Here is my excuse, anyway: my manuscript. I’ve been re-writing. Re-thinking. Re-plotting. The different possibilities of my emerging story have been driving me wild.
Even with all that, though, I couldn’t stay away from the web — that sticky virtual web of Facebook-twitter-blogs-gossip. Even in the midst of working out a thorny plot problem (especially in the midst of working out a thorny plot problem?) I just had to stop all and go take a peek.
What’s everyone doing? What will J.K. Rowling’s new novel be about? What’s this twitter story about a boy? How did this author make it? What’s my agent up to, lately?
Etc., etc., etc.
I think the Internet is a wonder, its own kind of magic. Oh the connections. The new friendships. The opportunities. The information. The motivation. The gossip. The powerful writing. The occasional laughs.
Oh, the incessant blah-blah-blah of it. Oh the hours down the drain. Oh.
Yeah. Every wonder has its price.
I guess I am trying to make some decisions, even as I write this. Should I post here more often? Maybe even daily? Something about the idea of such discipline appeals to me. (Or would you get sick of me if I do?) Or — or, or, or — should I do the total opposite and limit my check-ins with the virtual world to, like once, a week, say Sundays, and be really really strict about that? (I’ve tried that before and failed miserably, but hey, I could always try again!)
Oh, the choices. Always the choices. It’s just like revising, those twisty pathways keep beckoning me in a zillion directions. At least in real life I have been getting better with making big decisions, lately. And here I am, trying to make one more.
What do you guys think? How do you do it? How do you keep that balance between what is precious to you in your so-called real life, and what’s exciting, useful, necessary, lovely in this crazy new world we have created?
And who is to say which world is more real anymore?
When I was a little girl, I wore a pioneer scarf around my neck and believed in communism.
I also secretly believed in magic mirrors. Even as a shy little Soviet girl, I dreamed that across the magic glass someplace there was another land, one of skyscrapers reaching into the clouds, and giant bridges of steel that hung from the sky.
I reached that land as a teen in 1993, when I stepped out of the JFK airport in New York City. I found my real home, met a man of my dreams, fell in love with the English language, moved into the Jersey suburbs, and got myself a beautiful, complicated American life.
After college I became a newspaper journalist and had quite an adventure chasing stories, keeping tabs on local officials, or just poking my nose everywhere it’d fit. Then I stayed home with my two kids and got started on what would become a very winding writing journey. As the kids got older (way too fast!), I spent more time freelancing, editing and interning for a literary agency, looking to build a new career, writing, writing, writing all the while.
Now I teach High School English in Camden, New Jersey (and loving it!). I write for young adults. And I still believe in magic.
I have an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.