Posts Tagged ‘Transitions’

1.  So, I’m a month into the semester and loving it. I have students from Indonesia, China, Puerto Rico, rural Alaska, and the Dominican Republic. They are my teachers as much or more as I am theirs.

2.  I won’t be running the Equinox Marathon next weekend because of a slow-to-heal calf injury, but I did run three marathons in the past twelve months so I’m not too disappointed. Still, on race day I’m sure I’ll be missing it. It’s my all time favorite race and I’ve run it eight times.

3.  Fall is in full swing up here. The birches and aspens are a blaze of yellow, and strings of Sandhill Cranes are heading south interspersed with V’s of Canada Geese. And with the increased security on the borders I’m not sure what will happen. I mean, the geese will have no problem getting into Canada, but when they try to cross back into the states…could be trouble.

Goose in Police Car

"I've never needed a passport before on this flyway."

The garden is halfway harvested but there are still lots of potatoes to dig and carrots to pull.

And the cherry tomatoes in the greenhouse—we just eat them right off the vine.

And my writing….I’m hoping to dig into my WIP soon.

That’s what’s going on with me. What’s happening in your life, friends?


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Thanks for stopping by last week and learning about the awesome MG novel The Boy Who Howled by Timothy Power.

The lucky winner of a beautiful hardcover copy, chosen by a random number generator, is Terron James. Congrats!!

I spent the winter revising two novels and now, after a two week break, am starting a new book.

You know how sometimes a premise strikes you like lightning and you are off and running….or sometimes you have to write around an idea for a while before the real idea makes itself known?

Whether you’re a plotter or panster, or, like me, you fall somewhere in between, starting to write a new book can be both exciting and daunting.

At a conference a few years ago Will Hobbs said that writing a novel is an act of faith. When I think about what Will said, two things come to mind:

1.  Go into the process with an open mind. I won’t know how it will turn out unless I try.

2. Keep pushing ahead, not with the belief that I’ll definitely come out with a viable story even though I obviously hope I will, but with the idea that I’ll just continually strive to do the best that I can because that is all I can do.

So, if you see me walking around talking to myself this week, don’t worry, it’s just part of the process. Sometimes I burn things on the stove, too.

Happy Writing, friends!!

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The house is in order, ready for our friend to take over for a while.

"We should try cleaning it like this when we're actually going to be here. What a concept."

We’ll be leaving early Friday morning. Yikes! That’s Tomorrow!

"Hm....I wonder if I've got everything I need?"

After a couple of stops to visit friends and family, and to dip our toes into some warm ocean water, (it’s kind of a crazy amount of flying), we’ll be resurfacing in the red rock country of Northern Arizona around November 21st and will be there for a few months.

If you missed the explanation about why we are leaving Alaska for a little while, you can read about it here.

I’ll have WiFi here and there along the way so you might see me on Twitter or on your blog, but I probably won’t post here until we arrive in Arizona on the 21st.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

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 Some of you might remember the Other Northwriter. Yeah, my wife, Dana. She’s a little cyber-shy but was willing to let me post the photo below.

My view from the back of the kayak. No matter how fast I paddle I can never quite catch Dana.

She applied for and was granted a sabbatical for this school year. So instead of teaching her classes and serving on a bunch of committees for her job duties at the University, she’s writing a novel, and doing a couple of other writing projects.

So, yeah, we’re both writing full-time this year.

Point is, she’s not tied to a geographic location this year and neither am I, so we’re going to take advantage of this rare opportunity to be somewhere different for a few winter months.

It all started coming together when a good friend of ours needed a place to stay this winter. I was stressing about what we’d do with our house if we left because Fairbanks winters are hard on houses, even a small one like ours. I didn’t want to rent it out, and didn’t want to close it down either.

"Bummer. I guess the heater kicked off."

Anyway, our friend is going to stay in our house why we relocate for a few months to, drum roll please….Arizona.

This all happens in about a month.

Lots of details to still workout. The idea is that we’ll do a lot of writing, just in a different place. I love the southwest and have spent a bunch of time doing wilderness trips down there over the years, but it’s been a while.

We didn’t want to go somewhere totally new—like Italy, although we considered it—because then the distractions might be too great to overcome. And yeah, it would cost a little more, too.

So anyway, you’ll probably be seeing some red rocks and cactus on my blog this winter, but not for a little while yet. More details to come.

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I’m a little jet-lagged and my ears are plugged. Yes, we had a great trip—gone for nineteen days.

Some highlights: Good times with family. T-shirt weather and lots of alligator encounters in Florida.

And then onto New York where we saw an Alvin Ailey dance performance, saw Avatar at the Lincoln Square IMAX theater, went to the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art, and met my agent, Jennifer DeChiara. Had a great meeting. All smiles. Full-steam ahead with new book ideas!

Right now it’s dark and a balmy twenty below zero. Tomorrow I continue rewriting a YA adventure story, and hopefully start a new book, too. My goal: 1000 words per day on the new story. And for the rewrite, just keep at it until it’s ready to hand off to beta readers.

I’ve never given myself a words-per-day-goal. I’ve always just dived in, sometimes writing 6000 words a day and sometimes just sitting and thinking things through for a day or two while writing nothing.

I’m planning on starting my day with the 1000 words on the new WIP; otherwise, I think the rewrite will prevent me from even starting the new novel because I could work on the rewrite forever.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and advice on word count goals: Have you used word count goals? What did you do and how did it work out? What did you learn?

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