Great Weekend: SCBWI/WB Fun & My Beagle Becomes Famous

I spent the weekend up in Maryland, at SCBWI MD/DE/WV’s “Spring into Action” conference with some of my Write-Brained Network palsy-walsies: Alison Miller, Cambria Dillon, Cristin Terrill, and Sara McClinginsteinOkay, okay—that’s not her last name. But it should be!

(Also: SCBWI = Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators <—That was for my husband who just asked me what that acronym stood for—and for you, if you didn’t know either.)

A fantastic time was had by all; I’m so lucky to have such awesome writing friends!  We laughed. We talked A LOT.  Like, probably more than anyone has ever talked. We created our own pasta.  We said, “That’s what she said” more than Steve Carell.

Macaroni Grill -- huzzah!

 

And we attended some great sessions featuring heavy-hitters like Rosemary Stimola (if you just said, “Wowzers—I think that’s Suzanne Collins’s agent,” YOU ARE CORRECT, SIR!) and the Newbury Award winning Kathi Appelt.  (I’ll be posting session recaps soon!)

Now, my juices are flowing (that’s what she said?).  I came home pumped and rejuvenated—and freaking tired, but I plan to lasso some zees shortly.  I can’t wait to beat out (TWSS) that shiny new idea that’s been swirling around in my brain for the past few weeks!

Also, here’s something awesome: I sent in some pictures of my beagle, Molly, for a contest on Confessions from Suite 500 that Nancy Coffey Literary agent Joanna Volpe’s Chihuahua, PeeWee, was holding, and he posted them!  Molly and I were muy excited—Molly strutted around the house all night, like the regal beagle she is.  Check it out!

So, how was YOUR weekend?

 

 

 

Awards from Your Besties #WINNING (Or: I Can Haz Award)

You know those days/weeks/months where you need a little pick-me-up?  Well, I got one the other day when my Twitter soulmate, up-and-coming YA author—yes, I said author—she just landed Andrea Hurst agent Vickie Motter (congrats again!)—Cambria Dillon bestowed this “Stylish Blogger Award” upon me.

Here ’tis:

Aw shucks, C! 🙂  Thanks so much!!

Here's Cambria & me at RWA '10. FUN!

Part of the deal is that I have to list seven things about myself—and follow these rules:

1: Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award. (check!)

2: Share seven things about yourself. (getting there!!)3: Award ten recently discovered great bloggers (*thinking*)
4: Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award. (I always feel lame telling people this . . . so I probably won’t.  Sorry!)

SEVEN THINGS—UM, YEAH, THIS IS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS

  • When I was in high school and in college, I wanted to be a soap opera actress.  On General Hospital, to be exact.  Hence the name of this blog and hence part of the plot of my first manuscript (that may or may not see the light of day—it’s currently in a drawer—well, not an *actual* drawer.  It’s in a folder on my computer.)
  • My favorite number is 8.  Always has been. No idea why.
  • I have a problem: I think I am addicted to the color purple.  I don’t mean the book—although that’s not too shabby.  I mean as in I can name five things in my immediate line of vision that are purple.  (Way more than than if you count the purple pens in my pen cup!)  And that’s just sitting at my desk.
  • I *definitely* am addicted to caffeine.  Because all the writer friends I know—or people who think they drink a lot of coffee—always look at me like I’m crazy.  I mean, two cups of coffee a day and you think you’re addicted?  Honey, please. But I’m trying to cut back a little because I feel like it’s been giving me chest pains lately.
  • See that “I Can Haz Award” thing in the title?  I know I’m a YA author and Internet-savvy and whatever, but . . . I really hate that.  And “Internets.” And I know a lot of my bloggy friends talk this way, so I’m really sorry—but it’s just one of those things that makes me want to rip my eyes out.  Or yours. 🙂
  • I write YA and I’m not ashamed. And, if you’re even reading this far down into the list, that means you probably already know that about me.  But I’m just saying.  I have felt lately like I have to defend myself—and my career choice—to a lot of people.  Even if I’ve only been defending it to them in my head.  And maybe it’s just my own insecurities getting the best of me (probably).  But sometimes I feel like I have to apologize for what I do—or hide it—or downplay it (I do A LOT of this)—and I’m kind of . . . tired of feeling that way.
  • I have tiger’s blood in my veins.  OK—that one’s not true.  But, as I said, this IS harder than it seems.

I’d like to pass this award on to the following fantastic bloggers:

Check ’em out!  These are some of my favorite writing peeps, and they might become yours, too! 🙂

Whadd-Updates: 2/9 Name-Dropping Edition

I have been somewhat absent from the blogosphere as of late. That’s because, in the last three weeks, I have done a lot of things.

  • Spent a few days in Georgia, visiting friends
  • Facilitated a Shenandoah Writers meeting
  • Met with the fabulous people of the Arts Council of the Valley, who are helping me and the Write-Brained Network put on our WB Workshop
  • Gone to the dentist—not all that time-consuming, but it did take me away from work
  • Gotten my hair cut (not a pixie—sorry to disappoint)—ditto from above note
  • Traveled to Front Royal, Va., for a mini writers’ retreat with Sara McClung and Cristin Terrill
  • Gone with Jodi Meadows to an author reading/signing of debut literary novelist Hannah Pittard (The Fates Will Find Their Way)
  • Gotten sick

Here’s what I’m currently doing:

  • Trying not to be sick
  • Writing interview questions for both Wendy Toliver and Meg Cabot (I’m interviewing them for an article for the 2012 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market [Writer’s Digest Books], and I need to send the questions, um, Nowsville, if I expect to meet my March 1 deadline.  Wha??)
  • Contacting potential speakers for the WB Workshop
  • Building a Web site for the WB Workshop
  • Oh yeah—and I also started querying (in a *tiny* round) my latest YA manuscript, so this is why I have to distract myself with all the other stuff.  So I won’t go nuts.

I was going to write a post about how wonderful and ooey-gooey it made me feel to see my former students and my Georgia be-fris, but decided I don’t have the brain power to dedicate to that this week.  All my energy needs to be focused on interviewing those two awesome authors.  And I definitely think the urge to clone myself and stick one Ricki clone back in Georgia would overwhelm me, so I don’t even want to go there.

I also wanted to write about how much fun I had at my writers’ retreat this past weekend, but Cristin did a great job of it here.  I agree with her wholeheartedly—that getting together with other writers and realizing you all think you suck is really important for a writer’s sanity.

I will say, however, I would recommend a get-together like this to anyone.  I felt completely recharged come Sunday morning, and I actually wish we’d had another day, since we all seemed to be much more in work mode—you know, at, like, 11 p.m. Saturday night.  Next time, we vowed we will add at least a day or two more.

NEWS

We now have a date for the Write-Brained Network’s workshop.  We have a title, too.

Drumroll, please . . .

The One-Stop Workshop

for the Serious Writer:

A Roadmap from

“How to” through “I Did”

 

Mark your calendars for 9.10. 11, folks—for a full day of tips from the pros as well as writerly camaraderie.

Okay, well, that’s it for me at the moment.  I hope you can bear with me through all this craziness.  I promise to be back with a super awesome “In the Blogosphere” this Friday or Saturday.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!