Reviews, rants, and tidbits from an overpassionate novelist

Posts tagged ‘teen author’

Courtney’s Writing Nonfiction? What?

To be honest, I expect to get a bit of rap for trying to write anything memoir-esque at my age. I’m 18. What could I possibly have to say?

One of the best things I got from this last conference was a gentle reminder of the value of those years from Emily Sue Harvey. “It’s amazing that you write,” she said. “Not only that you have the drive, lots of kids have the drive. You have something to say.”

Her words surprised me. I’d never thought of that–having something to say–as my strength before. Then I thought about the number of nights I’ve spent lying awake just thinking about life, the times I’ve agonized about getting through situations without hurting others, and my uncle’s words about the emotional-literary power woven into my writing.

I thought maybe she was right.

So I’ve been looking for stories in my life, and I’ve finally struck gold. I’ve found a story I want to write so much it hurts. I’ve resolved to turn it into a masterpiece. It involves the World Scout Jamboree I attended in 2007. I’m dying to share it, even in its atrocious first-draft form, so I’m going to be an indulgent teenager and post the first paragraph.

The Teapot Boy

My first impression of the boy who would change me forever was as wrong as it possibly could have been. I remember sitting on the stage set up in that gymnasium, scanning the crowd and getting seized by a glare. That’s right. I was minding my own business, making drowsy conversation with the people lounging on the sofas where I’d been taking a nap, and a boy I’d never met before was staring me down.

On that creepy note, I must leave you for now. I’ll keep you update though. I’m very excited about it.

So excited that I didn’t feel like working on the reviews I should have written today. Sigh. Those will happen soon. I promise. The posts on the way are:

A review of In Odd We Trust by Dean Koontz & Queenie Chan
A review of The Uglies by Scott Westerfield
Thoughts on Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
& Thoughts on Song of Renewal by Emily Sue Harvey

Jambo Picture:

Sword dancers from Qatar

Sword dancers from Qatar

HORROR, WEDDINGS, AND CROCHET :)

I went to the bookstore yesterday on a high from the conference. Never a good idea. Then again, I may singlehandedly save the industry at the rate I’m going.

I’m kidding. What I actually did was sit down with a HUMONGOUS stack of magazines. Like:

This.

This.

Except not that neat.

I looked over the entire back wall of a Books-A-Million and picked up anything that looked interesting to me. I picked up crochet magazines because I used to love to crochet. I picked up wedding magazines because I’ve had some pretty cool wedding stories in my life. I looked over film review magazines because that’s something I want to learn how to do. I looked at horror magazines because that’s a little like fantasy–but, as I decided, not much.

I flipped through to see which one took fictions and checked out a few other sections that I might like to write for. Then I picked a handful that seemed like the best winners for me (and my budget):

Writer’s Journal
Realms of Fantasy
Writer’s Digest
American Girl (which I’ve already discovered does not take fiction submissions)

I also picked up Otaku USA because I’m also running an anime review blog under a persona.

The final think I bought was The Waters and the Wild by Francesca Lia Block. Four things to say about that:

1. I want Jennifer Heuer to do my jacket cover.
2. The synopsis of this book grabbed me…and then I discovered it didn’t do justice to the first chapter.
3. That name is too pretty to be real. It’s either a pseudonym or the lady’s parents are overpassionate.
4.  $17 is too much for that tiny hardback. I only bought it on a binge.

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