Monday, December 20, 2010

The Journey of a Book

So for many of you in my known family of friends - you may not have known that I write.
When did it start? About 11 years ago. I broke my wrist getting bucked off a horse (the right wrist, the left wrist came later and that's a whole 'nother horse story). I couldn't make jewelry, which at the time was my primary source of income.

A few years before that a psychic had told me I should write. Another saw me making money, something to do with pictures, children, and animals. Okay, hocus pocus, I know, I know. But those kinds of little things get you thinking.

Screech, fast forward, right arm in cast. A story bubbles forth. I don't think I ever finished it. I wrote a smashing three chapters or so, then...fizzle. I started another novel...this time I got to around page sixty, then...yep...fizzle. Finally, the dog book came to me. I wrote 121 pages, close to 45,000 words. I had finished a book.

Left turn. I had no readers. I thought it was perfect. Oh if you could read that first draft you would double over laughing at sentences like "They happily bounded across the yard." I sent it out to two publishers. EEK! So embarassed now. But this book wouldn't let go.

Screech, fast forward. Life gets in the way. In my case a teaching career, a master's degree, and two beautiful children. The writing languished. Until two years ago, I confessed to a colleague that what I really wanted to be when I grew up was a children's writer. I owned it. It felt good. I started writing again. I completed a second manuscript. And a picture book manuscript. I joined an online forum of kidlit writers. I went to a SCBWI conference. I signed up for a kid lit creative writing class that starts this winter.

And today, well today I finished the second draft of that book. I still love it. It's better. It might not be publishable yet, but it's better. Let the journey continue.


  1. Hey Jen,

    Thank you for following my blog. I love this story of how you came to write. Congrats on finishing the second draft of your book. I hope you find success with it!

  2. Wow Casey - I feel like a celebrity visited. I'm such a stalker on your blog. It truly is an invaluable resource. Thanks for stopping by!


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