I've been neglecting this blog since my last entry in early November.
No. I'm going to put a positive spin on that. "Writing It Down" has been on hiatus. Now it's back for its second season.
During much of 2009, I was in kind of a funk. The new year has gotten off to a good start. I'm working on two projects concurrently: a novel (target age range probably 9-13) and what I envision as an illustrated collection of poems for elementary-aged kids. Both are in early stages, but look good. At least to me.
Right now, I'm in New York City, at the annual mid-winter conference of the Society of Children's Bookwriters and Illustrators. Things get fully underway tomorrow, but I came in a couple of days early to meet with my agent and an editor. Yesterday, I saw a friend I haven't seen in a while. It was good to catch up. Towards the end of our time together, I joked that if I could write a series about a bitchy clique of vampires at a school for wizards, my husband could retire (and I could have that house on the shore of Canandaigua Lake I've been pining for). His response was, well, why don't you write it? I said that's really not my kind of writing. "You know," I said. "I write about ponies. Things like that." He got a gleam in his eye and with a devilish grin uttered two words: "Vampire ponies."
While I think I'll leave the story of the vampire ponies to someone else, those two words are going to go someplace prominent on my desk when I get home, as a reminder not to be afraid to look at an idea from a different angle. The novel I'm working on started out quite differently in its first incarnation, but as I progressed I could see I was headed for some real problems. So I put it aside. Then I started thinking about the characters in a different light, and that story--the new one--has just taken off.
So, here's to fresh starts, new ideas, and vampire ponies. We may only be a month in, but 2010's looking promising. Stay tuned and see what develops...