Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Quick Question -- Robin

My head is still reeling with everything I saw and heard at the SCBWI national conference this year.

But I suppose after all that, I really came away with one question:

Did anyone pick up a grey spiral notebook with a bunch of papers stuffed in it with notes that aren’t very legible?

Cuz I lost mine.

And I really want to find it because I’ve been using it to store all my brainstorming notes and thoughts that pop into my head as I write my new middle grade book. I have printouts from websites stuffed in there, and notes from a documentary I watched, and little drawings and notes I wrote to Eve and Jay during some of the speeches at the conference. (Oops! Did I just write that out loud?)

Coming back from the conference and trying to sit down and get busy with the process of writing is kind of like taking a whirlwind romantic anniversary vacation with your man to a place that’s exotic and warm and smells nice, then coming back home to clean up cat puke and balance the checkbook. It has to be done, but it isn’t all that pretty.

I’ve spent this week coming down from my National Conference high, remembering all that was exotic and nice-smelling, and realizing that this process of writing books is…reallyhard.

I got an email newsletter from Bruce Hale (go check out his website to get one…it’s great!) and he had a quote in there that really rang true for me today:

Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.

- Gene Fowler

Wow. That is totally gross.

But true. Anyone with me?

- Robin

12 comments:

laura salas said...

Hi Robin,

It was fun to meet you in person Friday night outside.

Coming back from a big conference is always a jolt, isn't it? I'm so sorry you've misplaced your folder of notes. That would be really disorienting. I write everything down so that I don't have to remember it. But then if I lose the written version, I don't seem to have a back-up in my brain. Ack. I hope it turns up soon.

Laura

Colorado Writer said...

Lost notebooks suck!

Cat puke and checkbooks.

Don't forget shopping for groceries, which I had to do the night I got home!

Anonymous said...

Add a couple in-laws to the equation and you have my post-SCBWI life...ugh. Hope you find your notebook and good luck w/ the new middle-grade.

*heidi

Leslie Muir said...

Oh, Robin,

The bloodletting quote speaks pints.

Great to see you in L.A. Hope you find your notebook.

Leslie

Disco Mermaids said...

I guess I should consider myself lucky that hubby did the grocery shopping and the in-laws weren't here. Now if I could just find my notebook, I'd have no complaints! (Right!)

And Leslie, the blood-pint pun was perfect. I'd say you're dripping with creativity.

Oh yeah.

;-) Robin

Rita said...

Oh, man. I hope you find it!!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Robin, I think I saw John Edwards with that notebook when I ran into him in the hotel lobby. He was mumbling something about how it will change the world! I don't think you'll be getting it back.

Disco Mermaids said...

Funny, I hadn't thought of that last theory. Pretty funny considering it IS the manuscript to change the world. We'll have our people call his people stat!

Sorry, Robin, but the elusive notebook is not in my car that I just finally unpacked...whew! Took me ten days to unload all the vodka, cheese sticks and sugar cookies. Um, I mean...the books, computers, pens and paper.

When John Edwards comes out with a new 5-book multi-million deal, you'll know where he got the idea.

Eve

Wendie O said...

you-all probably think they're kidding about the load in their car, but it's true. I saw them loading coolers and boxes and trunk-loads of stuff into the back of a large (SUV?) as I was waiting for my tiny compact car to arrive at the door.

It was fun seeing you-all around the conference and thinking, "oh yes, I know them. They're famous blogger/ writers."

-wendieO

Katia Novet Saint-Lot said...

Hello Robin,

Jumping in about the Gene Fowler's quote. I've read it before, and I remember thinking, yeah, that's exactly it. But then, when the muse sits on your shoulder and starts whispering in your ear and you type madly and it just seems to come so easily, it's just ... pure bliss. No blood. More what Jane Yolen talks about in her book "Take Joy." So, I tend to go from one extreme to the other. Blood. Joy. Frustration. Bliss. Blood. Elation. Etc.

Wait a minute. Now that I think of it, it's been a while since that blasted Muse actually perched on my shoulder or whispered anything in my ear. Maybe a I need a monkey sock, too.

So, blood? Joy? Mm, don't know anymore.

Katia Novet Saint-Lot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katia Novet Saint-Lot said...

Hi Robin, me again. Your question inspired me to think some more about the writing process and made me dig another post I'd written in July and forgotten in the draft box. Check it out if you'd like. Joy or pain, one thing is sure : I can totally relate to what you describe. Writing is a lonely business. Yet, belonging to the community of children's writers can send us on such a high cloud. But then, the reality is that to continue belonging to that community, one has to, well, duh, write, of course, and for that, one has to go back to sitting alone in front of the computer, sweating blood or crying tears of joy, depending if it's a good day, or not.