first draft

New Project: Podcast!

July 1, 2014

Hello friends! It’s been quiet around these parts, but not behind the scenes. I have a new project in the works that I am so excited about!

Over the last year, I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of listening to podcasts. Nothing makes a long walk to the coffee shop fly by more quickly than listening to interviews by Marc Maron or Pete Holmes, and while trekking around Iceland on a recent vacation I almost ran the campervan off the road laughing at How Did This Get Made. And, of course, the amazing Sara Zarr’s This Creative Life !

Somewhere in the alien Icelandic landscape I got a major, North Pole-frequency brainwave: I could start a podcast! I’ve listened to at least 10,000 hours of NPR, and the very, very little I’ve learned about osmosis leads me to believe I am therefore qualified to jump right into the deep end of audio reporting.

photoThe podcast idea percolated as I drove in and around Iceland, and it got me thinking about the role place plays in our imagination, and how where writers live impacts their worldview and creative life. So the idea of taking a road trip bloomed in my mind. A podcast structure began to form: I’d set out on the road to interview authors I admire, mixing in audio reporting from where they live and work with a more long-form interview on writing, life, and any old thing that comes up.

So I got to invest in a fun new toy (the Zoom H2N recorder, for any of you tech-heads), watched about a hundred YouTube videos on how to work GarageBand, and convinced the saintly Sumayyah to be my guinea pig interview.

And it was a blast!

I reached out to some of my closest YA author friends, and a bunch of amazing writers I admire, to see if this effort was destined to pan out. And the response was so incredible — but then, I shouldn’t have been surprised. The YA community is bursting at the seams with generous, earnest, and fascinating people.

And lo, the First Draft podcast was born!1

Sarah_logo_r2Well, it will be born! I’m planning on launching the first episode (or two!) on Monday, July 7.

But the road trip starts today! If you’re interested, you can start following my journey, and get updates about First Draft once it gets rolling, here:

The First Draft Podcast website,

Follow FirstDraftPod on Twitter!

And of course, Instagram.

  1. Logo by the incredibly talented SF designer, Collin Keith!

Not too long ago I blogged about taking time to celebrate milestones—even the smaller ones—to stay motivated, to recognize hard work, and to recharge. Well I’m taking my own advice and partying like it’s the freaking weekend today because FINALLY, after working on this work-in-eternal-progress for more than a year,

I have a completed first draft that makes me happy.

A year ago I was querying, planning a wedding, and trying to find something to take my mind off of real life. This idea came along and I was all…

Then I shut down the query process because I had gotten tons of incredible, consistent feedback that I knew could be applied to make this project stronger. So I *gasp* outlined. It was hard.

And technically I finished a draft. But it was just… not… right.

So I went back to the proverbial drawing board (Scrivener!) and did a bunch of writing exercises that helped expand the possibilities for my characters.

The plot was about ten times better, but hot damn did all that make for a lot more work to be done.

Right after I got started on the new and improved outline (basically a re-write), a couple months of Everything In Life Happening came up. Weddings, graduations, vacations, work trips… you name it, it happened, and I was pretty useless when it came to writing.

Then after the lifesplosion ended, I was sort of just lazy. Unmotivated. Really pretty out of it, to be honest.

Then! I was lucky enough to spend five days surrounded by some of the most amazing writers I know, and hands-down the best, silliest, most genuine motivators ever.


Then last week my laptop was stolen. Long story.

BUT I PERSEVERED and last night at around 11:00 p.m. (way past my bedtime let me tell you) I typed the sentence that I knew was the absolute most wonderful perfect last sentence 1 and I realized…



Hammer might not have been the most willing participant in that particular moment of celebration. But don’t worry, he’s got a can of tuna with his name on it for later.

What about you?? What have you achieved lately? What are you working toward? Anyone else jumping head-first into revisions??

  1. which means it will totally be edited out at some point but hey, haters to the left pls
  2. with the first draft.