Monday, August 11, 2008

Writing by the Sea

Hello from the Rock! I’m sitting at my writing desk overlooking a spectacular view of the ocean. A winding road lined with wildflowers leads to the lighthouse, my daily walk.

Last year I bought a little cottage beside the sea in my beloved Newfoundland, so I could work here for part of the year. Now I’m halfway through my second summer and I have to pinch myself every day to make sure I’m not dreaming. Yes, it’s that much fun! I’ve been fixing up my house, painting it yellow and blue, baking bread and hobnobbing with my friendly neighbours.

In fact, it’s so much fun that I have to give myself a stern lecture every day, right after I pinch myself: Charis, get to work! I open up my e-mail and look at the art for A World Full of Ghosts, coming out next winter. Yikes! Marc Mongeau has created a series of spooky but hilarious illustrations. I’d like to pore over the details for an hour or two but I have to get on with my writing.

Today I want to finish the chapter about Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time) for my book about children’s authors. It’s tough going: I always find the first chapter the hardest to write, as I find my way into the book.

Every so often, searching for just the right word or phrase, I look up from my computer. The ocean is still there, stretching away to the horizon. I take a deep breath, pinch myself again, and then turn my thoughts back to Madeleine L’Engle, tesseracts and time travel.

Author of Kids Who Rule, Wonder Kids, and forthcoming A World Full of Ghosts

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