And Another Thing I Love About Conferences…

Metro Atlanta is a BIG place. And I love living in my little corner of this big place. But it’s not always easy to get together with writing friends who may be in a little corner way on the other side of this big place. Sometimes, writing friends are a state or two over. Thank goodness for writing conferences where we can all get together.

We laugh, we cry, we toast our successes, drown our sorrows, then start all over again. Is it just me or could that be a country song? Anyway, the point is that we share our journeys, and learn from each other. Sometimes, we learn a lot.

Take my friend, Janice Hardy. I knew she’d written a middle grade fantasy series, but I did not know that she had an entire blog FULL of writing information. I mean, seriously helpful writing articles and resources. Having a problem with finding your voice? There’s an article for that. Conflicted over your conflict? There’s an article for that. Confused about word counts? There’s an article for that, too.

In fact, there are over 500 articles! Great googly-moogly, that’s a lotta info. And it’s all in one place, over at The Other Side of the Story.

The best part is, you don’t have to go to a conference and get chummy with Janice to find out more. Oh, dear. That didn’t come out quite right. Janice is completely charming and you’d really like her. So, um, the point here is, you don’t have to wait for the next conference. All you have to do is click.

Finding Something Friday: Packing Your Pitch!

Yikes! I don’t have time to find something this Friday–I’m busy packing and whatnot for an SCBWI conference!

Fortunately, I found something earlier this week that’s been quite helpful in the packing department. I found a blog post from Bubble Cow on “How to Clearly Communicate the Essence of Your Book to Agents and Publishers.”

You may or may not like the idea of piggy-backing your pitch onto a well-known construct, but it can help you squeeeze out the essence of your book, and get you started. Because packing a short, well-thought out pitch is just as important as comfy shoes and your toothbrush.

Which reminds me. I need toothpaste!
P.S. That’s Juniorest Hall, getting ready to throw a pitch. He’s WAY bigger than that now. But he’s still pretty cute!

Tooting My Horn Tuesday: I WON! I WON! I WON!

So. You know I zipped over to the Southern Breeze SCBWI Conference in Alabama this weekend, just to hobnob, chitchat and any other compound word that fits.

But Southern Breeze also sponsors writing contests and an illustration contest in conjunction with this conference. And one of the categories in the writing contests is “Fiction for Middle Grade and Teen.” Which just happens to be the category that my current work-in-progress fits. Which I just happened to send in for the contest…

AND I WON! I WON FIRST PLACE! I SQUEALED LIKE A LITTLE GIRL ‘CAUSE I WON!

I almost didn’t share the news because then there would be all this pressure. Like to finish the polishing up on the last two or three chapters. And to start doing more than the writing of the manuscript. Like to actually send it out in the world.

But then I thought, Shoot, Cathy, this is HUGE. (When I called my mom with the news, she said a writer should be able to come up with a better word than “Huge.” Oh, that mom of mine.)

Yep, it’s been a super fantastical, ginormous time here at my little desk in the world. But it’s also nose to the grindstone time. Or in my case, fingers to the keyboard, brain to the scathingly brilliant thinking time. I have a manuscript to finish and submit to an editor. ‘Cause, you know, I WON!