Tag Archives: writing journey

Awkward Writer Moments

A conversation that played out in my head after a full day of researching medical information for Novel #2:

Me:  What happened to your arm?

Girl with Arm in Sling:  I broke it.

Me:  Dang.  I was hoping you’d been stabbed.


…I think Awkward Writer Moments needs to be a thing.  God knows I have enough of them.

Cara Kennaway


Day 2: Umbra

The Word of the Day is



  1. shade; shadow.

  2. the invariable or characteristic accompaniment or companion of a person or thing.

  3. Astronomy.

    1. the complete or perfect shadow of an opaque body, as a planet, where the direct light from the source of illumination is completely cut off.
    2. the dark central portion of a sunspot.
  4. a phantom or shadowy apparition, as of someone or something not physically present; ghost; spectral image

Continue reading Day 2: Umbra

A Project—And Its Beginning

Normally, I confess, an idea for a Project would inspire me to plan for two days—or weeks, depending on the enormity of such a project.  I would certainly give you more than a few hours’ notice before asking if you wanted to join me in such a Project.  Unfortunately for all involved, this particular idea only occurred to me this morning, and I thought it most suited to this month given the brevity of February and that I will be celebrating seven years of Writership tomorrow thanks to a similar Project.

Every day for the month of February, I (and anyone who cares to join me) will be writing Something for ten to fifteen minutes.  This Something will have only two requirements: it must be fictional prose, and it must in some way include whatever the Dictionary.com Word of the Day is—preferably within the first sentence.  Beyond that, it can be anything: a story, a bit of description, a character sketch.

If you care to join me, post your creation in the comments each day.  There will be no big prize at the end; there is no incentive, except to have a way to consistently write without having to undertake a big project.  Take it or leave it. Continue reading A Project—And Its Beginning

More Very Cheerful Tidings

Sorry for the wait, all.  Unfortunately, my life went a bit haywire about a month ago, and all my free time has gone into finishing Novel #2.  However, I now present you with even more Very Cheerful Tidings:

I have finished my final edit of Novel #2!  It’s out in the world, staying with my friends and family, and I don’t have to think about it again until the beginning of December!  On to Novel #3 and regularly scheduled blog posts!  Hooray!!!

Go raibh maith agaibh, a chairde—

Cara Kennaway

Another Milestone, or Very Cheerful Tidings

So, it’s been a while.  Again.  And this is going to be short.  Sorry about that.

Maybe I can appease you with the good news that, a) this is not another grammar rant, and b) I come bearing Very Cheerful Tidings.

Very Cheerful Tidings Exhibit I:  I have finished this edit of Novel #2!

Very Cheerful Tidings Exhibit II:  I have exactly one run-through left of Novel #2, in which I shall conduct a final grammar check.  After that, I will endeavor to gain constructive criticism from mine peers.  Then—to querying!

Very Cheerful Tidings Exhibit III:  …Actually, I don’t have a third Exhibit.  I just wanted one.  So there.

Thus concludes this Brief Message Bearing Very Cheerful Tidings.

Cara Kennaway


Editing: The Adventure Begins

...The EndLast night, at approximately 5:30 PM, something momentous happened: I finished rewriting Novel #2 with a final tally (for this draft, at least) of 67,841 words.

Allow me to translate this into Excited  Teenage Girl for a moment:


Continue reading Editing: The Adventure Begins

A Quick Note on Word Counts

fireworksANNOUNCEMENT: I have officially reached and exceeded my minimum word count in Novel #2.  Miss Agent informed me that Young Adult novels should not be below 60,000 words, with fantasy novels easily reaching the 80,000-90,000 word count-range.  As of May 6th at about 6pm, I have 61,026 words.

So, I still have nine chapters to rewrite, plus an epilogue, and by that time I should have a nice cushion for when it’s time to edit.  Twice.  And then send to friends for critique.  And then edit again.

After that, I can probably query.  Maybe.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate with internet chocolate and virtual fireworks.  Woohoo!

Cara Kennaway

An Update

So, I started my new book (henceforth known as Novel #3) two weeks ago Monday.  I have 21 pages, 5581 words, and am well into my second chapter.  I love it.  It’s going slower than I’m used to, but the fact of the matter is that my protagonist is just…well, she’s quiet.  She doesn’t much like to talk to me, but when she does, I can tell that what I write is really, really good.  Even the first draft.

Continue reading An Update

Queries, Rejections, and the Rebirth

crazed writerBig news, Nerds: I officially sent the first query letter for my novel yesterday.  It was a pretty good letter, if I may say.

I got my first rejection this morning.  So.  There’s that.

…Is it weird that I’m actually sort of excited to have gotten that rejection?  See, the thing is, it wasn’t a form letter, it wasn’t rude, and the lady was actually…very nice.

She responded in less than twelve hours.  She started out saying that she was impressed and that I had clear talent.  She told me exactly why she rejected my book.  She was nice, and approachable, and her advice is exactly what I needed to hear to further improve my book.  I have ideas of where to go.

Continue reading Queries, Rejections, and the Rebirth

My Writing Journey

typewriter keysBeginning a novel is like following a path without knowing where it leads, following a guide you only half-trust.  A guide who has promised to show you the worst moments of her life so that you might create your own bittersweet Eden.

Five years ago today, I discovered this for the first time.

I didn’t know it was a novel, at the time.  I didn’t know it was anything more than a paragraph for a school challenge.

I was in fifth grade at the time.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up.  I didn’t particularly like to write.  I liked books, but writing them was this elusive secret, this…magic.  A magic I didn’t really like to contemplate; one I never imagined I’d take part in.

But my teacher asked everyone to write a paragraph a day for the month of February, and on the 2nd of February, 2010, I began the irreversible journey towards writerhood.

I never edited that novel.  I never even named it.  But for two years, it was my life, especially after my dad told me I could probably publish it.

Maybe one day I’ll rewrite that novel.  From scratch.  Scrap the whole thing, start over.  That’ll be after I’ve gotten this second one published, maybe after I’ve written another couple; God knows I’ve got enough ideas.

‘Til then, it’s the collection of words that made me a writer.  That gave me a place to go with my life.

And that’s pretty darn special for five notebooks collecting dust in a drawer, now ain’t it?

Cara Kennaway sig