Joy of getting immersed in my passion

When I started writing “The Sun Shines on Maddy Weaver,” I had no idea it would end up a novel. All I knew was that I had a story to tell–actually, I had a childhood to rewrite–and that I had a message to bring to kids in similar situations. That message was one of hope.

My fingers flew across the keyboard, words trapped for years planted themselves on the page. I couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning so that I could write again. I could look up at the clock and hours would have passed as if they were minutes. I wrote in my sleep, the words typing themselves on a keyboard in my mind. In the middle of dinner, I would jump up and write something down, a thought, a phrase.

There was no joy like the madness of that immersion into Maddy’s world.

Within weeks, I realized I had the makings of a novel on my hands. So I took a break and started studying the craft of novel writing. I joined an online writer’s group, where I posted a short excerpt. No one had read a word up until then. And to my utter delight, I discovered that my peers loved it. To hear a professional writer say, “Your voice exudes charm and personality” was like they had handed me the Oscar!

It took over a year to finally come up with a draft I was happy with, and I entered Maddy in the Delacorte Middle Reader’s Contest. It was truly like saying goodbye to my little girl.

I didn’t win, and now, eight months later, after becoming sidetracked with other writing, the experience of which I will tell you about tomorrow, I find that I am a better writer than I was last summer. I am in the process of another round of editing Maddy, and this experience too I will share with you in days to come.