Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Choose Words and Make Mayhem


A few years ago, Rajani LaRocca  and I met at a writing retreat. After realizing we had way too many things in common to be coincidence, we became friends. 

Since then, I’ve watched her work hard at her writing and keep finding opportunities. In 2017 she trusted me to read one of her last drafts of Midsummer’s Mayhem. I loved it! 

Rajani’s hard work and talent finally came together.



And now I’m proud to show off Rajani’s cover!!! 
(Look at all that purple!)

Inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream, the story follows an 11-year-old Indian-American girl whose dream of winning a celebrity chef-judged baking contest stirs up trouble when she bakes with a mysterious boy from the woods and people around her start acting loopy. Publication is scheduled for summer 2019.

Check out her book on Goodreads



Recently, I read a blog called “Space Between,” featuring Rajani, and the host of the post, Julie Ditchburn Patton, suggested choosing a word to frame the upcoming year.

Her advice was simple:


1.       Decide what your goals are for the year. The more specific you are, the better.
2.       Think about what character traits or verbs you’re going to need to reach those goals.
3.       Choose your word(s).
4.       Write the word(s) down and post somewhere you’ll see them every day.

This summer, I attended Highlights Whole Novel Workshop  run by Sarah Aronson and Nancy Werlin. I love Highlights, and this has been my favorite workshop by far. It was life-changing. I worked on a novel I’d written years ago but had been stuck on how to revise it. Based on Nancy’s feedback, along with my Braintrust group, I had huge epiphanies. I’m currently on revision 3.

While I was there, I also spoke with Jim McCoy, who is a life coach. Truthfully, I hadn’t thought I needed one. After all, I’m a teacher, I write. What more did I need?

When I told my husband about the life coach opportunity, he said, “You could use that.”

???

He was right. I’d been giving up on my manuscripts too easily, stopped querying too early. 

I could use a life coach. 

Jim asked me about my fears. He helped me find perspective and language to use. We came up with goals moving forward.


So in that spirit, I’ve tried Julie's method.


My Goals:

Find learning opportunities
Continue to perfect craft
Pursue connections
Keep querying and tweaking

My Character Traits:

Inquisitive (always)
Persistent (working on it)
Fearless (sometimes)
Brave (mostly)

per·sist·ent
/pərˈsist(ə)nt/
adjective

1.
continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

tenacious, persevering, determined, resolute, purposeful, dogged, single-minded, tireless, indefatigable, patient, unflagging, untiring, insistent, importunate, relentless, unrelenting

2.
continuing to exist or endure over a prolonged period.


I chose:
per·sist
/pərˈsist/
verb
1. continue firmly or obstinately in an opinion or a course of action in spite of difficulty, opposition, or failure.


And when I think about it, that’s what Rajani’s done too. Like me, she balances a full time job, parenting, and squeezing in everything writing-related in the margins. And she does it with good humor and sincerity. And now here she is with a middle grade novel coming out on June 4, 2019, along with a picture book, etc. Her word is “Savor.” 

What’s your word(s)? 


Maybe I need to order the mug  with this logo 
for my writing mornings.


19 comments:

  1. And if she has a book coming out, so can you one day soon!

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  2. Yes! "Persist" is a great word! Go, Theresa!

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  3. I can't wait for the day to cheer over your future book deal! Persist!!!

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  4. Good advice. I’m off to find a word.

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  5. That was me, Judy. I guess my word should be a compound, computer-literacy.😄

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    Replies
    1. LOL! At least you noticed, and now I know who you are.

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  6. I'm excited that Rajani is going to be on my blog next year. Her book sounds so good. Awesome that you became friends.

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    Replies
    1. Natalie, I'm so excited Rajani is going to be on your blog!

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  7. I love the cover. Looks and sounds like a very interesting book. Love MG books- so I will be looking for this one. :)
    ~Jess

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  8. That is a lovely shade of purple. You are so right.

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