I just finished Gayle Forman's if i stay and my brain switched back from finishing up the last of the picture book tweaks to working on my favorite child. I enjoy writing picture books, it's the art of it that fascinates me...the painting pictures with words. Keeping a 4 year old's attention with my quirky jump roping squirrel, Benny, is brilliant bliss. But YA is living and breathing inside of me at all times!
I walked away from this latest manuscript almost a month ago...it just needed to gel. I wanted to be able to READ it like a teen would, not like the writer who already knows what is going to happen.
I really connected with Forman's interview in the back of the book when she talks about how a "total stranger popped into [her] consciousness." That is exactly how I met M, my character. I sat down to take my mind off of the days stresses and I started to type...a sort of stream of consciousness. That's when I wrote this:
"His eyes were pale, pained and hopeless. His Manson t-shirt was torn down the center and stitched back together with dozens of safety pins. Was this the state of his soul? Held together by something sharp and painful? His eyebrow twitched, he spit at my feet and turned and walked away. This was the boy I loved."
That's when you know...Gayle Forman will agree.
You just "KNOW!"
I'm off for a husband's-night-to-take-care-of-the-kids writing conference of my own. Just me, my iPod, my memories from my 1st job, the high school art room filled with students I will never forget and my laptop. It's like meeting an old friend for coffee...I can't wait to "hear" what happens next!