I have been writing for a number of years. Sometimes it's horrifying to admit how long I've been writing with such s-l-o-w results. But I digress.
One of the most amazing things about my walk as a writer is all the other awesome writers I've met along the way. Some of them have become dear and precious friends like Diane Owens. We met in an online critique group some years ago (not even sure how long ago??). In an online critique group, a different writer submits his or her work every week, and the other members of the group critique it. It's kind of like bringing out your new baby and asking other people to tell you what is the matter with him or her. Really. You've spent nine months (or more) growing, developing, nurturing, agonizing over this thing. You screw up your courage and throw it out there, then BAM everyone tells you what's wrong with it. (because that's pretty much their JOB in a critique group) Of course, they also tell you what's right about it, but you don't always hear that part. Not at first.
One of the most amazing, persisting and creative writers I've worked with in a critique group is Diane Owens. I always looked forward to her turn to submit, and I enjoyed all her work. There are many, many ways to be a writer in this modern society. The big publishing houses are incredibly selective (which is good), often slow (which can be hard), and very, very difficult to break into. Believe me, I KNOW. Many people have become discouraged with that process. Some writers even feel that they want to focus on their writing and not worry about the business part of it. They want to share their work, connect with students and schools, and enjoy their craft.
Diane Owens is that writer. She loves her local fan base, her many student-writer-admirers at the school where she works, and young people everywhere who have connected with her online. Her book, SWEPT UP, is her latest work, and I can see why all the kids love it. I enjoyed the story and concept from the first critiqued chapter, so it is soooo exciting for me to see this book finally in print! I am so happy and thrilled for Diane to have her book out there, and I am even happier to see how many people are enjoying it. It is satisfying to see someone travel the full distance.
Now let me tell you about SWEPT UP. A group of students begin their day in their school gym. They plan to have one of those mock communities for a day. Profit Town, they called it. Each student in the sixth grade would have a role. For one day, they would see if they could hold a city together. At most schools, it's a lackluster learning experiment for the social studies department, but at their school, it goes horribly wrong or right? Somehow the 'experiment' becomes a true life fight for survival when the students are locked in the gym sans adults. Except for one creepy Janitor.
Check out SWEPT UP by Diane Owens. You might want to leave the door of the gym propped open from now on.....
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.