Thursday, May 26, 2011

On The Go With Elizabeth Scott + Giveaway

1. You have been given your Dream Vacation. Where are you going & what
are you doing? 

I'm staying home and reading!

2. What if you could travel to a different time period? 

I'm pretty good here, actually :-)

3. Are you a planner or a seat-of-the pants traveler? 


4. What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on vacation?

Lost luggage for nine days of a ten day trip!

To find out more about Elizabeth Scott check out her blog here.

Leave a comment to win a copy of Between Here And Forever!

Giveaway ends, May 30, 2011. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Fuzziest Fan:

It's always nice to know that someone is eagerly awaiting to read the latest version of my WIP!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Benefit of Small Conferences

I spent last weekend speaking and critiquing at the SCBWI Canada East conference in Niagara Falls--and it got me thinking about how much I love small conferences.

I'm standing just above the waterfall. 
We all slept, ate, workshopped, and socialized (the best part) at the Mount Caramel monastery and retreat center.

My roomie Fran Cannon Slayton and I could hear the waterfall from our room.
Before the conference, SCBWI volunteer extraordinaire, Jackie Garlick-Pynaert, took the faculty members on a tour of the falls. We got really close to all that thundering water.

Getting soaked with author Terri Farley.
But we also grew close to the attendees. By the end of the weekend, I'd had the chance to talk to nearly everyone. Small events allow the faculty to get to know you as a person--you're not just a face in the crowd or 5 critique pages. You're the person with school-aged kids (like me), or the one who tells hilarious bear stories.

Post-workshop Q&A time. I talked about character development.
Small workshops create a cozy, intimate atmosphere. Even a shy writer (and aren't we all a little bit shy) won't feel intimidated about asking questions. I also had the chance to talk to people about their work after my workshops. We chatted about stories, writing, and balancing writing with family over lunch, dinner, and during evening socializing. Only a small conference offers so many of those moments.

During our sight-seeing tour, I wondered if the American Falls, which would be a truly impressive waterfall in any other location, felt like the sidekick to a much more beautiful, impressive friend.

American Falls is downstream from the huge horseshoe-shaped Niagara Falls.
I used to feel overwhelmed by all the writers filling the ballroom at big conferences. I'd think, all of these people share my dream? Yikes! And I've never been good at squeezing myself into a group of professional schmoozers to chat with faculty. Small conferences allow me to be my quieter self. And I've made friends who've allowed me to connect with even more friends at bigger conferences. (I'm learning to schmooze.)

Veronica Rossi, Terri Farley, Hilary Breed Van Dusen, Josh Adams, me, and Fran Cannon Slayton.
So, if you've been thinking about attending a conference, but aren't sure if you're ready, try a small conference. I know Jackie already has a great lineup for Niagara Falls next year!

Much thanks to Jackie Garlick-Pynaert, Lizann Flatt, and Alma Fullerton for a wonderful weekend.

Monday, May 9, 2011

An Argument Against E-Readers

Yesterday I snuck away with a good book (Stolen by Lucy Christopher) to soak my feet in the lotions and potions my husband gave me for Mother's Day.

I lit a candle, swished my toes in the fragrant bubbles, and read... Until my kitten Minnie joined me. And fell in the tub. Twice.

A much drier, but still embarrassed, Minnie.
(I wasn't going to interrupt my foot bath--or this great story--to take a wet cat photo.)

While I rescued Minnie, my book tipped off my lap into the sudsy water.

My first thought: I'm so glad this isn't an e-reader! Minnie skittered away, trailing her soaked tail, and I kept reading, carefully turning each wet page (it's a seriously compelling story!).

So, between not being able to read in the bathtub (or poolside or at the beach), and not being able to read during airplane take-offs and landings, I think I'll stick with paper books.

Like Minnie, I tend to be a bit klutzy.