Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

The Best Days

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He was one long drink of water. Thirty-ish. Long and lean. Sweat shirt and tennis shoes. Spare as a scarecrow, with enough energy to power Seattle for a fortnight, solo. Maybe more.

It wasn’t quite how I had our Friday planned. It was supposed to be a quick library in and out. Swoop in. Return some checked-out books. Pick up some new ones. Dash out. Head for the nearest Hershey’s with almonds, lickety-split.

But Sarah the Intrepid Youth Services Librarian hornswoggled my son into attending a YA author’s presentation in the downstairs meeting room. Which meant she also hornswoggled me.

Sometimes the best days are unplanned.

Dad's Camera 206Kevin Emerson has authored about a dozen middle grade and YA titles including Exile, The Lost Code, Dark Shore, Far Dawn and The Fellowship for Alien Detection. A singer, musician and former science teacher who’s been writing since the fifth grade, Kevin is also witty and engaging. Armed with a funky slideshow and a wry sense of humor, Kevin spent a little over an hour taking Q and As about writing, how he got started, what keeps him going as a writer. How he deals with writer’s block. (Hint: hiking. Where do you think I got the above photo?) Pacing, plot, narrative. Finding your writing voice. Editors. Deciding whose head space you want to invade and use on the page.

Kevin’s (paraphrased) Rules for Writing:

  • Don’t panic. You know more than you think you do. Work through the doubt and keep at it.
  • You are unique. Put yourself in your work. You’ll connect better with your audience if you put yourself into your writing.

Later, we chatted briefly about what to do when a passage or chapter doesn’t work (“killing your darlings”).  Following your passion. Cranking it out, even if it’s lousy. Why every writer needs a support group. People who believe in you. Cheer you on. Even when it’s lousy. Especially when it’s lousy.

Seventy minutes flew by. Then Sarah the Intrepid passed out orange ice cream bars. It wasn’t Hershey’s, but it was close for a warmish afternoon in July.

See? Told you that sometimes the best days are unplanned.

Drop in for a visit at my new web site: Kristine Lowder, Author.

What unplanned surprises have helped boost your writing this week?



Up next: Book Brontosaurus and Pizza (Don’t worry. You’ll get it.).

Photo credit: Public domain – Wikimedia Commons.

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