Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Do What You Want

The exciting thing about stories is that I get to go back and make them better.  In chapter five of the Y/A book I'm working on, Seamus gets caught by the NOW guards. Originally, it was just that he had been recognized by a guard.  But then I thought, well, that's boring.  That could happen to anyone.  But what if he...oh, I can't ruin the surprise of what he does to get caught, but it is more exciting and adds more tension than simply being recognized.

Until this story is published, I am able to change whatever I want.  Wouldn't it be lovely to have that ability in real life?  When a great comeback to a stupid joke comes after you've left the room, if you could do a rewind, then return with the smart reply that leaves your friends in laughter?  I know this is not a new idea, but it is a grand one.

Being a writer allows me to do revisions until the story is to my liking. I get to read it out loud, share with friends and critique buddies, create new outcomes or delete what does not work.  It is my creation, up for changing at the whim of my thoughts.

Then once the story is published, and I see what I would like to change, I can use what I've learned in the next story.  When I see that more setting, stronger character development, better timing, thicker plot, anything that could be improved, I can take those issues with me to the next story--always seeking to do better.

Just as my youngest son has told me, 'it's your story, Mom, you can do whatever you want'.

Heather Leigh

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hope > Fear

This post is not about writing.  It is a thought I had last night. The news stations post, for the most part, negative, fear-based situations.  They talk of people doing bad things, violence, scandals, all of the shadows that creep and lurk around us.  Their emphasis on the fears of life portrays the assumption that this is what their watchers are most drawn to--negativity.

But when I log onto my facebook, I am bombarded with inspirational messages from my aunt, a niece raising money for her school library, silly cat videos that bring me laughter, heartwarming stories of kids letting a mentally challenge schoolmate get in the final point for a game, all kinds of positive stuff.  I also get petitions to sign to let the government know what I want for the health of our country, children and myself.  And I love watching babies grow up of friends that live far away.

It is my belief that the television media is telling us that we love to listen to negative stories--that that is what sells.

But the organically grown, personal messages I get is that the love, hope and positive side of life is what we are really yearning for.  Beautiful connections that support a world community.

Hope is better than fear any way you can get it.

Heather Leigh

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Results Are In

Over five thousand people have purchased Hey Little Baby, and that's from the statement that finished September 2013!  Wow!  Thank you, thank you, and thank you to every parent, grandparent, baby shower guest and caregiver who went out and bought my book for some beautiful baby!  It sure feels good to have written something that people want to buy.

I hope in reading it, parents gain a fresh perspective on the beauty of their child.  Perhaps taking a moment to recognize the newness of everything for a baby can help the reader become aware of both what their baby is experiencing, and that there are still new things for them to experience as well.  And then, go forward with the awareness of your new found discovery.  What will you do now that you found out you can...?

There is always something new to discover in the world

Heather Leigh

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Working on a sequel means delicately spooning in details that explain what happened in the previous story while keeping the present plot rolling.  Somehow I am reminded of the year we spent owning and operating a bakery in Costa Rica. We had to keep the daily favorites for the locals while coming out with new goodies to keep them coming back for a second treat.  Fresh, new ideas and the comforting standards at the same time. It was fun, but a lot of work.

Luckily, I was recently approached by a friend of a friend who wants to exchange critiquing. As she hadn't read the first Emily novel, Red Nectar, her questions about what was going on in the first chapter told me what I need to address right away--without bogging down the story!  Feels like reworking a jigsaw puzzle with added pieces.

While working on the sequel to Red Nectar, I am also working on the companion book to Hey Little Baby, this one will be named Toddler Season.  That has been in the works for two years. (Somehow writing a story in less than 200 words is far more difficult than a novel, at least for me.  But that is another story.)  I have been attempting to capture the magic of HLB like fairy dust, and sprinkle it onto the words needed to bring TS to life--but a life of it's own.

My personal hope and goal for this next story, is that my writing skills are improving from having a first y/a book undertaken and conquered.  I just wish the whole sequel aspect of it were a little easier.

Heather Leigh