Saturday, June 27, 2009


So it is Saturday again already (somehow, whew). And around here that means Dub Day.

Petitions have been flying around here like monkeys this week. If we were in the Wizard of Oz that is, and if by petitions flying around I meant one petition was suggested on another blog in passing by none other than The Effeminator.

Not letting either of these minor details slow me down, I have waded through the waist-high Dub Day requests, threats, and bribes and come out with a proclamation.

I, the mostly honorable, sometimes charming, always argumentative, Benjamin James Watson, do hereby bestow on thee Holly Cupala, propagator of young adult fiction, key cog in the readergirlz diva machine, author of soon-to-be-released debut YA hit Novel Tell Me A Secret, and who with her dashing hubby just took New York City by storm with their fashion and verve, a binding literary title. With great flourish and sacred oaths,



Consider this your ball as we, your early fans, present you to society. You are officially... ON YOUR WAY! We expect to see you gracing the covers of all children's book fashion and bestseller lists forthwith. Adieu and bon chance.

And to all those sending your requests, petitions, suggestions, threats, and especially bribes...
Please keep sending them. (this means you Effeminator and anyone else in need of a good dubbing)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to unstick

This is a sketch I did of my "cover" for the novel I'm working on. I drew it on my small metal dry-erase board a long time ago. I doubt this is the title.

So what do you do when you get stuck?
When that story grinds to a halt and something is just holding the whole bloody thing up?

Well for me, I was pretty much stuck about three or four weeks ago. I knew where I wanted to go and I had some early scenes that worked for me. But the transition from an overly polished chapter to a completely rough scene had me hooped (Canadian expression for... screwed).

I just couldn't get my mind wrapped around a stupid transition from a flashback to an important plot point that basically provides my main character's entire motivation for everything that comes after.

Welcome paradigm shift. I call her Amy. Or my wife. Or muffin ass (term of endearment in our family). She realized I was SCHTUCK so she prepared a picnic and told me to bring my writing stuff. (See moleskin notebooks and pens)

After going to the dog park to wear Linus out (Coming Attraction: dog park post!), we drove around and tried to decide where my muse was hiding out (if she survived, see blog title). I remembered seeing this spot off of Dallas Road.

It's a spit of land that juts out into the Puget Sound (facing south toward Port Townsend that you can see on a clear day, including the steam from the paper mill).

At the end, there is a worn wooden lounge chair all by itself. Which is just the kind of place my muse wanders off to relax.

What a cool family I have. I love my wife. What a babe. And awesome writing coach.

Me and my dog.

Here's the view from our working lunch (our legs are slightly less white now but not much).

And Linus' semi-private swimming hole.

Care for a chip and salsa?

Amy asked me lots of questions about my story, which at first I bristled at and felt like I was wasting my time, until I got over myself and then suddenly it clicked. Amy had asked why I didn't just separate my flashback from the rest of my story's timeline. I may not be explaining it well at all, but something clicked and my block was gone. Amy kept asking questions and wrote down everything. This was one of those awesome feelings you get as a writer where ideas come too fast to get down.

Linus curious if I'll fall in or not.

Linus... Official stick rescuer.

And apparently kelp retriever as well.


So thanks to Amy I wrangled my muse here, just off Dallas Road in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada.

If you can't find your muse. I recommend checking this lounge chair.