Today MomWrites welcomes the long-awaited Mae Respicio, author of The House That Lou Built. We've been referencing Mae since day one here on the podcast because Jennie's so fond of telling us how Mae literally sometimes wrote her book in 5 minute increments (which is AMAZING and what every parent writer wants to hear!).
Mae's found that her writing practice changes with how her parenting changes. When her kids were little, the only time she could find to write was when everyone else was asleep (even if a tiny person was sleeping in her arms). Now that her kids are older she can utilize her kids' homework time to get her own writing done, and everyone works at the kitchen table together. But when her kid were little and she was writing her first novel, she committed to spending time on her book every day - sometimes it looked like 5 minutes, sometimes she could get as much as an hour or two. Concrete, realistic, every day goals helped her to be more efficient with the time that she had.
Mae also got creative with her tools, too - standing in line at the grocery store she'd read through her pages, keeping her story in her head until she could sit down later in the day and work on her scenes. Goals shifted and modified based on what was going on that day, and flexibility with those goals combatted the persistent mom/writer guilt we all feel from time to time.
The House That Lou Built is a middle grade novel that tells the story of Lou Bitao, a 12-year old girl who builds a tiny house over the course of a summer with the help of her family and friends. "If home is where your heart is, the my home is wherever I am" is an overarching theme as Lou learns what home really is - and it's not necessarily where you live, but the people around you. The House That Lou Built can be found at Amazon, IndieBound, and your local library.