1. The creativity: Writing isn’t a skill I learned one day and now I’m a writer. I grew to love composing as a child and it continued into adulthood. There’s always something that surprises me, like the way I write poetry on the side. Will I publish it one day? Maybe. Another surprise is how some of the skills continue to be difficult. Oh, save me from the semi-colon!
2. The research: I love the way I have to watch movies, television, and read books. I also love the way I get to Google certain subjects for hours and learn what makes people tick. I also consider anyone and everyone fair game. So if I get a glazed look in my eyes while you’re babbling on about something sketchy, don’t worry. I’ll change your name.
3. The mystery: Most of story writing is invisible. I love that it’s a private affair until it shows up on the shelf. No one knows what I’m thinking, or when I’ve tossed a lousy idea and replaced it with a better one. Gee, I could be like that guy in The Shining… All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
4. The people: There was something very special about my first NESCBWI conference. It wasn’t just meeting Nancy Werlin and Cynthia Voight, YA goddesses. It was meeting other people who were equally excited about creating books. There was an artsy buzz in the air and everyone was glowing. They all spoke the same language and I was one of them!
5. Writing is forever: My career isn’t like a professional athlete’s—I don’t have to quit when my knees go, although I should be careful of carpel tunnel syndrome. As long as my mind stays healthy and my stories are wanted I can be a writer. I think that’s fair.