Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yes Moments

I love it when you read a book and get a "yes" moment. That is what we are all striving for when we write. I went through a huge Tom Robbins phase in my younger years mainly because within the craziness of his stories were many many "yes" moments. I had one of those moments yesterday when I was reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. I know, I know, it's taken me way too long to read this but it's always been on the list. Anyway, here's my "yes" moment:

E.L. Doctorow once said that "writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."

That is exactly how I write a novel. I can only bear to sit down at the laptop if I know what is going to happen in the very next sentence, so I end every writing session on a cliffhanger. I've tried and tried to outline to avoid the muddle in the middle, but I just can't do it. I know where I've started and I know where I'm ending, but it's the scenery in the middle that is always the surprise.

TK2.0 is going back to his real family today so that they can take over. He is big enough now so he is easier to handle and... I'm going on a roadtrip - yay! Tomorrow I'm driving down to Santa Barbara to meet with Agent E and attend a seminar that she is giving. Did I mention that I'm going alone? Yes, no stopping to pee unless it's me that needs to, no begging to stop at every McDonalds (every Starbucks is another story) and nobody asking me to turn down the audiobook so that they can hear the DVD better. I've loaded up on David Sedaris and Alexander McCall Smith audiobooks (nobody better than David Sedaris for a car trip - if you haven't heard his Live at Carnagie Hall CD, you're missing out) and packing my bag as we speak. So, so, so excited. I'll see if I can get a photo of Agent E, but she is almost as elusive as the Yeti on Brotherhood 2.0.

Another perk is that my current YA is set in Santa Barbara. Well, it's not exactly Santa Barbara - but a university remarkably similar to the one where I spent a large part of my misspent youth. I'm going to go the UC and hang out, soak up some atmosphere, revisit some of the locations I put in the book and take lots and lots of pictures. Can't wait to load up the '96 Golf and hit the road!

On this date: In 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress.

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