Silence in the Writing Lair

March 8, 2010

The Boy and I decided we were going to do a writing retreat this weekend. We had use of a house that we don’t usually have access to. FOR FREE. A big, beautiful, perfect house with lots of rooms and wifi and awesomeness.

So on Saturday morning we packed up our things and hit the road. We arrived at the writing lair at around eleven, and immediately got to work. We worked until around one, then broke for lunch.

“Isn’t this so fun?” we said. “We are going to get so much done, we love the writing lair!”

We ordered Chinese, because the Chinese place near the writing lair is THE BEST. Seriously, we had been looking forward to it all week. After lunch, we decided to nap for like an hour, then get up and start working again.

We napped. We started working again. At around six or so, we started heating up our leftover Chinese food for dinner. And while I was eating my wonton soup, I realized that… it was really quiet at the writing lair.

Like, really, really quiet.

No TV.

No guinea pigs squeaking in the corner.

No neighbors upstairs who make really weird banging noises every single night.

No one buzzing because they are drunk and looking for a different apartment. (That’s never happened, actually. The drunk part, I mean. As far as I know. But it could.)

In fact, in the writing lair, I could hear the clink of my spoon as it hit the bowl. That was the only sound in the whole place.

“Do you hear that?” I asked The Boy. “My spoon is ECHOING THROUGH THE WRITING LAIR!”

For some reason, this was disturbing. We looked around. The place seemed suddenly…dark. And, like, very much in the middle of nowhere.

“Maybe we should just write for a little longer and then go home tonight,” The Boy said. “Then we could get an early start on writing at home tomorrow. I think I’m allergic to something in here anyway.”

“Isn’t that kind of a waste of the writing lair?” I asked, hoping he would say no.

“No,” he said.

So we stared at our screens for a little longer. But it was no use. The place was TOO QUIET. We should have put music on, but it was too late. Frankly, we were slightly creeped out.

So we left. We’d only lasted eight hours. But at least we did get SOME writing done, and we had excellent Chinese food and an okay nap.

It’s not that I can’t write in silence. (Okay, maybe I can’t. Maybe I need at least SOME kind of noise.) But it was more like once I became aware of the silence, I couldn’t get it out of my head.

I might be crazy.

How about you guys? Do you do better writing in silence or do you need noise? Anything else you must have to write?

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Posted by Lauren @ 9:13 am | 4 Comments  

Welcome, Hailey Twitch!

February 18, 2010

Coming May 1st, 2010…..

This is my first chapter book. It’s also my first series. It’s about a seven-year-old girl who gets a magic sprite that causes all sorts of crazy trouble.

This is what it says on the Barnes and Noble website:

Featuring a seven year-old mastermind who tries really hard not to blame her imaginary friend for getting her into heaps of delicious trouble, Lauren Barnholdt’s new series is both hilarious and heart-warming. Watch out Ramona, Judy, and the rest, Hailey Twitch is coming soon!

I can’t believe it’s going to be out in just a couple of months! This book went through soo many drafts before it sold, I can’t even tell you. It actually started out being a book about ballet, and now the book has absolutely nothing to do with ballet, which is kind of funny. (But maybe not so funny when I was writing drafts ten through fifteen.)

This is the book that I submitted to my agent when she first signed me. It was right after TWO-WAY STREET came out — I was switching agents then, and sort of in flux, so this book is really close to my heart. It was the first book we submitted together, even though it wasn’t the first book we sold.

I love Hailey, I loved writing all the drafts , and I hope other people end up loving her too…

Posted by Lauren @ 8:43 am | 5 Comments  

Why Being A Writer Is Better Than Being An Olympian

February 16, 2010

We have been watching The Olympics non-stop! I can’t get enough! It doesn’t even matter what event it is, or if I don’t know any of the athletes. It’s just FUN and exciting. It also makes being a writer seem very easy in comparison.

Reasons that being a writer is better than being an Olympian:

1. You can be warm while writing books. In fact, I would suggest a nice pair of cozy yoga pants and some comfy socks. Maybe even a space heater. And I guess, if you absolutely must, you could wear one of these:

BUT ONLY IF YOU MUST, because honestly they are pretty dorky.

2. You don’t have to worry about staying skinny so that you can be hoisted over someone’s head. Have you seen those figure skaters?! They are tiny and petite and their partners hoist them up like they are feathers! With one hand sometimes even! That’s crazy! Luckily, if you are a writer, no one really wants to pick you up and twirl you around. At least, I’ve never encountered it. So feel free to eat these:

(But not too many. You don’t want to scream when you get your author photos done.)

3. You have more than one chance to go after your dream. At the Olympics, your chance might come down to ONE MOMENT. One moment that comes around EVERY FOUR YEARS. What if you get nervous and slip? What if you feel sick that day? With writing, you can just write another book, or revise the one you have. In the Olympics there is no such thing as revision! *SCREAM*

4. In writing, you are only competing with yourself
. This is good for lots of reasons. It means there are enough dreams to go around for everyone! If you sell your book, it doesn’t mean that your friend can’t! Yay! *throws sparkles*

5. Writing doesn’t have TV cameras
.   Yes, rejections hurt. You might scream and cry and maybe even swear. But you won’t have to do it with THE ENTIRE WORLD WATCHING. You will not have a big camera in your face, taunting you. You can cry in private.

Of course, the reason I probably like watching The Olympics so much is That Moment. You know the one I’m talking about. The moment where everything you’ve worked for comes together, and you’ve got that medal or book deal or agent request or new galley. The moment that you’ve been working toward, waiting for, hoping for…the moment that makes it all worth it. No matter what your dream.

More later,

Posted by Lauren @ 8:27 am | 3 Comments  

Jonas Forever And The Jersey Shore!

February 10, 2010

I was talking on the phone with my sister this morning and I asked her what I should blog about. She said the Jonas Brothers. (Also, just fyi, she’s twenty-two. Not that I’m judging. I mean, I’m still mourning the Nick/Jessica break-up.)

Anyway, it is ridiculous to ask me to blog about the Jonas Brothers, since here is all I know about them:

1. There are three of them.

1a. They apparently sometimes all wear sunglasses.

2. They wear purity rings. (I do believe they are pure, but see #3.)

3. One of them, Kevin, is married. (I knew one of them was married, but I didn’t know which one until this morning when I asked my sister. Also like I said, I believe they are pure, but I also believe the purity ring really, ah, motivated this marriage, if you get my drift. I think the other two will follow suit and get married asap.)

4. There is a whole contingent of people who want Joe Jonas to get together with Demi Lovato. They call this pairing “Jemi” and people will be like, ‘ZOMG, JEMI FOREVER!”

Jemi Forever

5. There was a very big scandal involving Demi Lovato’s mom leaking something about how supposedly Jemi really is together, but they keep it a secret. (Not sure why, but I suspect the purity ring might have SOMETHING to do with it?)

6. One of them (Nick?) has a solo album. (My sister insists this is a side project, but I say he’s pulling a JT.)

Wow. It turns out I actually know more about the Jonas Brothers than I thought. That’s kind of embarrassing, actually. (But not too bad because I write for tweens, and need to keep on top of this stuff.)

Anyway, I guess I should maybe get back to work. There is no snow here in Boston so far, which is very disappointing. I went out last night and stocked up on food and everything. Sigh.

At least I still have The Jersey Shore marathon that I DVR’d to keep me company. Talk about embarrassing! Although to my credit, I DID resist watching it for a very long time. But no one told me it is kind of just like THE REAL WORLD only in Jersey! I thought it was more like The Hills, where they would show people who actually live on the Jersey Shore, instead of just putting a bunch of strangers in a house together.

I like this much better. Already there has been a love triangle, a girl getting punched, a love story complete with crying and meeting the parents, and of course lots of scandals in the hot tub.

But of course, I am going to work first, watch later. La, la, la…

Posted by Lauren @ 1:30 pm | 4 Comments  

But I *NEVER* Have Plans..

February 5, 2010

So it turns out the Lauren Conrad signing is tonight, not last night as I had previously thought! Unfortunately, I have plans tonight. Also, just so you know, this never happens. That I have plans two nights in a row. Like, I go out and do things a lot (well, sort of) , but it’s never a plan. It’s mostly just like, “Oh, wow, it’s 8:30, we should go for Mexican food!” or “ZOMG, did you see the preview for that movie, let’s go see it right this instant!”

This sounds spontaneous and fun, but really we’re just too lazy to make plans.

So anyway, I won’t be going. Which is sad, but honestly, I probably would have been the oldest person there, and what would I have said to LC? Probably nothing. I would have been too nervous that she’d be judging my outfit. (Although I’ve actually heard she’s really nice in person. But maybe that’s because she silently judges?)

I would have a lot I would have wanted to ask her, though, like how she feels about The Hills being really dumb now that Kristin is the star (probably she likes it) and what she thinks about Heidi getting like five hundred surgeries in two hours (probably she thinks it’s crazy!)

In other news, I just sent a proposal for an adult romance to my agent. And by adult, I mean, not YA or tween. (Nothing too scandalous, content-wise.) It was soo different writing it, since it was in third person (not something I’ve ever done before), and I really had to make sure I didn’t slip into the teen/tween voice, which is something I struggle with. It’s just so natural to me.

What about you guys? Have you ever written something different than what you’re used to? Why did you do it and what did you struggle with?

More later,

Posted by Lauren @ 10:06 am | 2 Comments