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How to be a Writer – One Shuffly Step at a Time by Lani Wendt Young
Title: Telesa – The Covenant Keeper
Author: Lani Wendt Young
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
When Leila moves to her new home, all she wants is a family, a place to belong. Instead she discovers the local ancient myths of the telesa spirit women are more than just scary stories. The more she finds out about her heritage, the more sinister her new home turns out to be. Embraced by a Covenant Sisterhood of earth's elemental guardians - what will Leila choose? Her fiery birthright as a telesa? Or will she choose the boy who offers her his heart? Daniel - stamped with the distinctive tattoo markings of a noble Pacific warrior and willing to risk everything for the chance to be with her. Can their love stand against the Covenant Keeper?
thriller-romance with a difference. If you enjoyed Twilight, then you will be
enthralled by Telesa as it blends the richness of Pacific mythology into a
contemporary young adult love story that will stay with you long after you have
turned the final page.
As a writer who writes too many different things all the time – I am often asked: “Where do you find the time and the drive to write? How do you overcome writer’s ‘block’?” Such questions are a puzzle to me and so my answer is 105km and 14 hrs long…
Two years ago, I had a crazy idea. I wanted to put together a women’s team and
run in a 105km relay that went around the main island of Samoa. It was crazy
because at the time I couldn’t even run around the car park without stopping to
gasp for breath. But I was determined. I convinced some other moms to be crazy with me and we started training.
For 5 days a week over three months, we would
meet at the crack of dawn to go for a 5k run. I use the term ‘run’ very loosely
since, at first, I did more of a shuffle, which then accelerated to become a
waddle, which then after a few weeks, became a jiggly, joggly sort of jog. Did
I enjoy it? Hell no. I hated every minute of it. Many times, I only went
because it was my turn to drive and pick the team up. Other times, I only went
because the rest of the team was honking their car horn outside, waiting to
pick me up.
But after 6 weeks, something strange
happened. (No, I didn’t transform into a stunning athletic muscle machine. I
wish.) I found myself waking up early on Saturday mornings…wanting to go for a
run, itching and edgy for a run. Huh? By Wk 9, I was going for a run TWICE A
DAY. And when I got the flu and couldn’t
train for a week? I was raving mad. As if someone had bought all the Diet Coke
on the island, leaving me with nothing but coconuts to drink. By the time the
Perimeter Relay came around, I was running twice a day, sometimes 6 days a
week. But more significantly, the running had become as essential to me as
eating. Sleeping. Brushing my teeth. I wouldn’t dream of going a work-day
without it. It took our team 14 hours to
complete the relay, running from 2am to 5pm the next afternoon. Many times
during that relay, I wanted to puke and die. But many times, I was also running
on an exhilarating high as I gloried in feeling like – I could run forever and never stop. My
Perimeter relay experience showed me that crazy, impossible dreams can become a
reality. One shuffly step at a time.
Writing is just like that. If you want to
BE a writer, you don’t ‘find time’ in your busy schedule to write. You make
time. You start with a goal. A crazy dream. ‘I want to write a romance. A best-selling thriller. A children’s book.
A memoir about my grandmother...’ You set aside a time and a place every
day that you are going to write. You start off small. Shuffling, waddling baby
steps to get you building the consistent writing habit. You write anything and
everything. Start a journal. A family newsletter. Write down those bedtime
stories you tell your kids. Record your family history. Write long, chatty
letters to friends. Start a blog AND THEN STICK TO IT.
The best thing I ever did for my writing
career was to start a blog – it forced me to assert and accept responsibility
for my writing. Your blog readers can be like that relay team of runners who force
you to stick to your crazy dream by bugging you every day for your latest piece
of writing. The team mates who will encourage and support you every step of the
way. Even when it’s your turn to run up the final peak of Le Mafa Pass and all
you want to do is sit down on the road and cry.
At first, it will be hard. You will
probably hate it. Complain. Whinge and whine looking for excuses NOT to write.
But if you keep at it, doggedly, persistently - you will hit that point where
you can’t imagine a day, a moment, without writing. When you’re not writing,
you will be thinking about it. If you have an unruly mob of children like me,
you will dread the weekends because it means less writing time. ( And don’t even
get me started on the horror of school holidays…aaargh!) You will write because
you feel like you will die if you don’t. You will write because you are a