For me, writing is an inside thing. I don't mean that I write indoors (which I usually do), I mean that I write from my inside. I've heard some writers say that they write for an imaginary reader, but that's not how it works for me. My writing comes from some place inside me and I write for me, because I have to, because I can't stop -- and so it's always more than a little scary when the work goes outside... to my editor, to a trusted friend, and eventually to readers and prize juries.
Of course, every writer wants the outside world to "get" what he or she is doing. We want to WOW!! readers with our stories. But for most of us, tough reviews are part of life. Anyway, all this is a bit of a preamble to today's blog entry -- today's a day where the inside and outside found a happy balance. I learned a few hours ago that What World Is Left is shortlisted for the Quebec Writers Federation 2009 Children's and Young Adult Literature Prize.
One thing's for sure: I wouldn't have liked to be a judge on this jury. The competition was really steep. Except for one other writer whose work was submitted for the competition, I know all of the other kidlit authors who were up for the prize -- and two are close friends.
There are plenty of hard days associated with being a writer. Days when the writing goes slowly, painfully; days when you think maybe you can't keep at it. But for this writer, anyway, today turned out to be a very good day -- inside and outside!
Congratulations on the short-listing! It's been a while since I last read your blog, but I saw announcements about your new books. You certainly are not taking it easy while taking a semester off from teaching! It will be nice seeing you around the school next semester though, and I'll have to see if I can take any of your classes. I'm taking Mr Alapi's class on the Beat generation. I had never read Kerouac or Ginsberg and am currently in love with Gary Snyder's poetry...
Hey Rosa! Nice to "hear" your "voice." Glad you are in love with Gerry Snyder's poetry. Lucky you to be taking Zsolt's class. Hope you can fit me into your schedule next term. Thanks for writing. See you SOON! Monique