Yeah, I kind of feel that happy and at peace. I worked on my collection Not Your Abuelita's Folktales for for more than an hour going over the old writing and crafting a few more bits. From the last story in the collection, I really like the main character Isella, but I am noticing that a lot of my female characters aren't fundamentally likeable. But, screw it, I like her, and that is what matters. That is not to say that you will always like your main characters because they develop how they want to, often, but this one has moxie and is dynamic. She doesn't give a damn about social conventions.
This week, I also got some great advice from a mom-author who is traditionally published, Amanda Rawson Hill. She recently put out The Three Rules of Everyday Magic. Many of you know I'm really busy with teaching, union organizing, church work, and community organizing. And I have two small children and a wonderful husband whom I'm devoted to. So, I asked her how she managed home life with four kids (and I think one on the way). My niece, well technically, my second cousin, who knows her was pitching her book over the holiday break, and she mentioned that when Hill had a deadline, she would watch all four of Amanda's kids. Wow! What an angel!
Hill basically said she had a great support network, and advised that I talk to my kids and husband about the importance of the writing, which I have. However, what she did say that really inspired and validated my process is that she only writes for an hour and a half each evening, every day. That is about what I put into my writing, when I am consistent.
I write from 3a.m. to 5a.m. Monday through Thursday and sometimes on weekends. This morning, I wrote from about 5a.m. to 6:20a.m., once I stopped messing around on social media. Ahem.
I do love the advice of having a network of support to help watch the kids. In the past, I have focused on my writing team, and thank god I now have great beta readers and Brett designing the covers. Now, I think it's high time to get some of my fans/friends to lend a hand because my family and I won't be able to go to hotels for me to finish books. :(
Well, it's 6:40a.m., and I have to make breakfast and pack lunches.
Just to put the bug in your ears, my next projects include Not Your Abuelita's Folktales, a translation of La Bruja in the Orchard, 2nd editions of both Bruja books, and the ever constant revision process of The Harvest. Yeah, my life is awesome like that.
Work a little at a time and keep up your writing momentum! #barrioblues
Dr. Jesú Estrada,