This was one of my kiddos’ favorite board books when they were little. By Phyllis Root, with silly illustrations by Jane Chapman, it is about a series of animals who try to help an unlucky duck get out of the muck. Each attempt is followed by the refrain, “No luck, still stuck.”
This refrain is fitting for my manuscript, lately. Having heard back from an agency that Amber in the Mountains is not a good fit, I feel a bit like Duck, who keeps turning to different animals for help. Thankfully, like Duck, I am surrounded by encouraging family and friends and a wonderful writers’ group.
I’ll keep writing, revising and querying and hopefully, with enough pushing, pulling and prodding, I will hear the lovely sound of “Spluck” and Amber in the Mountains will be released from the muck sooner or later. Until then, thanks for all your encouragement and support!
So, my project for this snowy winter morning in Minnesota is to condense my entire novel into a one-page outline. As a writing teacher, I cavalierly assign outlines and never think about them much. . . but having a one-page limit makes outlining quite a challenge. I will bring my new-found empathy for my students into the next outline I assign.
After nearly three hours of writing, cutting, adding, playing with formats, and cutting some more, I am at one and a quarter pages. However, my time is running out. We are having guests for dinner and I need to start cooking. We are having a build-your-own taco bar, but it won’t happen if I don’t get going!
Do you ever shut down your computer and hope inspiration or clarity will hit you the next time you turn it on? In the meantime, here’s to taco meat–a finite task I can accomplish in a set amount of time. Maybe as I chop veggies, I will be able to think of things to chop out of my outline, too.
Hello Out There!
For those of you who are wondering whether I have fallen off the writing bandwagon, I am happy to report, despite not signing up for NaNoWriMo this year, I am industriously writing this month.
My WIP (work in progress) is at nearly 50,000 words. As much as I wanted to get to 50K today, I am excited because a sticky plot point I kept wondering about suddenly became clear! Also, I feel good about continuing some research that I began last spring, on the Crow and Blackfeet Native American tribes.
On another fun note, while scouring the Internet for just the right use of a star sapphire, I realized I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I would have to make it up myself. I guess that is why we write–to have opportunities to use our imaginations.
But, the best thing about writing today was my youngest, while hanging out in my room for moral support, said, “Mom, it’s like when you were dating Daddy and he always said ‘if’ you get married, but you said ‘when’ you get married. You say ‘if’ you get published, but I say ‘when’ you get published.”
Awww. . . isn’t she sweet?