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Hollywood Jane in Massachusetts, Part II

June 25, 2008

Today was our day off.  Many people took advantage of the free time to explore Boston, but since I’m going to have two additional days there when the conference ends, I elected to stay here and write.

First though, I took a walk to Starbucks (and, I’m sorry, but their cafe mocha is terrible; I miss my Coffee Bean), and the CVS pharmacy, which weren’t that far away, but I was toting my laptop, so it seemed father.  I did some revisions of my YA novel, The Practical Orphan’s Guide to Surviving a Fairytale, over the aforementioned coffee, and walked back to campus.  Then since it was such a gorgeous day, I decided to look for a place to sit and write outside.

I am not an outdoorsy sort of person.  I like comfortable living, hate bugs, and have hay fever.  But there is something about being here that makes me want to sit outside – except for the ants the size of sunflower seeds.  I love the clarity that comes when you just walk with no goal in mind.  Things you see because you’re looking for something, but don’t know what it is.  

It was a good walk, but it was getting hotter.  I must have made a circuit of the campus twice, and let me tell you, I didn’t know it was possible, but somehow I always found myself at the bottom of a hill.  It is possible to go uphill both ways.

For such a beautiful college, they have a surprising lack of benches.  Sure, there are places to perch, but I really needed something with a back rest, and preferably a table.  I definitely got my exercise today, and my reward was two chipmunk sightings – and for a city girl who’s only familiar with chipmunks named Chip, Dale, or Alvin, it was exciting.  Too bad I didn’t have my camera, they are too cute!  I ran into my bunny friend again; I’m guessing it was the same one since it was in the same spot.

After I walked ’round the world, I finally camped out in the rec-room associated with our dorm, which took me quite a while to find.  There I spent about half an hour scribbling notes to the next Practical Orphan’s Guide. (By the way, I don’t recommend Papermate Silk-Writer pens for lefties – they’re very smooth, but the ink got all over my hand.)

This evening we had an informal party.  Since I skipped the pub crawl last night due to an upset stomach and the fact that I don’t drink, I wasn’t going to miss tonight.  It was a good time all around, I got to talk to some people I’d only seen from a distance, proving to some, I think, that I’m intelligent despite my youth, and I read the short story that inspired the name for this blog.  One of the writers, who’s actually a professor here and has written YA, suggested that the story would make a good YA novel, so I’m considering it.  I hope I impressed the group, as all but one girl were completely unfamiliar with my work, and I had the earlier impression that they might not have taken me seriously.

That’s the best advice I can give to any young writer: let your work speak for itself.  Sometimes it takes a lot of perseverance to get to the place where someone will listen, but then hopefully they’ll be sorry they ever doubted your place amongst them.

 

Quote of the Day:

“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.” – Isaac Asimov, author

Link of the Day: FOUND magazine – great inspiration for stories and a cure for writer’s block.

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