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.
Find learning opportunities
Continue to perfect craft
Keep querying and tweaking
My Character Traits:
Persistent (working on it)
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
continuing to exist or endure over a prolonged period.
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)?
for my writing mornings.