Saturday, August 30, 2014

Voice of the Young

We are two weeks into the new school year and my students already love "read aloud" time. They are engrossed with the story "Ramona Quimby, Age 8" by Beverly Clearly. They hang on each word I read and let out a collective groan when it's time to stop for the day. 

  Beverly Cleary is a master at writing in the voice of an eight year old girl. One of my students even asked me if a child wrote the story. She captures the thoughts of a child so well, the students believe an eight year old is telling the story.

   I'm currently working on writing my first draft of a new young adult story. Although, this is my favorite genre to write in, I often catch myself writing in my grown up voice.  I'm fortunate that I live with three teenagers to fall back on for input. 

   The conversations between my teens and their friends are intriguing to me. There's little that I enjoy more than having a house full of young people in genuine conversation.  Of course there's much texting along with it and scrolling through social media on their phones. The social media aspect is still a little shaky for me.( I'm learning though.) It's their world and they celebrate it fully. I love it!

 So as I finish up my first draft, I will strive to write in my young voice with first hand knowledge from the experts.

Daily Writing Tips is a website loading with information for writers. Click here for a tip on writing in a unique voice.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

World Wide Blog Hop

Hello writers! This week I'm joining  "The Writing Process World Blog Tour". I was invited by Katy Newton Naas.
She wears many hats: Christian; wife; mother to her young son, Aven, and her four-legged sons, Shakespeare and Poe; teacher of middle school reading and high school English; and now – her lifelong dream realized – author. Her debut novel, THE VISITORS, will be released September 16. She resides and teaches in a small town in southern Illinois. You can find her at or .

I'm happy to be included in this blog tour. Here is some information about me:

I live and teach in the small town in which I grew up. I'm married with four children. Three girls and one boy. Their ages range from 12-22.  Nothing makes me happier than my time spent with them. I treasure every minute of it. Besides teaching third grade, I LOVE to write! I'm an avid reader of  young adult books. Contemporary is my favorite. I enjoy writing in this genre as well.  My young adult novella, Beyond Vica, was released by Astraea Press on July 8. You can find me on Facebook: and  Twitter:

All authors are answering the same four questions for this blog tour. Here are my answers:

1) What are you working on?
    I'm working on a full length YA novel. It's a contemporary novel about a teenage girl who learns to cope with an alcoholic parent by withdrawing into her artwork. She' revisited by a young boy from her childhood that draws her out of hiding and into world of hope. She revels in the new light that shines on her life.  She finds out a family secret that's been kept from her until she turned eighteen, causing her light to dim once again.

2) How does your work differ from others in your genre?

  My just released novella, Beyond Vica, deals with teenage friendships, first love, grief, and acceptance of others.
   The story has a unique element with the made up constellation Vica. The tales of this constellation connects the three main characters, Gabby, Sam, and Brody, from childhood into teen years. The constellation is a source of imaginative play for the trio as children, then serves a deeper meaning as they learn of Sam's cancer. Sam uses the constellation to make up a new tale that reflects the close knit friendship of the three. Gabby uses the constellation as the theme of her writing to express how she feels about losing Sam.
Gabby took over the story as I wrote. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did writing it for her.

3) Why do you write what you write?

  I love to write, so I use it to express things that are close to my heart. Living in a world of children and teens gives me a perspective into the struggles of growing up. It also allows me to celebrate the uniqueness of each one. 
 To be able to tell a story that young people can relate to and enjoy is what drives me.

4) How does your writing process work?

    I don't have an exact formula for writing. I usually decide the life struggle that my main character will deal with first. Then decide on the character, personality , unique characteristics, etc. I branch out from there to family and friends. After that, I sketch out a very rough outline of the plot. I find that once I'm started on the story, the heroine takes over and I allow her to drive the story.