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Joy Today: My book becomes a semifinalist for ScreenCraft’s Cinematic Book Competition

My book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, made it into the semifinals of the Cinematic Book Competition with ScreenCraft. I’m ecstatic! One step closer to the possibility of Emerson Page going from page to screen. A million thanks to all of you cheering us on! Grab a copy of the book here: https://emersonpage.com/shop/

There were over 1,200 books submitted and we’re now a field of 128 books. This is such an incredible honor to make it this far and I’m over the moon about it. Congrats to all of the semifinalists. More news soon!

Joy Today: American Eden and a NYC secret

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 8.50.31 PMDid you know that Rockefeller Center now rises on a plot of land in the middle of Manhattan that once served as the site of the country’s first public botanical garden? I had no idea about this New York City secret until yesterday when I listened to an episode of the Science Friday podcast.

Author Victoria Johnson wrote about it in her gorgeous book, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic. New York City will never stop amazing me because there will always be new stories to discover here, histories and achievements and inspirations literally buried underground, waiting to be unearthed by a curious soul.  What a joy! What a gift!

A Year of Yes: Get my novel for $0.99 on Kindle!

It’s cold & rainy today – perfect weather for diving into a new book and online shopping for gifts. My wonderful publisher, Possibilities Publishing Company, is running a limited sale on my Emerson Page Kindle book on Amazon.com. All that adventure under & through NYC for just $0.99! Sale ends January 3rd!

Emerson Holiday Promo

A Year of Yes: How I solve plot line problems when writing a book

When people ask me if I have a writing partner, I say yes. And its name is sleep. They laugh even though I’m very serious.

When writing books, you must plant seeds early in the story that won’t take root until much later. Like a thoroughly knotted necklace chain, these seeds and how they come to life can be incredibly gnarly problems to untangle. Some seem completely impossible.

Whenever I hit a snag, I try to write my way through it or I make lists of solutions. Most of the time neither of these two actions work.

Then I’ll try research. That doesn’t usually provide a solution to my plot challenge at-hand either though it often leads me to interesting discoveries that I use elsewhere in the book.

You know what really helps? Going to sleep and not thinking about the problem. I go to sleep imagining myself in one of three scenarios: diving off a cliff in the Grand Canyon and flying instead of falling, swimming up to a whale in the deep sea (for years this whale has shown up in my dreams whenever I’m feeling particularly in need of comfort), or scuba diving through a kelp forest meeting all kinds of friendly sea creatures.

This happened to me last night (and it was the kelp forest for the win!) I’ve had a looming problem in my second Emerson Page book that I just couldn’t solve. It’s actually THE looming problem: the explanation of the key action that drives Emerson’s entire journey in the second book which leads to the basis for the third, and final, book in the series. It’s been a frustrating problem to solve because none of the resolutions I wrote felt right nor good enough because honestly, they were all terrible.

I woke up much too early this morning. Looking at the ceiling, there was the answer seated comfortably in my mind as if it had been there the whole time just waiting for me to see it. It was so much simpler than I realized. I wrote it down in three short paragraphs in the early light of morning just now.

The relief I feel this morning is immense, like dropping a heavy weight that’s been on my shoulders for years. It’s like solving a terrible problem in a relationship that’s prevented the relationship from moving forward. Finally lifted when I least expected it, I can just get back to the joy of living in this world I made and writing my way through it.

A Year of Yes: Fan mail from a young reader filled my heart

Today my heart’s so full it’s going to burst. I just got this fan letter and art from 10-yr-old Evie, 1 of my young readers. She addressed it to Emerson Page, my book’s heroine. I’m cry-smiling so much my face hurts.

She said the book “was very well written, with good use of figurative language and action packed. Thank you for your memoir of adventure, friendship, and around every corner was a surprise.” I am overjoyed because Evie is exactly the reader I wrote this book for.

I met her dad thanks to the Ologies Podcast FB group. He said that he believes in providing books with strong female characters for Evie to read so how could we not be immediate pals?!

This is the stuff of my dreams as a writer. You better believe I’m saving this letter, framing this art, and replying to this enthusiastic young woman who is articulate, and by the way, has gorgeous hand-writing and mad art skills. 😊😭😍

A Year of Yes: What I Love Best About Writing a Novel

I am a meticulous outliner, especially when it comes to my fiction writing. Still, you know what I love best about the practice of writing fiction? I never quite know what will be on the page when I’m done with any single block of work. I sit down and I think I know exactly where I’m going. Then, my characters will do something or say something I never expected. A stranger will arrive. A discovery will be made. I’m living this story in the moment with my characters, and I feel lucky to be along for the ride. 

A Year of Yes: Restarted my monthly newsletter to share good news and inspire you

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 9.19.26 AMGood morning and happy Friday! In an attempt to bring some good news into the world, I restarted my monthly newsletter. It talks about what I’m doing, where I’m going, and how I’m staying inspired with links to books, podcasts, and products that I’m currently enjoying / learning from. Check it out here and if you’d like to subscribe, there’s a little “Subscribe” button in the upper left-hand corner. https://mailchi.mp/18a…/more-good-news-from-christa-avampato

This month’s news includes: books, storytelling, dinosaurs, my trip to Iceland, fossils, mental health, the healing power of writing, and tours of secret NYC places.

You can also find the links to all newsletters going forward here: https://christaavampato.com/subscribe-to-my-newsletter/

A Year of Yes: Happy book birthday to Emerson Page

Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 9.15.58 AMOne year ago today, I became an author. Thank you so much for all of the love and support during this entire process. It took me 8 years to bring Emerson to life and share her with the world, and her story both saved and changed my life in ways I never even imagined were possible. Happy birthday to my bold, brave girl, Emerson Page. Thank you for letting in the light.

Next stop: Emerson and I will be at the Miami Book Fair from November 15th – 18th where we’ll collect the Readers’ Favorite Award for Young Adult Fiction – Adventure (Gold).

Grab a copy of Emerson’s story on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores everywhere.

 

A Year of Yes: My book is almost one year old

My book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, is almost 1 year old. A year ago today I launched the trailer. What a year it’s been! I can’t wait to share the next leg of her journey with you in Book 2. You can grab a copy of Book 1 here: emersonpage.com/shop

A Year of Yes: I’ll be speaking at M-W Cares Day

Facebook PostI’ve been looking forward to this week for a year! On Friday I’ll be at M-W Cares Day, a character education program for over 2300 high school students, telling my personal story about how I overcame obstacles to become an author. The chair of the event read an interview I did when my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, first came out almost a year ago and contacted me to ask if I would be a speaker. At the time, I didn’t know how big this event would be; I just knew I wanted to talk to as many young people as I could to be the adult for them who I wish I had when I was their age. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to help them through storytelling. This is the work of my dreams.

More details about the event and day here:https://www.mw.k12.ny.us/monroe-woodbury-high-school/about/m-w-c-a-r-e-s/

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