Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 209 - Aug. 10, 2011

life guard tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
6 pounds collected
791.2 pounds total

A little red bucket
got left in the sand
 cause' someone said f(*#-et

"Earlier this summer I gathered a group of leading neuroscientists, ocean explorers, advocates, communicators and creative people together in a room at the California Academy of Sciences to begin to answer this question, and many others. We called the amalgamation of thinkers BLUEMIND and set out to explore the science behind the relationship between the human brain and the ocean." - HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!!!!!!

This past week, I spent four days in an intensive conference on writing for young people hosted by SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators -- and yes they know it's a hell of a moniker.)

I signed up for round table critiques, one-on-one slice-and-dice-em critiques with a seasoned editor who gave me hope in the form of two books to read before sending me on my way to revise, and listened to keynotes by authors I admire for more reasons than I have space to share here, or that would keep your attention as I geeked on about books. 

Amongst all of the inspiration was the repeating message not to give up, that publishing is hard, that writing is even harder, and that rejection is "par for the course."

How does my pursuit of writing novels for middle school students relate to The Daily Ocean? I've wanted to give up on both. I've wanted to hide how long it has taken me to "polish" that manuscript, to get my butt out to the beach for cleanups, and I've wanted to tip-toe away slowly. I ask myself, "Would anyone really notice?"

And I realized after reading this piece on Yahoo! yesterday that I would! The author of "The Help" was rejected 60 times. 60 times! But she asks the question, "What if I had given up?"

So here I am, at my desk, ready to write some really bad pages, feeling like I am taking way to long to finish this freakin' project, and "embracing the suck!" as YA author-goddess
LIBBA BRAY said just the other day. 

Who knows what will happen from here?


  1. thank you for your encouragement!

  2. 10 years ago I got deep into a historical novel, 150 pages deep. And then the wall hit. And the suck poured out, and I didn't embrace the suck. And then it all dried up.

    To this day my character still languishes in a town on the south coast of Roman Britain, preparing to flee from charges of murder for killing the man who tried to assault the innkeeper's daughter. And he'll probably remain there forever. Life's moved on.

    Write! Every voice that says "too hard, this is crap, give it up" is just a jealous a-hole. I wish I'd known that back then.

    And FWIW, if you tiptoed away from the blog, it'd be noticed. Just sayin'.

  3. Harry -

    So cool of you to take the time to write that comment. I will keep writing and posting and will NOT tip-toe away slowly. I love the community that has sprung up, don't you? And perhaps you'll crack open that old manuscript of yours? Or another? It is hard to do. But if it helps, I'm right there with you...


  4. Sure you can write your heart out. I know writing should also be in the mood because you need to write down when your brain is working.