Shaking Loose the Sand in September

ImageEven though it’s been forever a long time not so long ago, really, that I went to school in September, I still get totally excited after Labor Day. I just want to go out and buy a bunch of pencils and sharpen them into really, really sharp points.

That is to say, I’m ready to get down to business. Thank goodness, I have a wonderful conference to attend in October and the presenters are zipping around on a blog tour right now. So any sand left between my toes (or in my brain) shakes out along the way.

Maybe you have a few grains of sand you’d like to shake loose. Follow along with me and get your pencils ready to take notes. 

And oh, look! Agent Jennifer Rofe from Andrea Brown Literary is going to be HERE on Friday! So y’all come back now, you hear? (Uh-oh. It appears a little Southern has slipped into my writing. I’ll work on that, too.)

Blog Tour Schedule:

Aug. 28            Author Matt de la Peña at Stephanie Moody’s Moodyviews

                        Editor Lou Anders at F.T. Bradley’s YA Sleuth

Aug. 29            Author Doraine Bennett at Jodi Wheeler-Toppen’s Once Upon a Science Book

                        Author Robyn Hood Black at Donny Seagraves’ blog

Aug. 30            MFA program director Amanda Cockrell at Elizabeth Dulemba’s blog

                        Illustrator Prescott Hill at Gregory Christie’s G.A.S.

Aug. 31            Author Heather Montgomery at Claire Datnow’s Media Mint Publishing blog

                        Editor Michelle Poploff at Laura Golden’s Just Write

Sept. 3             Author Nancy Raines Day at Laurel Snyder’s blog

                        Author Jennifer Echols at Paula Puckett’s Random Thoughts from the Creative Path

Sept. 4             Editor Dianne Hamilton at Ramey Channell’s The Painted Possum

                        Author Janice Hardy at Tracey M. Cox’s A Writer’s Blog

Sept. 5             Author / illustrator Sarah Frances Hardy at Stephanie Moody’s Moodyviews

                        Agent Sally Apokedak at Cheryl Sloan Wray’s Writing with Cheryl

Sept. 6             Agent Jennifer Rofe at Cathy Hall’s blog

                        Author / illustrator Chris Rumble at Cyrus Webb Presents


Who I Met and What I Learned

I always need a day or two after a conference to decompress. Just a day, though. ‘Cause after listening to the writerly wisdom (and wit), I have a l-o-o-o-n-n-n-g list of Things To Do to get Cathy C. Hall and her writing up to par.

I thoroughly enjoyed the speakers at Springmingle ’09, and I’m sorry if you didn’t get to go. Maybe a few tips will cheer you up. Here’s a quick rundown of what I (kinda) learned and who I (sorta) met:

1. From Shelli Wells, I learned that a writer can have a “book” brand or an “author” brand. And even a shadow brand (that’s the brand you don’t mean to give off. I’m a little worried that I give off a “who’s the crazy woman asking all those questions?” brand) Check out Shelli’s blog for more of her fabu marketing tips.

2. From Abigail Samoun, an editor at Tricycle Press AND Mary Kate Castellani from Walker Books, I learned that I’d better do my research when I submit my book, and put that research into my cover letter. ‘Cause editors are happy when you pull your end of the work load. So, research and  compare your book against what’s already in the market place, using the most current, technologically advanced system you can find  (Okay, use Amazon. That’s what all the editors use).

3. From Caityln Dlouhy, Executive Editor from Atheneum Books, I learned how editors think when they read that first page of a manuscript. (She didn’t get to my First Page, and um, I’m okay with that. Changing up my First page is first on my Things to Do List).

dsc001334. From Kathleen Duey, an incredibly prolific author, I learned that I’m lazier than I thought. But on the up side, I learned there’s hope. She suggested writers keep a file of story sparks (which I do) and put this document on your computer (which I don’t do) so you can check in with your ideas and grow your stories. Such a simple idea, but brilliant! (And another thing on my Things To Do List). That’s me with Kathleen. She looks way too happy to be so busy!

I’ve still got thoughts rumbling-tumbling around in my brain that I need to sort out. Maybe by the next conference, I’ll catch up.