December 2013 Update!

December 2013 Update!

Presenting our 2012 Christmas Cats (L-R) Beethoven, Oreo & Charlotte! They're still mad at us for this!

It’s NEVER too early to start dressing up your cats for the 2013 Holiday Season. 🙂

Hi! I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah holiday. I had fun traveling back east to visit family. Now it’s December. And you know what that means… dressing up my cats Oreo, Beethoven & Charlotte in Santa hats! 🙂 (Warning: Stay tuned for a future post featuring 2013 photos of my cats in hats! LOL!)

Some updates on how my year has been going! (Keep reading after the jump for more news!)

TV UPDATE: I’ve been involved in some fun TV development projects and staffing meetings that have taught me so much about the craft of pitching and writing TV spec pilot scripts. More on that in a future blog!

BOOKS UPDATE: Special thanks to writer V.T. Bidania for hosting a fun author interview with me and fellow YA/kid lit authors I.W. Gregorio and Stacey Lee. (Click on their names to read their Q&A interviews). My interview is here: For more info on V.T. Bidania and her awesome website, go here: 

As for my latest book projects, I have one middle grade novel out on submission. It’s a very risky novel – it’s written in a totally different voice than my debut YA novel GOOD ENOUGH. I’m very proud of this novel but I’m very aware that it’s a risky move because it’s extremely literary and can be characterized as “quiet.” I hope it finds a home one day. I don’t regret taking this risk because I believe that writing = passion. You should NEVER write for the market – you should write from your HEART. Of course you should be aware and mindful of the marketplace and the business of the publishing industry, but I think in the long run, writing from your heart and NOT chasing the market is the best thing you can do on your journey as a writer. Remember, writing books is NOT a sprint… it’s a marathon. Patience is so important in this business, along with persistence and passion.

I also wrote a chapter book that I’m very proud of, although the market for chapter books is also very dicey. We’ll see what happens with this other passion project of mine. 🙂 I even tried writing my first “Easy Reader” manuscript… and let me tell you something, there is NOTHING “easy” about writing these books!

I also used this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to finish another middle grade novel first draft. I did complete it! So December will be Revision month as I take these very rough 50,000 words and polish them until they shine!

Here’s a graph of my NaNoWriMo writing progress… you’ll see that I wrote very diligently every single day:

I wrote 50,000 words of my latest middle grade novel for NaNoWriMo 2013!

I wrote 50,000 words of my latest middle grade novel for NaNoWriMo 2013!

And here I am with my NaNoWriMo winner’s certificate! 🙂

I "won" NaNoWriMo 2013! Yay! :)

I “won” NaNoWriMo 2013! Yay! 🙂

I also have an adult novel-in-progress that I hope to finish early next year after I finish revisions to my NaNoWriMo middle grade novel project. I’m very excited about this project because it also was a finalist (short list) for the Faulkner Wisdom Writing competition. And another passion project down the line also includes my first attempt at YA novel in verse. The writing. never. ENDS. 🙂

In terms of WORD COUNT, I am obsessed with counting words in my manuscripts. I recently discovered this FABULOUS app for word counting. I downloaded it for my MacBook Pro laptop. I could not love this app enough! I HIGHLY recommend it. Here’s the link:

Speaking of NANOWRIMO, don’t forget my own viral event, NAPIBOWRIWEE (National Picture Book Writing Week) will take place this May 1-7, 2014. For more info go here:

And for fun Christmas/Holiday gifts, why not shop around at our store for some gift souvenirs for aspiring writers? Go here for our store link:

MUSIC UPDATE: The holiday season also means lots of Xmas gigs. I’ll be playing again at the annual MADRIGAL FEAST at Chapman University on December 12, 13, and 14, 2013. It’s a really fun gig featuring talented singers from Mater Dei High School and a full orchestra. The singers wear Renaissance costumes and sing everything from classical requiems to Christmas songs and holiday favorites as well as of course madrigals. There’s also a handbell choir that I love watching, too. For tickets and more information, please go here:


Please let me know how your holiday season is going and what your writing goals are for what remains of this year. I’ll post a future blog of our annual XMAS IN VEGAS trip (woo hoo!) and of course pictures of my cats (Oreo, Beethoven & Charlotte) in their annual Santa hats.

Until the next blog, remember… HAPPY WRITING! WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT! 🙂

2 Responses

  1. Vong says:

    Thanks for being on my blog, Paula! Your books are so great and your interview was educational and entertaining. Thank you for your support! You rock!!

    • paulayoo says:

      Thank YOU! You asked great questions (fantastic journalism background) and I was honored to be included. Keep up the good work and keep me posted on your own writing, too! xo P.

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