I just got my copy of The Emerald Tablet from Beth. I am so excited to read it!

Robyn Campbell said...

Great pics! Glad to know the festival went so well.

I never love my MS while writing the first draft. But like yours, it comes alive during revisions. Cool huh? Great post too!

Kimberly Derting said...

I always like my books better after revisions! Great post, PJ!

Carrie Harris said...

Congrats on the awesome reviews, and the events and... and... and...

Just congrats in general. ;)

PJ Hoover said...

Glad I'm not alone, T. Anne!

That clawing stamina is so critical, isn't it, Becky.

Yay, Heather! I'm so glad!

PJ Hoover said...

Very cool, Robyn! I bet your first drafts rocks! And thank you!

Thanks, Kim! I can't wait to see your finished product :)

Thanks and thanks and thanks, Carrie!

Kelly H-Y said...

Sounds like an awesome festival!!! Can't wait to visit your links! YAY for skyping ... so convenient! AND, smart!!! :-)

Christina Farley said...

Wow. You've been busy. And I'm so glad you are liking your revisions. That is an awesome feeling isn't it?