Not so memorable, but better than “Exit, pursued by a bear”.
I have ambitious writing goals this year, which include completing the final editing stages of my current project, writing a first draft of my historical epic, and starting a YA novel that draws on memories of growing up in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma project will be a shift for me: it’s set in the world we know, using first person narrative. It’ll take place in the late 50s or early 60s, when home computers were but a glint in some hardware designer’s eye, and portable phones the stuff of TV sitcoms. Those devices, although so convenient these days, make it impossible for anyone to get lost, fall out of touch with other characters, or spend time alone. I need my characters to be truly on their own, and there’s nothing so lonely as a small town in the middle of the 20th century, in the middle of nowhere.
Yet I have no plans for a dark or frightening plot. It will be a YA comedy. Male protagonist, about 14 years old, raised by his mother, who likes to travel. Quirky local characters. A love interest — possibly two. Probably a fight scene.
In addition to all this writing, I have a new course to plan and teach: “The Child and Adolescent in American Fiction.” The reading list is not as ambitious as last spring’s YA lit course, for which we read 30 books. Also, replacing the fantasy genre are articles by Piaget, Erikson, Bettelheim, and other psychologists and child development experts. This may not seem like a fair trade-off, yet it does leave plenty of ‘scope for imagination’, as Anne Shirley would say. Keep an eye on my ReadersAreLeaders2014 blog for posts about the books and class discussions.
To all my readers here and elsewhere: Best wishes for a year full of good cheer, success in all your endeavors and, of course, nothing but excellent books.