Thursday, January 29, 2009
If that’s your wish…it’s come true. In the form of one Ms. Alice Pope. Alice is the official SCBWI conference blogger. Really! I think this is a first and such a great idea. Follow her HERE!
I will be.
Monday, January 26, 2009
We all experience pain in many ways for various reasons. I seem to have been in a lot of it lately, especially this weekend. (Skip to the next paragraph if you wish to avoid a bunch of whining ala moi.) I have been dealing with a sinus headache, non-stop, for 2 weeks now. I’ve about had it! Then I made the bright move of trying to pick up my 55 pound child—and not in a good, safe way. I was sitting on the couch twisting sideways to lift her from where she sat next to me. Uhg! Not smart. Backache…headache…but still writing (not saying I’ve been doing it well). But that’s love, when you persevere through the pain.
Okay, whining’s over…and after all of that, it’s not the story of where the thought for the next prompt came from, but it did seem appropriate, as I looked through my list of choices (yes, I keep a list of these).
I don’t think my love of a hard workout is secret. And I’ve shared with you that I’m now a Bodypump instructor, and I am loving it. I loved going through the intense training. And recently I loved the day I taught two classes in one day. It was an exciting challenge to me, even though I knew it would be difficult. And it was…and there was pain…but I loved it. I figured that I did squats for about 20 minutes, with approximately 40 pounds on my back, in that one day. Was I sore the next day? Sure was! But that night, I thought, you have to love doing something in order to work through the parts that hurt that much. And I believe a really hard workout is a whole lot like writing. I do both, even though, at times, it hurts. A lot.
What will your character do until it hurts?
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I need to have strong beginning pages and an outline prepared for my WIP--work I’ve yet to share with anyone. Eek!
But look how far back in line we were. You should have seen how many people were behind us. (And yes, I know I look tired, because I totally was. It was a long weekend and very early in the morning.)
When the doors finally opened we got ourselves some great seats and we waited. The energy in the room was wonderful and by the time the announcements began, people were sitting on the floor.
Here I am, sitting with Meg Lippert and Sara Easterly. Later, Laura Kvasnosky slipped in and sat with us, too.
The announcements began and it was great fun to hear the room explode in cheer for the books people loved. But it became most exciting for us as the Theodor Suess Geisel Beginning Reader Award was announced and it went to Laura Kvasnosky's Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways, and she was sitting right there with us. Yahoo! Then...THEN we got to scream and whoop for Kirby Larson when Hattie Big Sky received a Newbery Honor. YES!
Here's a group of us later, gathered around Kirby, so happy to celebrate with her.
Then, immediately after, Laura was at the SCBWI booth, being interviewed and surrounded by people who were thrilled for her.
A wonderful weekend that I'm so happy I was able to be part of.
Tomorrow, others will get to experience the same in Denver, CO. The cool thing for those of us who aren't in Denver, we have the opportunity to sort-of be there. There will be a webcast starting tomorrow morning at 6:45 a.m. (pacific time) HERE. I know I'll be watching.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I apologize I can’t be there. That I can’t sit by your side, your right side, during this year’s Intensives. I attended the first. I attended the second. Both were a great experience, and you shouldn’t miss it for the world. But both times, the person to my left, hit the big time in our writerly world—you know, with one of those elusive book contracts (oh yah, and an agent).
In 2007, an adorable woman sat to my left and shared the first 500 words of ALSO KNOWN AS HARPER (May 2009). I loved her writing and we hit it off, even in such a strange and stressful situation. Ann Leal Haywood and I bumped into each other constantly over the weekend and struck up a friendship. We then realized we had an enormous (scary enormous) amount in common. Like the fact that we were both teachers. And that we both used to teach in the same school district. And that we student taught at the same school. And that we student taught the same grade WITH the same mentor teacher. Crazy, huh? Talk about small world. Well, I knew that Ann was going places, so when I saw in Publishers Lunch that she sold her book, the same one I heard at the Intensive, I did a little dance for her. Really, I did.
In 2008, another adorable woman sat to my left. I read first. It went well. Very well. Liz Szabla (Feiwel and Friends) was the editor leading our table. She asked if she could keep my writing sample. My time was over (phew!) and ended on a great note (yay!), so I sat back and relaxed, listening to the others. Jill Alexander, sitting to my left, was next. She read the first 500 words of her novel THE SWEETHEART OF PROSPER COUNTRY (titled something different at the time) and I knew I had another star sitting to my left. AGAIN. Two years in a row. After that first session, I told Jill that I had no doubt things would happen for her and that she was sitting in a good spot. Literally, it was the spot to my left, the lucky spot. Sure enough, Jill met her agent later that day and sold her manuscript to Feiwel and Friends. Watch for her book to hit shelves this fall.
Okay, person-who-should-be-sitting-to-my-left this year. I know it’s not me, but this has been fun. And I really, really wish that I was meeting you this year. Both of these wonderful woman have stayed in touch and had faith that I would get there, too. And I am getting there. Because of last year’s Intensives, specifically Liz Szabla, I now have a complete manuscript and have signed with Stimola Literary Studio.
So to the person who should be sitting to my left in 2009, I’m so very sorry I can’t be your right-hand-good-luck charm. But GO and ENJOY. SCBWI conferences are amazing events, filled with possibilities. And when you’re there, take a breath and don’t be afraid to chat with your fellow writers and illustrators. You never know who might be sitting to your right (or left!).
PS. Go read Jill’s latest blog (a new blog!) post about last year’s intensive and read about the other super-cool writer Kristin O’Donnell Tubbs who was sitting at our table, too.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Monday Moment #2
So, I told you I would always let you know how the idea for the Monday Moment prompt came about. With this one, I sort of can and sort of can't. The other day, some thought or memory (that's the thing I can't remember...what was I thinking about?) came to me about something that makes me crazy. I don't mean in a major-worldly-issue way, but in a bizarre way that makes me cringe, or as I say, gives me the oogies (like for many, nails on a chalkboard).
For me, a nails-on-the-chalkboard moment, is eating out of Styrofoam (especially when the utensil has to scrape it). It's the scraping of the Styrofoam that gives me the oogies. I also hate eating off a wooden spoon. So you can imagine how much I love those little cups of ice cream that come with the flat wooden spoon. Together they equal major ooginess! I hate even thinking about it. OOG!
How about your main character... What's their nails-on-the-chalkboard? What gives them the oogies, making them want to shiver out of their skin?
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
As promised...here are the pictures of Jesse Watson's art hanging on the wall at The Vault.
It's hard to see in the above photo, but there are three more on the far back wall. Eleven faces total. Here's more.
It's as if all those eyes are on me, motivating me to get to work, or at least keeping me accountable. That's what I've asked them to do.
Jesse's show is titled MUGSHOTS and can also be seen in this youtube video.
Jesse and fellow Port Townsend talent Patrick Jennings will be having an event right here at The Vault (I'll let you know the date when it's official) to celebrate Jesse's show and Patrick's new book WE CAN'T ALL BE RATTLESNAKES (in stores today!). Patrick will also be a speaker at this year's SCBWI Western Washington conference.
Today it was Patrick I had the pleasure of bumping into at The Vault. What a cool town, eh? One day it's Jesse, the next Patrick. Who will it be tomorrow?
Monday, January 5, 2009
But as I walked back into The Vault, it was nice to see the same friendly faces. Plus, amazing new artwork from Jesse Watson. I’ll bring my camera tomorrow and take some pictures. I think his work is going to help inspire me this month, help to push me through the work that needs to be done.
For now, I’m catching up on blogs, Facebook, email filing and deletion, and I need to figure out this Twitter business. Because when you’ve got a few people who are following you on Twitter and you don’t actually post anything on Twitter, then one should probably figure it out. Yes?