So I just finished a writing retreat in Cuyahoga Valley National Park with six amazing kid lit authors: Cinda Chima, Tricia Springstubb, R.J. Anderson, Megan Whalen Turner, and Shelley Pearsall. Megan Whelan Turner is one of my writing heros, who I had never had the chance to meet. She has the exact "not telling" smile that you would think she'd have, and this is a case where meeting your heroes is an excellent idea.
I wrote 7000 words in four days, turning the magic rush of words from December into the solid first half of a book.
But also we talked and learned from each other and told secrets and drank wine and got caught hailstorms and saw a whole bunch of mice. When words didn't flow the talk did. And when the talk didn't flow there was always the scotch. And life was good.
So my twelve-year-old daughter (the one known online as Ninja Princess Scientist) and I are working on a book together. That is, she had an amazing idea, I added an amazing setting and a dash more premise, and now we have an amazing first few chapters. She does the sketches of the characters and talks through ideas. I do the writing, which she reads every day when she comes home from school.
So far this has been fun for both of us. The only trouble is she's more eager than I am fast, so I occasionally have to tell her to stop poking the rising dough.
Ninja's friend K. asked to be in the book, and Ninja said she could, but that as it was one of my books, she would probably die a terrible death. (It's me, plus there's a war in this one.) Next thing I know she goes to her seventh grade class of 23 and recruits 19 volunteers. She came strutting in Monday, over the moon about her "Murder List" and noting that it's probably good we don't know anyone normal.