Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I've got a system for writing up until about the sixth draft. First draft = mess with some glimmers of ideas. Second draft = flesh out ideas, but still messy. Third draft = work on plot. And characters. And...well, everything. Fourth draft = look at worldbuilding. Feel some despair. Keep at it. Fifth draft = polishing characters and plotlines more. Sixth/seventh draft = examine awkward parts again. Make them less awkward. Write, read, repeat.

It is after this point that I'm trying to figure out stuff. And I came up with an idea that seems to be working--usually I try to work on a chapter a day when I revise, but this time I broke up my book into sections. Some of them are a couple pages long, while others are a mere three paragraphs, but I put all my focus into making one section (or so) good a day. This is time consuming. I'm surprised, though, at how much better I'm making my eighth book just by breaking it down. I feel like my manuscripts are always this close, and I'm hoping that this time I can figure out more about the magical process of rewriting.

Some more tips from here. Tell me if you have any nifty revision tricks!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Secret leprechauns?

I'd never heard of the secret leprechaun. But today, several of my sons' friends were apparently visited by a tiny leprechaun, who left footprints on their tables, turned their milk green, and dropped little chocolate coins.

Is this a Utah thing, maybe? Or is it more widespread?

At least I bought stuff for a green fruit salad and green eggs and ham. There's no leprechaun, but we did manage to get everyone wearing green. This counts as awesome, right? Right?

I really want to know: what do you do for St. Patrick's day? Have you ever heard of a secret leprechaun?
If I could knit, I would make a secret leprechaun. The one from here is adorable! Mine would look a tad less human and a lot more like tangled string at this point, but hey...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Three is more than two

Someday our cutest of babies will sleep better. Someday I won't have grading looming over the horizon, or lesson plans to poke, or kitchens that are better off unseen by outside eyes. Until that day, I may be sort of sporadic on the bloggy-thing! To compensate, here is a video of cats.

I like cats.*

* worthwhile link, if'n you're a reader or a writer and you like cats, too!

Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

I admire a lot of women. My mom, of course. Grandma Hart and Grandma Williams. My sisters, aunts, cousins, friends. Our pediatrician is a woman. My two favorite college professors are women. And even though I'm surrounded by cute boys all the time, I've got all my author-friends who are women to help even out the gender score at our house.

There's Marilynne Robinson and Madeleine L'Engle. Patricia Wrede and Patricia Coombs. Holly Black and Ursula K. Leguin and Barbara Kingsolver and Virginia Woolf and Margaret Weis and Robin Hobb and Amy Tan and Harper Lee...

Well, you get the idea. Women are worth celebrating, and those brave enough to send stories out into the world are the ones I thought I'd celebrate today. Yay for mothers! Yay for authors! Yay for books I can fall in love with!

Marilynne Robinson, from this article. It makes me want to go reread Housekeeping...which I will do before Baby milkivore wakes for another snack!