In spite of not running much, I feel like I've ran a marathon, one that lasted for a whole week. The Writing for Young Readers conference was the incentive I needed to take my writing to a new level. The first day, the magnitude of the work ahead of me overwhelmed me. By Wednesday, and because I was in an exhaustion-induced high that seemed to slow time for me, I had an epiphany. If I keep writing, never give up, and implement the tools I acquired during the conference, in the end, my book will be a better book. Critique groups are hard. Baring your soul (that's what my writing means--my soul) in front of people to discuss is a akin to standing naked in front of strangers while they discuss each and every flaw of your body. But it's an essential part if the writing process.
I had the privilege of attending the Contemporary Novel Workshop, taught by Ann Dee Ellis, author of This is What I Did.
The quality of writing and critique in the group was way beyond my expectations. I'm honored for having shared a week surrounded by such talented artists. At the beginning of the week we started with 15 strangers, and by Friday, I felt my companions were part of my family. I expect great things to come from our group. The stories we were working on were funny, romantic, imaginative, and also heart-wrenching, real, life-changing.
The Crying Class: Melanie, Christian, Michelle, Erika, Amy, Lisa
Me, Cherise, Ann Dee, Angie, Shar, Tony, Alicia and Neil (not in picture: Rebekah)
One of the best parts of the conference was the book signing. My dear friend Julie gave my Gorgeous Boy a ride so he could have his books signed by Brandon Mull (Fablehaven among others) and Dave Farland (where do I start?), two of my son's favorite writers.
Another awesome thing was meeting Carolyn! C., I'm so sorry I missed our lunch on Friday! I arrived late and our class stayed late too! I'm so sorry. But thank you with all my heart for finding me. I love meeting online friends in real life. At least we know we are real!
And to finish my post, and just because I can't blog and not mention the amazing WorldCup, here's a clip of the game that fed my hope that this year, the Cup might be ours. 4-1!!!!!