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How are we in month three of Bootcamp already? I truly don’t know where the spring has gone. That said, the weather keeps getting nicer and nicer, so I definitely don’t want to go back in time (or temperature). Plus, I’m still making great forward progress on my first draft of EVERYTHING’S BEAUTIFUL, and I don’t want to lose momentum in the slightest!


So what’s the current status?

Last week I moved forward another three chapters. The manuscript total is now 58,500 words! I have another four to six chapters to go (one of which is written but needs revision), so I think I will end up with a 65-70K final word count. Right on target! Beyond that, I’m excited to be on track to finish my draft this month, as I’d hoped. Woohoo!

This past weekend, I was at the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in Springfield, MA. I’ll cover the amazing conference in a separate post later this week, but I did want to say that it was fun to go to a conference while in the throes of a first draft. I was able to apply a lot of the in-session writing exercises we did to EVERYTHING’S BEAUTIFUL. I figured out some key character details I want to add during revisions. Plus, remember last week, when I mentioned my ongoing struggle to find a balance between my personal experiences as a teen in the ballet world and my character’s separate journey? I attended a great workshop yesterday on how to draw from your real life experiences and personal history in your fiction, and I can’t wait to put the tips Karen Day shared with us into practice in my manuscript.

This week I am going to write, write, write—before I head out of town on Friday for all of my family travels. Wish me luck!

Oh, and don’t forget to send good vibes to the rest of Team Mazama as we head into the Bootcamp home stretch. The YA Bucklers are: Kate Scott, Emma L. Adams, Winter Bayne, Angel Leigh, Riley Darkes, and Tonette de la Luna.