Michele Regenold, Writing for Kids from the Boondocks

A blog about writing for children and the quest for publication.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Home stretch

June 13th is the deadline for my last packet of homework this semester, and for this last packet I am not procrastinating. I'm working steadily. My writing goal is a page a day. I usually surpass that.

I originally planned to send 10 pages of my novel and 10 pages of my non-fiction project, which I've been researching since February and have recently begun to draft. But my advisor asked me to keep going on the novel, so that's fine.

I'm not going to promise anything crazy, like my friend, Trent, a first-semester classmate from Iowa, and say I plan to complete a rough draft by such and such a date. Steady progress is what I really need, not some scary objective looming over me.

Last week I had to submit a piece to be workshopped during this summer's residency. I didn't want to send my YA mystery novel because that's what I had workshopped in January. I suppose I could have sent a couple of chapters from the middle, but that would be tough for people to deal with since they haven't read the beginning.

I briefly considered barreling through a draft of my non-fiction piece but decided that would be too much work. I also thought about sending a short story (YA) and a PB. Neither one is something I'm dying for feedback on.

So what I finally decided to send is a memoir about a pivotal time in my family. The six of us were packed into a 1978 Toyota Corolla station wagon, without air conditioning, driving from Iowa to New Mexico in August of 1981. But we didn't stop there. We kept going for a month, all the way to Alaska, then back to Nevada, then finally to Montana. It sucked.

I'm not sure what to do with this material. Convert it into a novel? Keep is as memoir?

Either way I figure there's lots of stuff for people to comment on (like too much telling--one of the dangers of me trying to write memoir). And it's possibly a good project to work on next semester along with my non-fiction historical piece.


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