If you've been wondering where I was for last four weeks, I've been busy planning, plotting, pantsing, critiquing, editing and revising. I've never written a full length novel. A chapter book is the biggest project I've completed so far. At the last two conferences I met with editors and agents. We talked about my picture book EVERYONE DID THEIR PART and they suggested that I should expand it into a mid grade novel. Sooooo...I've been working on it. As of right now I'm on Chapter 9.
I did a lot of research to get ready to write this story. I interviewed several people, read a load of books,visited historic sites, visited websites, and of course took loads of photos when I was in England.
While I was reading I jotted down notes of words and phrases I wanted to use in my book. I typed up all my notes and then broke them down into different categories: fun words; phrases; sites and sounds in particular places; scenes broken down into locations, and character descriptions.
Then I wrote them on note cards and stuck them on poster board. I sorted them into specific groups.
I sorted the cards into where that scene should take place. So I have a bunch of these: The Blitz, The Train Station, The Train, Leek, New Home, New School, Countryside, Town Market, and Church. I'm sure I will be making more of these as I go along, but this is where I'm at right now.
I was able to enlist my dear friend Gary Pennick to take some photographs of Leek. I haven't been there since I was 6 or 7. I'm bowled over that Gary agreed to do this for me. He didn't hesitate for a second. (Thanks you, Gary) It's just another reason I love my bloggy friends. (HUG)
My Brilliant Niece, Bethany Runyan, did this great gator picture to help me get the right frame of mind forthe other writing project I've been working on has been with my wicked cool cp, Lenny Lee.
We did four versions of the story before we sent it to the people who volunteered to critique it. Lenny and I adore everyone who helped out! Thank you, Corey, Janet, Robyn, Melissa, Susan Quinn and Jackee! We <3 you!
We went over everyone's critiques one at a time with our manuscript and made lots of changes. So are ready to send it out one last time before we start querying. I'm so excited (I think Lenny is too).
(Insert photo of my massive bicepts here.)
The other thing I've been doing is working on my health. I joined a fitness club. I go six days a week (usually). We alternate with kickboxing and strength training. That sounds easy right? Well let me tell you, I leave so exhausted I can barely walk each day. Yesterday when I got home, I went up to take a shower...I was pulling my socks off and BAM I fell over. So other than my balance issues, I can proudly report I have made progress. On day 1, I could do 4 push ups in one minute, 31 sit ups and run a 12:21 mile (in the winter in Iowa). On the last day of week 5, I could do 31 push ups and 36 sit ups. I didn't run the mile as it was about 3 degrees and the wind was howling. I haven't lost any weight but my waist went down 2.5 inches, chest 1.75 inches, and arm (biceps) down .75 inches. So I am pretty pleased with my progress.
One of the great things about the program is it also has a nutrition side to it. You keep track of your carbs, proteins, vegetables and water intake. One day a week you get to have a fun day. You get to eat or drink anything you want. It is supposed to be a metabolism booster. Let me tell you....I live for Saturdays! Walt and I go out for brunch after I get back from the gym and we either have dinner out or order in. Sunday is a no exercise day, but I'm thinking about walking or running on Sundays.
So as you can see, I've kept busy in a productive manner. I did miss all of you and am glad to be back to blogging in the evenings. Can't wait to see what everyone has been up to.
Hugs to all.....