Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monkey on My Back

So, in the midst of the chaos of trying to organize a week-long family vacation, I've decided to make a quick trip down to LA (yes, they did have a magnitude 5.4 earthquake today) to do the SCBWI Conference this weekend. Something about these conferences (this is my third in as many months) is like crack to me. That, or I'm a glutton for punishment...

At least that's how it feels right now. I made the decision to go last night (the conference starts on Friday), got up this morning and booked my hotel & airfare, shot over a fax with my conference registration, and delayed the start of our vacation by one day. In the meantime, I've got to do laundry, make sure the dog will be taken care of while we're away, and pack for two (back-to-back) trips.

Whew!

But I'm definitely looking forward to hob-nobbing with the writers, agents, and editors of the children's publishing world. And hopefully something fun (or more likely, embarrassing) will happen that I can share when I get back.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Family Reunions...

There's something about eating other people's food that makes me very happy.

I'm not talking about jabbing my fork into the food on someone else's plate. I'm talking about parties...the kind where everyone brings their favorite dishes to share. So you can imagine that this past weekend, at my husband's family reunion, I was in hog heaven (sadly, I mean that literally...I ate my weight in salads, slaws, and salsas). Someone should have told me to put down the fork and back away slowly...

Meanwhile, on the writing front, I've been working on my latest book (a follow-up to my YA paranormal thriller)...plugging away sans outline, as usual. I'm sure it would make my life much less stressful to have a neatly detailed plan. Unfortunately, I'm just not that person. At least not in my writing. But, (insert drumroll here) over the weekend I finally worked out a crucial detail to keep the story moving along (something I've been hung up on), and even added a new antagonist (I freakin' love writing the bad guys). Everything's coming together beautifully!

Next week, it's off to Lake Coeur D'Alene in Idaho for sun and fun with the kids!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back from the Pacific Northwest Writer's Conference

Great conference, great classes, great panels...what more could a girl want? Maybe some ice for my aching backside! After sitting (and sitting some more) for three days, all I can say is HOLY CRAP my butt is sore. I know, I know...there are people out there who sit for eight hours a day, five days a week. I'm just not one of them. Plus, I don't have my very own cubicle with a Ziggy poster to make it all worthwhile.

My fave was an impromptu class on World Building, given by the coolest panel of urban fantasy writers (who are probably a little cooler than the rest of us anyway just by virtue of the kick-ass stuff they write). They broke us into little groups and assigned us our very own writer (I got Kat Richardson -- who rocked by the way!) and we got to play author.

I will say, thank God I didn't have to pitch this weekend, so at least I could sit and absorb the knowledge and wisdom from the presenters without feeling like I might throw up in my mouth from nervous tension.