Wizards get the Nod

Well, I think I have made it very clearly on more than one occasion that vampires are a no-go in my book. But wizards on the other hand have me screaming for more!

I just entered the quarter century club last week (ugh) and received a gift I never imagined being so excited about. My super cool sister-friend got me the entire collection of Harry Potter! Yes, I know…where have I been right?!?! But any how it was a wonderful surprise. I had been wanting to take the plunge into the world of Hogwarts and Quidditch but just did not have the time and didn’t know where to begin. When I received a large parcel at my apartment and saw a box that read Harry Potter I was overjoyed. With just two weeks of grad classes left I had decided to treat myself during the holidays, but I only lasted a day and just could not wait to start!

I mentioned in previous posts that I took a Children’s literature class this semester and was learning what ‘sells’. And essentially Harry Potter is a middle-grade children’s book even though it has appealed to a much larger audience. After reading just the first book and and itching to start the next, all I can say is that J.K. Rowling delivered. As I read the book I was mentally checking off all the requirements she had satisfied that makes a book sell, and I did not find one thing unchecked…..and if anything she got double checkmarks!

So this post is for all of those who like me have circled the idea of Harry Potter and have yet to get off the fence. JUST DO IT!!! I do not regret it and am sooooooo happy I have six more books to go because I do not want this journey to end!

Thanks UB – I owe you!

Writing like a writer…..

So obviously I started this blog because I want to write. But of course I was always aware that I wasn’t writing something New York Times bestseller worthy (unfortunately I’m no Carrie Bradshaw), but was hoping this could be the place where I could grow as a writer and find my voice. And its a great feeling to finally feel that growth! My life as a graduate student has been much more pleasant this past month, and its mainly due to the classes that I have been taking. Mind you, the workload is still pushing me to the brink of sanity occasionally, but at times I truly enjoy it. One of the classes I’m taking right now is Children’s Literature and Publishing. It’s really a great class. Being so turned off with this vampire frenzy going on in the publishing world these days, I completely forgot the brilliance in so many Children’s books/novels.

As a part of this class we have to write the first few chapters of our manuscript for a children’s book. This was a challenge that I was not prepared for. I guess mainly because I did not think writing a novel for a 12year old would be that complicated. But the challenges started from the minute I picked up my pen. I had never considered writing a children’s book so I had no idea what to write about. I was 12…..12 years ago!!!! And needless to say 12 year olds today are very different! Much more complex if you ask me. So after racking my brain for ideas and waiting for that moment of inspiration I finally started thinking about myself when I was 12 and just started writing. Of course I did some major embellishments and modernized my character (her bulky portable CD player had been replaced with an I-pod) but eventually it came together. It was fun to remember the things that used to go through my mind at that age.

So after several revisions I finally completed my first chapter. It was a feeling like no other. I don’t know if its brilliant or will ever be publishing worthy, but just that feeling of actually sitting down to write the first chapter of your manuscript and seeing the finished product (well first draft actually) feels like a step up from an aspiring writer to actually becoming a writer. I discovered the strengths and weaknesses in my own writing that I would never have realized until I actually started REALLY writing. Let’s see what challenges chapter 2 brings!