I needed to write about 2400 words yesterday to get caught up with my NaNoWriMo word count, and I only wrote 1697. But that’s okay because something else happened over the weekend. Something amazing!

T.J.’s Story is the aftermath of what happened in Do You Know the Monkey Man. That’s what the story is about. All along I’ve been trying to come up with some new secret or bomb shell I could drop…something to instill the same level of suspense I had going in Do You Know the Monkey Man. I had pretty much given up. I figured I must have already revealed all the secrets in the first book.

But I went to breakfast in Cedar Rapids with a bunch of SCBWI members on Saturday, and somebody there made an off-hand comment that sparked a new idea. So I started shaping that idea when I was writing Saturday night. And then yesterday, in the Iowa City library, that new idea led me to a new secret. It’s not as big of a secret as the original, but it’s still pretty big. I actually got goosebumps when I discovered that new secret.

And it never would have happened if I hadn’t gone to breakfast in Cedar Rapids.

That just goes to show how important it is to actually GET OUT OF THE HOUSE and be around other people now and then. When I first started writing as a young mom, and was home with small children, I rarely ventured out. I wasn’t one of those moms who joined play groups and hung out with all the other stay-at-home moms. Every moment I wasn’t busy with my kids, I was writing. I was so focused on “being a writer” and getting published (and of course, my kids, too), that I didn’t think there was room for much else in my life.

I’m not like that any more. I’m out socializing all the time now (sometimes I wonder if I socialize a little too much?)…and all that socializing actually helps with the writing.


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