Monday, August 22, 2011

Campaigns, Concerts, and The Awesome of Writeoncon


Earlier this year I participated in Rachael Harrie’s Writer’s Crusade. It was a platform building campaign, but also a super cool way for me to connect with other writers, many who write in my genre. Through this I met some pretty awesome people, participated in creativity-sparking writing challenges, and well, just had a lot of fun!



And now Rachael’s back with a third campaign! I signed up this morning, and you can too! Just head over to Rach Writes by August 31, and get ready to invest yourself in two months of total awesome!

And speaking of total awesome, Mr. Connections (aka the fabulous husband) scored free VIP ((yes, I did say FREE VIP!!!) tickets to a Journey concert last Saturday. So, one sitter scramble and a two-hour ride later, I found myself fourteen rows away from this




And this



And this




Just so you know – my last concert was a Jimmy Buffett OMG awesome fest when my daughter was three months old. She’s now twelve. Holy concert deprived nightmare, Batman! What was I waiting for?!

I don’t know, but Saturday I did not need a 1981 Delorean to go back in time. Journey, Night Ranger, and Foreigner totally took me there. It was fun. It was amazing. And my dear friend Renee has me convinced that concerts will keep us young. Yep…Forever Young. (Oh wait…that’s Rod Stewart – but well, you get it)

Finally, since we’re talking how to stay young, I achieve this on a daily basis—I’m around teenagers 24/7 and when I’m not reading YA, I’m writing it. And last week, the epic of epic conferences took place right here on my itty bitty laptop. Writeoncon, baby! I know a lot of you were there (I stalked your comments—just kidding), the “sessions” were informative, insightful, and incredible, and the opportunities for door prizes and critiques and…GAH! So awesome. So awesomely overwhelming that I’m still catching up. Yep. Being in meetings all day and having to work another is NOT conducive to conference participation, but that’s the cool thing about Writeoncon…it’s archived. I can go here and experience its fabulosity at my own pace.

And even though I haven’t been through EVERY post and live chat, I will share some of what I learned. In fact, I’m going to give out awards, like the ESPYs or the Tonys. I could call mine the Millies. Or the Connies (you know - for conferences). Or the MAFIAs (Miller Awards for Fabulous and Incredible Awesomeness). Or I could shut down my lame brain and just get on with it.

Here’s just a sample of the awesome…

Best REVISION advice: Author Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) answers the common question, “How do you know when you’ve revised enough and the story is ready to submit?” Her quick answer: When you find yourself changing minor details/words but the story and voice stay the same.

Best tips for connecting with schools and your audience: Author J.S. Lewis (Grey Griffins series). He has amazing suggestions for booking your own school tours and what to do before, during, and after presentations. You can check it out here.

Best metaphor: Author Jodi Meadows (Erin Incarnate) on writing synopses. She described her first draft of her synopsis as the verbal diarrhea draft. LOVE!!!

Best live chat: Agents Holly Root and Barbara Poelle—they’re both hilarious and informative. Of course, I may be a little biased because Barbara pimped one of her clients (also one of my fab CPs) during the chat.

Best advice on setting: Author Jessi Kirby (Moonglass). The setting you choose for your characters should be one that inspires you to write about it in a way that is real, detailed, and true to the characters who move around within it. Ultimately, that’s what matters most.

(I think this is why I always end up writing about beaches and football)

Best Insight into the Submissions World: Editor Annette Pollert on falling in love with a story: How/When I Know A Manuscript Is Right For Me. She analogizes it to dating and bringing home Mr. Right.

Most Validating post: Author Amy Dominy's (OyMG) post 10 Questions to See if You’ve Got it What it Takes. Cute, funny, and absolutely true. And I answered yes to almost every question, including the last one.

Coolest avatar: the Writeoncon Wascot in full on ninja gear.





And (for me) best overall post: Author Kiersten White (Paranormalcy, Supernaturally) on Respect: Respect your audience enough to trust their judgment and taste, enough to care deeply about the people you are giving stories to. Respect your craft enough to learn something no matter what you’re reading or writing. Respect your peers enough to evaluate their work without bias and figure out what they are doing right. And finally, respect yourself enough to become the best writer you possibly can.

So, did YOU do anything crazy this weekend?!

Have a great week!

26 comments:

  1. I still need to go to the Writeon site. Maybe I need to take time off from blogging to do this. OMG. So overwhelmed right now.

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  2. Ooh, this post is FULL of good stuff! Thanks for sharing about the Campaigners... I haven't heard of that and I'm looking forward to checking it out.

    I absolutely adore going to concerts. I've seen Jimmy Buffet(!) and most recently my husband and I went to Tim McGraw, who was AMAZING. I think I'm going to take my daughter to see Taylor Swift this fall, IF I can find tickets somewhere. :)

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  3. I <3 concerts. Hubby and I go to quite a few, though right now we're trying to limit the amount due to $$. My favorite are club shows because you can get wicked, wicked close.

    This weekend I saw THE ROOM on the big screen and it was a blast.

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  4. Hi! I'm a fellow YA campaigner, just stopping by. I did the last one and it's great. Look foward to getting to know you better :)

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  5. Nice to meet you Alison! Fellow Campaigner and group member here :)

    Great wrap-up of WriteOnCon you nailed all my favorites also! Kiersten's just rocked the house!

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  6. Fellow campaigner and old follower stopping by. I loved the Ninja Agent avatar as well, great addition to Write On Con this year!

    My Blog

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  7. Excellent post. Thanks for the sum up on the conference. My weekend? My hubby and I went camping in the boonies for four days ... wonderful!!

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  8. Hi fellow campaigner. Looking foward to getting to know you.

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  9. Good to meet you Alison! I was at WriteOn Con too. I love it so much it's great!

    adventurewrites.blogspot.com

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  10. A concert and Writeoncon, wow when did you have time for sleep?

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  11. Hello, I'm here from the platform-building campaign!

    Oh gosh, I cannot describe how much I LOVE Journey, especially the new frontman, Arnel Pineda. I've been dying to see them in concert, but I keep missing them.

    Thanks for linking up the Writeoncon site and providing your 'best of' list. I haven't gotten around to peeking through the archives, but I've heard so many good things about the knowledge that was produced there.

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  12. Hi from a fellow campaigner! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Very awesome of you. I wanted to become a follower on your blog, but the "blog peeps" won't load for me at the moment. Blogger hates me. I'll have to come back and try later. Happy blogging! And major congrats on those VIP passes!

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  13. Thanks for the writeoncon takeaways! Excellent advice.

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  14. I still need to go on read all the writeon con posts. Thanks for the quick tidbits.

    I am so jealous you are going to see JOURNEY!!!

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  15. Alison:
    I'm new to blogging and new to following my dream of writing, but I'm really excited about this Campaign! I hope to learn a lot and gain some wisdom while participating. Can't wait to read more from you!
    Heather

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  16. Hi, Alison! I'm in your New Adult/Crossover group. Nice to meet you! :)

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  17. Hi, Just another campaigner stopping by to say hello. Can’t wait to get stuck into the writer’s campaign.

    sarah

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  18. Hello fellow crusader! :)

    Can't wait to get to know you better through the bloggy world - I'm also left brained by day and "write" brained by night ;)

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  19. Hi, fellow campaigner here. It's my first campaign; I'm looking forward to it. I'm in your paranormal group and your new adult/crossover group. There is no escape.

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  20. Hello Alison, I'm swinging by from the paranormal group.

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  21. Hi Alison - fellow campaigner in NA/Crossover stopping by for a visit.

    OMG Night Ranger! I've never really been a fan (sorry) BUT Brad Gillis is from Alameda and when I lived there is seems I constantly ran into these guys back in the day so the mention of them brings back memories of a different kind.

    My last concert was (ok not sure of you can count it as a "concert" but...)an acoustic set by Mike Mess of Social Distortion. We ended up sitting about 10 feet from him and while I'm not a huge SD fan (there really are bands I like out there honest!) - he's not bad to look at for an hour and a half!

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  22. The last concert I went to was The Who back in 1999! Totally awesome, too. I'm a new follower and fellow campaigner just stopping by to say, "hey."

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  23. Since you're such a concert enthusiast, you need to visit Kelly Pollark's blog. She's always got some exciting stuff about concerts. Tell her the Campaigner, C. Lee sent you.

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  24. Hi from your New Adult campaigner group! It looks like we're also in Write-Brained together, too.

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  25. Just a heads up, I have set up a Google Reader with all of NA/Crossover Group 56 in it to help organize all of our blogs - I am missing 1 person (technical issues I am trouble shooting) but hope to get them added in soon! Link is:

    http://www.google.com/reader/shared/user%2F08181744977128699830%2Flabel%2FNA%20Crossover%20Group%2056

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  26. Hi Alison, I'm another campaigner here in the same paranormal group. It's a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to future posts.

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Yay! I LOVE comments!