Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Monday, March 22, 2010

In the Words of Miss Piggy: Go Moi!

Feeling Miss Piggy-ish today and full of moi, lit-life-speaking. Why? I finished a first draft of my Work In Progress this morning. I know, I've been saying that a lot, but this time it's TRUE. Now I get to my favorite part of this process: revision! This is what always makes me feel like a real writer. I have something tangible in my hands, and now I can get down to the bones of craft.

Yes, lots going on in my lit life today . . . After typing in my last word on WIP, I hopped on the subway to go downtown to meet my editor on EDGES for lunch. Margaret Ferguson and I hadn't seen each other in the flesh for a year. (The life of a writer is not constant contact with their editors (or agents), no matter how beloved they are. Unless everyone else is lying). She had suggested a restaurant called ALMOND, and I love getting out of my neighborhood and trying new things. I arrived on the early side, scooping a corner booth at this swank restaurant kitty-corner to the FlatIron Building where Margaret works.

It was dark. "Very romantic choice," I joked with Margaret when she came.

"Well," she sighed. "We all need a little romance." And we proceeded to have a wonderful time, talking about the ups and downs of the year, and dreams for the future.

Next up was meeting my Girls Write Now mentee Meg, at a Starbucks near you. We had said that we were going to work on our anthology pieces, but weren't in the mood. We promised each other we would get it done by Thursday, before Spring Break. I had my laptop with me, and the "bright" idea that since she's my mentee, I would subject her to my first draft, in all of its awfulness, so that she could see the first stage of a novel. I'm glad that we spent some time reading a few scenes together, because I realized that I didn't want to do that to her, no matter how flattering she was about my writing. I haven't even read it all through to see if it makes sense! I didn't want to burn her out, so I promised I would clean it up and show her more when it came to the second draft.

You would think that would be enough in the lit-life-day, wouldn't you? But capped it off by making my way up to Writopia to meet with a high school junior to work on her college essay. In the words of Miss Piggy: Go moi!


  1. Go you! Pull out the boa and kid gloves--you deserve 'em.

  2. Congrats on completing a draft. Having started 1,000,001 writing projects (and counting) and rarely completing an entire draft, I know how satisfied you must feel!

  3. Awwww - thanks guys! I'm getting ready to print it out and tear it to pieces! (Wearing a boa and kid gloves, of course!)

  4. Hi Lena,
    I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks back (probably from a search to do with Madeleine L'Engle). I, too, am a writer, and wanted to pipe up today to say thank you for sharing about where you are in the writing process. I'm working on my first novel (just made the switch from a number of years of doing academic writing), and needed to be encouraged that all the magic doesn't happen in the first draft. My favorite part of the academic/critical pieces was always that second (third, fourth, fifth) cull-through where I really got to synthesize and clarify, which is what I'm best at. It's encouraging to hear that that is the process with fiction, too, and that makes me want to work even harder to get through the (scary) first draft so I can go back and get to work on it in a different sort of exciting way. Thanks for being part of the writing community pushing me on in the right direction!
    ~ Rebecca

  5. P.S. I referred to what you mention above (first paragraph) in my blog post today and linked here. Do you mind? If you do, say so, and I'll remove it!

  6. Rebecca - just read your blog. I'm thrilled to be quoted! Thanks for making me feel even more like a writer-at-large today!

  7. yay for you and all the awesome things you do!!

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