Stephanie Burgis
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puppies and more
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When I took Maya out for her mid-morning walk today, we saw one of our neighbors walking a gorgeous, plump little chocolate labrador puppy toward us. Maya went on full border-collie alert! She gave him The Eye, dropped down to the sidewalk to prominently Lurk, and waited for him with her whole body shivering in anticipation. The woman looked a little nervous.

I called, "Is it okay for them to meet?" She said, "Um...I suppose so. I think so. He's never actually met another dog before..."

We decided to make the attempt. The puppy sat glued nervously to the woman's leg, Maya bent down to sniff his nose, the woman and I chatted, Maya's long, black tail began to wag, the puppy's little, brown tail began to swish...and within minutes, not only had the puppy met another (big! scary! grown-up!) dog, but he had had his first major play session too, bouncing up and down, chasing and being chased across the grass, both tails whirring in total glee. And he was absolutely thrilled by it. So was Maya. She couldn't believe it when I finished talking and set off back to the house. Hey! Why leave, when we can stay and play? She got a dental chew as consolation when we returned, but's hard to match the fun of playing with a 3-month-old puppy!

Unlike Maya, I didn't get to play with a cute little puppy, but Day 2 of the Write-a-thon did start off well. I wrote just over 1100 words and finished the highwayman chapter with an Unexpected Adventure. I'm having fun. Of course, I have no idea anymore how long this book is going to be (60,000? 70,000? more? who knows?), so my write-a-thon goal of finishing the first draft may or may not be a really scary challenge...but as long as I get to keep writing about highwaymen and magic and balls, I'm happy. :)

And I ran across some good online essays about novel revision, which I'm using as I go back through Congress of Shadows at long last. Via Laini Taylor, I found Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein's blog entry on Principles of Line Editing, which is concise and helpful (and quite thought-provoking, as I compared some of her points to my current draft of CoS Chapter One...), and from there, I went on to her website and found her SCBWI speech The Art of Detection: One Editor's Techniques for Analyzing and Revising Your Novel, which is definitely worth reading.

Time for a brownie and then more revision!

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