Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inspirations and Distractions

I KNOW - I'm not offering many details yet about my book. I want to, but I'm hesitant right yet, as there are still so many factors to consider before I think I'll feel comfortable divulging too much. I'll be saying a lot more, soon - I promise.

I will tell you that I have completed my FOURTH round of edits.

Sheeeeew! It's a job. The most recent finished manuscript is sitting in a really nice, neat pile on my desk waiting for my twins to re-read it. They are, at present, my editors and advisers. Once they read it through this last time, I will be forwarding it to a few others to read (and offer advise/edits) and then ... hopefully, I will be able to say, "It's finished!" I think I'm about 85% done.

I am well into the second book in the series and it's going really well. The first book was so long, I had to push some of the chapters into the second book, but it worked out really good with the plot lines.

I work every single day on these books. I'm also doing quite a bit of yard work right now, as it's SPRING in Texas and my poor yard is in need of some attention. So, I write a little and then I go outside and rake some leaves. Then, I go inside and write a little more. It's nice to have my beautiful yard as a temporary distraction.

Isn't he cute? He's my little naked garden boy that keeps me company when I'm out in the yard.

I haven't needed much motivation while writing these books as it's been so much fun and aside from all the leaves and yard work, this has been a good time of year for me to sit down and write. But ... I do have a muse that offers me constant inspiration every day when I write and this is her:

This is a painting my talented daughter, Courtney, did recently for her art class. I keep this painting over my desk.

I think the painting is beautiful, but after I'd written the first novel, I quickly realized that this beautiful girl was the main character in the book.

This is ... Laney.

And ... every single day ... I look into her eyes and I am even more inspired to write her story.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Words Of Encourgement

I got a call yesterday from our Accountant, Donna. She'd called to verify some information so she could complete our taxes.

Donna and I aren't every-day friends, but I still consider her a friend. She is one of the sweetest people I know and I wish we were closer as I'd love to spend more time with her. We sometimes have lunch together and even though I might only speak to her 3 or 4 times a year, every time we talk it is so comfortable and pleasant.

We talked for a long while yesterday about personal things going on in our lives - mostly about our children. Then she mentioned that my husband, Billy, had mentioned to her that I was writing a book. I felt my heart sink when she said these words. You never know what someone is going to say when they hear you are writing a book. It's often what they don't say that can hurt the most.

Donna, however, was kind. After I offered minor details about my project - my endeavor, she said, "I have so much confidence in you, Kellan. I admire you for focusing on something and going after it - it's so like you. If anyone can accomplish this, you can. I just know you'll do it." Or, something along those lines.

I have to say, this compliment and encouragement touched my heart in way I didn't see coming. She is not someone I know intimately and yet we are sort of kindred spirits that really get along and just like each other. Even though I respect and admire Donna immensely, it wasn't those reasons that encouraged and lifted me up. It was that she was totally honest. She didn't have to say these things and yet she did and I appreciated this boost more than she will ever know.

This sort of support is not easy to come by. Encouragement is something that should be freely given and yet people sometimes are stingy with their words and their support. My family is often skeptical - I can see it in all of their eyes. Some, think I am wasting my time. Some just say nothing at all. Same goes for many of my friends.

Thank you, Donna. I was already moving forward, but every now and then it's nice to get a little motivational push of encouragement and you, my friend, were there when I needed you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's A Fun Process

My girls, Courtney and Chloe, are avid readers. Books to them are as essential to their survival as tacos and Dr. Pepper. This - their love of books and teen stories - is where my motivation and direction stemmed from when writing my most recent novel.

The novel I am writing is Teen Fiction (ages 13-18).

I think, with enormous help from my daughters, we might have found the perfect title for this book (and also for the second, third and fourth in the sequel). I'm very excited about the titles, as I believe they are as important to the books as the characters and the plot. (I'm not disclosing the title just yet - but, hopefully very soon). I know that the title could always change, but I am one of those writers that uses the title to help drive a story. I am SUPER EXCITED about the titles!

I'm well into writing the second book. I'm writing it while I continue to edit and revise the first. My daughters are in the process of reading the first book and offering advise and edits. This has been one of the most exciting parts of writing this story - involving my daughters and ... their willingness and desire to participate and contribute. They have offered many excellent ideas and I love that they want to be involved.

I mentioned before that Courtney and Chloe are artists and plan to study art in college. They are very interested in designing the cover for my book and have already come up with 3 cover designs. I AM SO EXCITED! Their designs are really good and I have copies of these covers hanging above my desk and they motivate me everyday to push forward to finish this novel. I am seriously considering putting these three designs on my blog (and any others they might come up with) to see which you like the best.

I will eventually offer more details about the book, but not just yet. I am tediously editing and revising and until I feel the story is in its final form, I'm going to hold off a little while longer before disclosing what the story is about.

Thanks for supporting me through this process. So far, it has been an enormous amount of work, but ... I am having a BLAST!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Isn't My New Header FABULOUS?!

HEY - Look at my cute new header!!! It matches On The Upside and I just love it!!

Lindsay, from SPLAT Designs, is the very talented designer that created the fabulous templates for On The Flipside, as well as On The Upside.

Thanks, Lindsay - You're the BEST!!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Child ... Pull Me Quickly From This Dark Place

I have a new post up today on my blog at mySA called Child ... Pull Me Quickly From This Dark Place.

I'll see you over there.

Have a great day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The New Focus For On The Flipside

I'm in the process of having my header redesigned for On The Flipside and that's because I am changing the focus of this blog.

On The Upside I write about what's real - about my family, my children and my life.

On The Flipside I will write about the process I've been through writing my most recent novel. I am also planning on publishing excerpts as time goes along.

What I will tell you right now is:
  • I have completed the first draft (81,445 words, 276 pages).
  • It is still untitled (but I've narrowed it down to a few I like).
  • It's Teen Fiction
  • It will be a series (I've already started on the second book while I'm still tediously editing and re-editing the first).

When I finish this novel (very soon) - I fully intend to find the most excellent literary agent and will then aggressively pursue getting this novel published.

I'd love if you came along for the ride.