Tag Archives: Writing Assistant

Writer’s Blog Tour: Four* Questions

I was recently tagged in a writing blog tour by A.T. Greenblatt. Check out her answers, and click through some of her links to see how other writers have answered these same 4 questions.

Bonus: If you read to the end, there’s a writing assistant picture. If you cheat and scroll to the end: well, I’ll never actually know, will I?

What am I working on? 

I’m currently working on making my short story, “The Rum Cake Runner,” into a middle grade novel. I’m about 3/4 of the way through the first, very rough draft, and hope to finish and send it out to first readers in the next few weeks.

How does my work differ from others in the genre? 

I tend to enjoy writing only slightly speculative fiction, focusing on everyday, normal interactions. I like my science fiction and fantasy to flavor and inform my fictional worlds, but not be the main focus. In the SFF community, this doesn’t seem to be in vogue currently, though it’s common in middle grade/young adult lit. So I suppose whether or not it differs depends on where I’m lumped!

Why do I write what I do? 

I enjoy writing MG/YA I think because that’s when I really, truly fell in love with reading. As a young girl in a small community, books let me travel outside of my family, state, country, world. They taught me about myself and, by taking me into perspectives that were so different than my own, they taught me compassion for the Other. And they were fun!

I want to recreate those same sorts of experiences for readers–young and old.

How does my writing process work?

If only I knew!

I tend to know at least my beginning and ending, and if I can, I outline the middle.

In the current WIP, I have a pretty specific outline that I’m following, and I add scenes and chapters here and there as necessary. I have to say, it’s worked really well. I’m writing quickly. I know where I’m going next. I kind of love it!

The blank page is the hardest part for me, so my first draft of things are very, very badly done. I won’t let anyone see them, ever. But once they’re done, I edit to a point that I think they can be read by someone else and send it out to first readers. From there I revise again, and maybe send it out again if I don’t think I’ve nailed the story. After that next revision, I’ll start sending it out to markets or let it sit in a (virtual) drawer for awhile until I know how I feel about it.

*And an added question of my own: What’re you currently reading?

In my newest, never-ending quest to read ALL THE MIDDLE GRADES, I’m about to start Claire Legrand’s The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. Have you read it?



Ta da! That’s it. I’m tagging fellow former bootcamper and current YA-novel-in-progress-ess, Julie Whipple.

Caveat: I had been dragging my feet on this little project for a few days, because I don’t have a lot of writer friends that I speak with regularly, especially of the blogging variety. So if you’re a writer friend and you’d like to participate, drop me a note? I’ll gladly tag you.


Now…as promised:

Cat face!

Cat face!

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Writing Assistant Monday

In which, Donna isn’t all that helpful, actually.

Writing Assistant. Writer Conquered

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Writing Assistant Monday

Donna’s such an amazing writing assistant, she doesn’t even need a writer present! Just a sweater and the laptop. (Also, bonus! Messy office. If only the cats would assist in household cleaning duties…)IMG_0828

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Writing Assistant Monday

Since I’ve been back to the costume shop since August and the cats tend to be cuddliest in the mornings, I don’t get a lot of writing assistance these days. But Kyle has been home, so they’re helping him instead. I like to think they don’t enjoy being economics research assistants nearly as much.

Lap Cap Donna

Lap Cat 2


Although Abi does seem to enjoy being a TV watching assistant well enough.

Lap Cat Abi

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Writing Assistant Monday


Writing Assistant Monday: in which the cats say, “What? Did you want to sit here to write? How do you feel about that corner over there instead?” Because they’re jerks sometimes…

Also, have you guys seen my desk chair before? It’s a goodwill find and I’m OBSESSED with it.

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Writing Assistant Monday


Yes, I know she matches the couch.

I wrote and scheduled these posts back in July. By the time this one posts I will be done and home from Literary Boot Camp, moving immediately on to tech of Hamlet, my brother will have turned 27 and I will be one week away from starting back to full time work. Whew. Time flies.

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Writing Assistant Monday

By the time this posts I’ll be in Utah, just beginning (or about to begin depending on the time difference) the very first class of Uncle Orson’s Literary Boot Camp. I’m sure my stomach is full of butterflies. If I have time (and remember), I’m going to come to my own blog. Donna’s little feet…IMG_0331…and little face should make me feel better.  IMG_0330

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Writing Assistant Monday


Donna loves when it’s cool enough to have the windows open. She sits in the sill behind our yellow chair, napping…



…or bopping me in the back of the head while I’m trying to write.


Also, I wanted to introduce you to the yellow chair. It’s awesome. It started its life in my Grandmother’s house in the 1970s. A few years ago she was redecorating a bit and wanted to throw the chair away. I saved it. Now it’s my probably favorite place to sit and write.


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Writing Assistant Monday

That’s…not how you use a pen, actually.


Also, bonus: writing assistant flowers! (You can see feline writing assistant butts through the doorway. They were more concerned with eating and lounging when this picture was taken.)



Please note: if you ever want to butter me up and/or become my BFF for life, bring me cut flowers. I am absolutely obsessed with having them on my dining room table.

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Writing Assistant Monday

While Donna may be my normal writing assistant, this was not normal behavior even for her. The day we left for Michigan, she came up and cuddled on my lap while I was trying to work on my daily word count. Maybe she knew somehow it was the last time she’d see me for two weeks? It made typing much, much harder, but totally worth the extra effort.

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