Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I Love Being an Author!
For the past month I've been crazy-busy-and-lovin'-it, and most of this business has revolved around writing and book promotion (the reason you haven't seen much of me here--sorry! I'll do better.)
It all started with the LDStorymakers Writer's Conference. In a word: Fantabulous! I was so inspired by this event, it's hard to even put into words. Great speakers, great company, great time. And to make it even better, my 22-year-old son, Preston, came down from BYU-Idaho for the weekend to attend the conference with me (see picture). He's an incredibly talented writer and we both commented on how much we were both in our element hanging out with a bunch of writers. At the conference I taught a class called Writing for Children and Teens on Real World Issues. I thought it went fairly well, but I couldn't help noticing how much more comfortable I am speaking to a gym full of 500 elementary school kids, versus 30 adults. Which brings me to my next adventure...
While I was in Utah I gave 10 assemblies at 5 elementary schools. This is ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT, my FAVORITE part about being an author and writing for children. I spoke at Hill Field Elementary, Noah Webster Academy, Silver Mesa Elementary, Lindon Elementary, and Eagle Valley Elementary (see article in Daily Herald). All of the students (some pictured here from Eagle Valley Elementary) were nothing short of awesomelicious as we attempted--in a group effort--to plot a story. Creativity is alive and well in the minds of children everywhere, that's for darn-tootin' sure!
Next was my little Michigan get-away with my sweetheart. Actually, HE was on business, but I decided to tag along, so we stayed at The Queen's Residence Bed and Breakfast in Ypsilanti. While he was out doing his thing all day, I spent three blissful days writing in the solitude of a beautiful, 130+ year-old house. I was quite productive, and the experience was unlike anything I've ever done before. And did I mention that I probably gained 5 pounds from the incredible breakfasts?! Marla and Joe Queen are angels and the experience was heavenly!
Another week or so at home, and then I was off again for 2 days at the Texas Library Association Convention in Dallas. I drove up one day and back the next so it was two very long days, but again, very productive. I was able to hand out 100+ school visit fliers, 100 or so bookmarks, sell some books, and hang with my SCBWI buddies (see picture). This event was SO HUGE! Every major publisher was represented. My highlight of the event, however, was definitely running across the ARC (advance reader copy) of Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier, the companion novel to Wildwood Dancing, which I had just finished two days earlier! I'd read the first chapter in the back of WD and was hooked, but terribly distraught that I'd have to wait till September to read the novel. NOT ANYMORE!!!! I'm LOVING this story. Marillier is a brilliant author and I want to meet her some day and become her BFF! Hey, it could happen...
This Saturday I'll be doing a reading, and signing books at 6th Annual Humble ISD/ Lone Star College Fine Arts Festival in Kingwood, TX. Can't wait! I love life. I love writing stories. And I love the experiences that being an author blesses me with!