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
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!