Cathy-on-a-Stick Pops Up at Springmingle (And Runs Amok)

Usually, I go to writer’s conferences and walk halfway around a room to avoid the tables with all the books.

I sit on my hands, leave my wallet at home, eschew adult beverages–well, there are all kinds of tricks I use to keep from buying more books. But Cathy-on-a-Stick has a mind of her own. It’s not much a mind, and rather flat, but still. She would keep heading to the book table at Springmingle, the SCBWI Southern Breeze conference this past weekend. Every time a speaker finished, I felt this…this tug. And before I knew it, I had a stack of books.

2014-03-29 05.39.53Agent and author Ammi-Joan Pacquette had all these books about ghosts and they were picture books and middle grade (which come on, ghosts AND PB’s and Middle Grade? I was doomed from the start). Plus Joan was so darn sincere and engaging in her talk. She called to me–so I bought one of her books.

2014-03-29 05.32.26And then Vicky Alvear Shecter went on and on about Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead. She sucked me in with her humor and expertise and Anubis tidbits. Who knew the Land of the Dead could be so darn entertaining? So before I knew it, Cathy-on-a-Stick was in the line for an autograph.

2014-03-29 05.48.12Elizabeth Dulemba was nearby, explaining that her muse had grabbed her in North Georgia and wouldn’t let go till she told the story in A Bird on Water Street. You cannot argue with the muse. And apparently, you cannot argue with Cathy-on-a-Stick either. There she was again, stick-deep in Elizabeth’s book.

2014-03-29 05.53.44I was just about to make a dash for it when, out of the corner of my eye, I spied Ruth Sanderson’s books! A whole pile of books with the most gorgeous covers ever, of woods and castles and princesses and–oh. My. Word. Fairy tales. And stained glass windows of saints. Stick a fork in me, I was done (for).

2014-03-29 05.56.52Wait, I take that back. I was not quite done. Janice Hardy’s book, Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, was calling my name. I tried to resist, I really did. But Cathy-on-a-Stick whispered in my ear, “Really? You think you can afford to pass on this gem of writing craft?”


2014-03-29 05.36.37And as I glanced over at Cheryl Klein (Executive Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, a Scholastic imprint), I thought how much her book, Second Sight, An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, had helped me on my writing journey. I’d won her book three years ago, so at least I didn’t have to buy that book at the writer’s conference, too.

But I’m pretty sure she and Cathy-on-a-Stick were up to something. I’m kinda afraid to check my credit card bill.



Tuesday Tips on Photo Use and Conference Do’s

When last we spoke, I shared about the upcoming WIK’12 conference and the lovely Doraine Bennett’s writerly wisdom. PLUS, I gave all the stops on the WIK blog tour. But I completely forgot to add a great post from Bonita Herold and Janice Hardy over at her blog, The Other Side of the Story.

Even if you’re not close enough to attend our Southern Breeze SCBWI conference, you’ll want to read their “ABC’s of Attending of a Conference.” It’s chock full of tips (well, 26 plus a couple extra) and advice on conference-going. And I guarantee there will be at least a few do’s that you haven’t considered.

When you have all that good info in your head, zip over to read Roni Loren’s post about the use of photos on blogs, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. She has some eye-opening information as well, specifically on copyrighted photos. Even if you’re sure about every photo you use, I guarantee there will be something you haven’t considered.

They’re both well worth a look and I’m sure you’ll be all the richer for checking them out. Much like Cathy-on-a-Stick who visited the Parthenon. In Nashville, TN. (But at least it’s my own picture.)

Blogging Through

There comes a time–and I believe it was when the plumber’s 47th bang rang out–that a person has to throw in the towel and give up on writing anything terribly creative.

However, I am a professional writer. And so–Great. Now it’s drilling.–I shall power through. Because earlier (that would be May 16th), I wrote a terribly creative blog post for The Muffin that you might want to check out. Although to be honest, I only wrote what I heard at a recent SCBWI schmooze (translation: writer’s workshop.)

Thanks to the brilliant Janice Hardy and Shelli Johannes Wells, our writer heads were brimming with plotting and marketing tips and insider knowledge.

And under normal circunstances, I’d elaborate. But now the floor guy is here.