Hello, old friend.

It’s been a very long time.

I had to check–I haven’t written here since the fourth of July.

In the interim, much has happened. Nothing extremely dramatic, just the stuff of everyday life. I’ve been blogging daily at The Emily Project, and that has consumed what little time I’ve had to devote to bloggy things. I’ve learned this about myself over the past several years: I let things lie fallow, sometimes for a very long time. It’s part of my process. I’m learning to accept and actually appreciate this.

Since July 4, I’ve started teaching full time, and that, too, has kept me from writing here. Time is at a premium. As summer is shifting into early autumn, I’m finding myself homesick for my old schedule. I used to teach every other day, with alternate weekdays free to write, to ramble in the woods, to garden and create. I’m still creating, but in short bursts. I try to write every evening from 7-ish to 8-ish. It’s mostly working–except for that time when I threw my back out and ended up in the ER, and that time when I got a monstrous virus (which was actually the same time as the back-throwing-out time), and that time when Thing 1 fell off a zip line and got a concussion (we’re still recovering from that one).

But still, The Glass Box, my adult fantasy novel, is nearing completion. It’s taken a long time, but that’s how I roll. When I started it, I was home with little ones and working part time. Now that I’ve gone back to full-time teaching, it is necessarily a bits-and-pieces kind of endeavor. Somehow, slowly, it is working.

My YA fantasy Vessel and I have been accepted to the Gotham Writers Center conference in NYC this October, and I’m beyond excited to have the opportunity to sit down with two agents and a handful of other YA writers to learn and get feedback on my query and opening pages. I don’t know what will come of this experience, but it feels momentous. It feels like forward motion. I’ve felt stalled for so long that this is extremely heartening.

Meanwhile I’m chipping away at the adult fantasy. I am working very hard not to be immobilized by the nagging feeling that this story is bigger than I am, that it’s smarter than I am, that it knows things I don’t know. It’s a wily one. It is pushing and stretching me in ways I am only just beginning to realize. This story is writing me.

It’s interesting to be back to a traditional full-time job. It’s definitely a transition. I adore middle schoolers. They are a hot mess and I love them. I squeeze writing in around the margins. Somehow it’s working. I miss the luxury of days swimming in stories, surfacing to tromp around in field and forest when I need to clear my head. I wonder if those days will exist for me again someday. I find magic where I can. Sometimes I still find time for tiny dragons.

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4 thoughts on “Hello, old friend.

  1. Brenna:

    Is Vessel the same book that I had the pleasure of reading in the past, or is this an entirely different YA novel?! In either case, YAY YOU!!!!!!

    I’m excited for forward motion. And interested in how this adult fantasy novel is writing you. Cool (and scary!) concept to ponder…

    On top of all of that, I’m loving what you’re doing with the books that you’re marking up. I love that project so much!! If you’re not posting this on Instagram, you need to be. It would be an amazing day to showcase your creativity and draw people in to your work, IMHO.

    Hope you’re doing well. I think of you often!

    XO

    Barb

    1. Hi, Barb! Vessel is a different one. Thanks so much for reading and connecting and being there. It is wonderful to know you. ❤ I think about you often, too–I hope all is well in your world!

  2. Poley-poley as they say in Tanzania. Easy-slow and you will get there. Just keep moving forward. Change is good. I love reading your posts, there’s something comforting in how the language flows, regardless of the topic, warm and cozy, like a cup of tea on a rainy afternoon creating instant higge.

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