An Author Friend – Anne Ylvisaker & "Button Down"

This weekend my friend Anne Ylvisaker was in town to read from her latest book, “Button Down“, which is a young adult novel set in the 1920s.  Anne’s young characters are keen to break the mold of their family stereotype and find their own voices and personalities.  She weaves in history to make rich stories that take us back in time whether it’s “The Luck of the Buttons“, “Little Klein“, or “Dear Papa“. While I don’t have children…and can’t quite remember what I would have been reading as a child of the appropriate age, as an adult I find these books draw me in and I enjoy the nostalgia of rural Iowa life in a simpler time.

The venue for the reading was New Bo Books – a great little bookstore in New Bohemia, not far from my office and Brewed Cafe where I’m a regular for the hazelnut latte and a gluten free (but very tasty) brownie.  It’s good to have a coffee shop where people know your name -but not my order since I tend to switch it up all the time. I’m tricky like that.

Author Envy

I’ve spent the summer and fall trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up (again) and figuring out my place working with my friends at their marketing agency, de Novo Alternative Marketing.  We’ve walked the balance of friendship and collaboration to figure out roles that make sense and don’t risk the friendships that I treasure.  I think it’s working. I’m having a good time dusting off my technical skills and doing the grunt work on web site design as well as the strategic planning that had been the hallmark of my last two roles.  It’s a good opportunity to learn all the tools we could be using for our clients.

But Anne asked me a question that made me realize something’s missing. It was a simple question, “How’s your writing going?” That’s when I realized it wasn’t something I had worked on for a while.  Of course I write nearly every day, a little less now than when I was working at my last job, but I’m not actively working toward a novel.  I was going to do NaNoWriMo last year (it’s 2012 already!), but I had projects that got in the way. I was going to spend Saturday mornings writing with Lisa, but that didn’t happen either.  Why?

Seeing the pile of books Anne has completed and listening to her talk about the discovery, planning and writing process I realized I was longing to do all that too.  So I need to re-focus a little and get this story about tattoos and assassins and heroines out of my head and onto paper (or bytes).  I just need to figure out the how and when.

And maybe I do need other writers to hang out with, but I need a group I can gel with. Third time’s a charm, right?

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3 comments for “An Author Friend – Anne Ylvisaker & "Button Down"

  1. January 15 at 4:58 am

    This is it! Saying publicly that you’re going to do it is the first part of doing it, right? You’re a great writer and I really hope you enjoy the novel writing process. I too had an epiphany of sorts while listening to Anne read. I think you know that I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but I always dismiss my ideas as not big enough, not serious enough, not important enough. I finally realized that it’s okay if I want to write something short and funny instead of something long and serious, so now I’m going to do it.

  2. January 15 at 5:15 am

    I just posted an all-call to cooking club to create our own writer’s group. You know you wanna…

  3. January 15 at 3:34 pm

    This made me DELIRIOUSLY happy! I want to bombard you with exclamation points, but I know you don’t like them, so, I’ll keep it to one. You are a brilliant writer and you are denying the world (and more importantly, me) the joy of reading your work. So, get on THAT thing called writing. You see, there is a reason why you know so many writers, my dear. It is the universe telling you something. It is saying, WRITE, write, write. Or Lisa is going to kick your arse and cross you off her Christmas list. (Ok, I don’t have a Christmas list, but if I did, look out!) Damn. I just used two exclamation points after all. By the way, I just included a book by Anne Ylvisaker in a collection of children’s and YA books written by local authors that is going to be auctioned off at a fundraiser for my kiddos schools. Her books look like a thumbs UP to me. One more thing, does this mean you are going to join me in writing on the weekends once in awhile?