Here’s an update on the different facets of the Mirror of Sparrows writing journey. As always, thank you for reading and caring!
If you read my last post, you’ll know I participated in #RevPit – a Twitter writing contest during which editors select writers they would like to give free editorial services to. It was a fantastic, though intense experience.
While I didn’t win, I did make it to the “maybe” category with my first editor. She wrote: “Good opening scene, but voice delves into too much explanation […]. Has enough world building that it still holds interest! Just needs fine-tuning.”
Needless to say, I’ve been working hard on the fine-tuning.
The second editor I submitted to actually took time to send me detailed feedback, and we’re still in touch via Twitter.
Overall, this was a super experience. Last year when I entered, I never heard back from anyone, so I feel pretty good about my progress!
- Writing Groups/Critique Groups
If you recall, I am part of two writers’ groups. The first one is through SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). We meet via Zoom – a kind of user-friendly version of Skype – every six weeks. And we have named our group. Drum roll please…we are the Plucky Pueo. Hurray! One of my students drew one for me, so I thought I would share! Isn’t it beautiful?
My other writers’ group meets in person. It’s hard to explain how much I have been blessed by these sisters, and needless to say, it’s nice to connect face to face with other writers.
The last meeting, we had a special guest, Kirsten Carlson, RA (Regional Advisor) for Hawaii. We had a good time discussing the distinctions between the writing journey and the publication journey.
- SCBWI LA Conference, August 3-5
In just about a week I will be leaving for LA to attend the annual summer SCBWI Conference. I can’t quite put into words how excited I am! At first, going felt like it was too much of a longshot due to the timing and finances, but one of my dearest friends really encouraged me to go. And Max strongly supported me as well.
I’m taking a step in faith. So far, my work has graciously given me just enough time off, and though I haven’t paid for all the conference expenses yet, I trust that everything will work out. If you happen to be interested in helping me out, here is a Paypal link. Thank you!
I’ve been closely studying the conference schedule and faculty, figuring out what sessions I’d like to attend. Among the many agents and publishers who will be sharing their advice, some amazing authors will also be there, including Lois Lowry, the Giver, and Stephanie Garber, Caraval/Legendary.
- Mirror of Sparrows
By this point in the post, some of you are hopefully wondering about the book! Well, I’ve been writing for several hours almost every day this summer. Some days have been great, while others were like the day I stuck toast on the bottom of my laptop. Skye said, “Mom, you know you put your computer on the toast?”
Overall, the second draft is coming along. Some sections are stronger than others, and the ending isn’t quite there yet. But I’m happy with how the characters and plot have developed, and I’m becoming more comfortable with description and POV. All in all, I’m on the right track, though it is taking a long time …but he book will be better for it!
- The rest of the summer
- Novel Boot Camp: From July 30th, Ellen Brock will be hosting her annual Novel Boot Camp. I’ve participated the last two years and always learn a lot.
- Query Critique: I’ve signed up for a query critique group hosted locally by the SCBWI. It will be at da Shop Bookstore in Kaimuki. Looking forward to the feedback!
- Conference follow-up: hopefully, I will have made some great contacts in LA and will be following up on those.
I hope you are well and thank you for reading! Mahalo!