After the Conference: Mind=Blown


Friend Tracey M. Cox fan-girling over LSP. 

So I’m back from my Southern Breeze SCBWI conference and yesterday, I realized I hadn’t written my blog post for WOW!Women-on-Writing that was scheduled for today, and I had this moment. I actually considered sending a quick note saying, “Get someone else to write something because my brain is fried and I can’t think of anything, much less make sense!”

I did not even skip out on my Muffin posts when Mister Man up and died on me so I took another moment to calm down. I had a cuppa. And then, quite sensibly, I thought, I wrote about the conference. You can read “Top Tips for Writer’s Conference Attendees” and let me know if I made sense.

To be honest, some conferences are better than others. And this one will land in the top of my “Best Of…” list:

Best of keynote speakers with Linda Sue Park. If you ever have a chance to hear her, please go. You will be inspired and energized. And if you haven’t read her Newbery-award-winning novel, The Single Shard, please read it. Yes, it’s middle grade but that’s beside the point. It will expand and enrich you, no matter how old you are.

Best of intensives with Scholastic editor, Matt Ringler, and a roundtable manuscript critique workshop. Not because he raved about my manuscript (he didn’t), but because when you hear an editor respond in five minutes or so to 4 pages of a manuscript, you get a ton of great information and insight into an editor’s thought processes. And not just for your own work but for all the manuscripts in the room. So if you ever have that opportunity at a conference, please be brave and sign up for it.

Of course, your brain will be fried and you won’t make much sense for a couple of days, but I think that’s a fair trade out.

Though in my case, it might not be that noticeable…


The Zen and Zany Roller Coaster

germany-duisburg-tiger-turtle-106155So it’s March already and that means I’m gearing up for my regional SCBWI conference next week (I mentioned it at The Muffin in “Scheduling Success”).

That also means I’m going back and forth and up and down between sheer panic and zen moments. Something like this:

Panicky Cathy: Oh my word, I can’t believe I signed up to read my manuscript OUT LOUD FOR FEEDBACK in an intensive! What was I thinking? HAVE I LOST MY MIND?

Calm Cathy: I am one with the writing universe. All shall be well. No one will be listening, anyway.

PC: Of course they’ll be listening. That’s what they’re there for! An editor will be listening! And what if he’s the SAME person who’s doing my manuscript critique? Did I put my real name on that manuscript? How long does it take to get a name change???

CC: I am one with the writing universe. All shall be well. This is my tribe, they love me. At least, they claim to love me…do they love me? I mean really love me? Or–

PC: THEY HATE ME! And they’re Southerners! Everyone knows Southerners are much too polite to admit they despise you. If I hear one “Bless your heart–”

CC: I am one…all shall be…okay, stick a fork in it, I’m done. Sooooo…I’m gonna need a pen and a good fake name. What do y’all think of Harper Lee?


Horrible Horoscopes

concept-astrology-aries-universe-159668I had another one of those unhoroscopes today:

“In one culture, it’s unlucky to wear your clothes inside out. In another, getting married on Tuesday spells relationship doom. You’ve your own ideas on the subject, and they’ll dictate what you’re willing and unwilling to do.”

Here is my idea on this horoscope subject: HOW IS THAT A HOROSCOPE? It’s not a forecast, not a prediction of any future events. What it is, is a factoid (two actually) thrown in with a rather loose opinion.

Willing or unwilling to do? So I may or may not do something? Based on my very own ideas? That pretty much sums up living for…well, pretty much the human race. It’s called free will, Horoscope Writer Person.

I mean, that’s a real job, y’all. Sheesh.

Anyway, I would be even more upset this morning if I hadn’t used one of these unhoroscopes to inspire my post at The Muffin: The Extroverted Introvert (In Other Words, A Writer). So I suppose I did have my own ideas on a subject and I was willing to write about it.


But I Have A Good Excuse

bird-crow-black-animal-53187I’m just going to say it: the universe is trying to teach me a couple of lessons in humility. Because every time I write a Muffin post about a certain topic, I’m caught eating crow.

This time, the topic is “The Importance of Being Current,” which honestly, is VERY important. And yet, here I am, taking a look around in various digital spots, realizing that I have not, in fact, been so good at keeping things current.

Well, that’s okay, because that’s pretty much what I admitted to in the Muffin post. And I even tried to update my bio at SCBWI but because they’ve had a recent (and terrific!) update, I’m unable to change my photo and perhaps make other changes.

But here, at my website and blog, for cryin’ out loud, I thought I was pretty darn current! I said as much in my little blurb at the end of the post. I bragged about my currentness (and yes, that may not be a word but I’m in too much of a state to think of the right word. That’s how bad this situation is).



pexels-photo-633432There were two books. And I’m going to jump on that ASAP. And add ’em to my SCBWI bio as soon as I can get into my SCBWI bio. (But if I’m being perfectly honest, ASAP may not be that soon. I’ve taken on a new position in Southern Breeze, my SCBWI region, as Co-Assistant Regional Advisor, and I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Hopefully, I’m making more sense than a chicken without its head, but I can’t make any promises. Still, I managed to circle back around to a bird, so there’s that.)


Off To Work, Sooner or Later


What? Checking Facebook for game stuff is work.

So I had a whole list of things I wanted to accomplish before the big college championship game tonight. But bright and early this morning, whilst reading about the big game in my newspaper, I heard from a Mister Brother Man (I have three of ’em) and brother men do not call just to chat. There was business to discuss (plus football, natch), and would I do some research for him?

Okay, fine, but first I needed to call Juniorette Hall to relay some of the business news (and discuss the game); no worries, I’d be off the phone in a jiffy, then do my research stuff, and then get to my list.

Except then Oldest Junior Hall called and we had to discuss the business, but mostly the football game, and then, no more fooling around, I needed to get that research done (because Brother Man had sent me a text asking for it!). And no joke, I was right in the middle of the research when Youngest Junior Hall pulled into the driveway.

To take me to lunch. Because yes, by then, it was lunchtime. So I finished my research, and Brother Man called again–seriously? Does anybody in the state of Georgia plan to work today?–and took a shower because people out in the world expect you to show up clothed and relatively decent-smelling (though my kids probably know better by now).

Anyway, off to lunch we went to discuss the business and the research and we were almost going to come home so I could work before the big game tonight (which we also had to discuss) when Youngest Junior Hall remembered an Office Depot detour he needed to make.

It’s almost 4:00 now and unless a dead relative decides to pop in (and discuss the game), I think I’m good to get to work. So if you have a minute, maybe you could pop in over at The Muffin and read my post for today: “Time to Tackle What’s Holding You Back.”

Yeah, you can’t make this kind of stuff up. (And one more thing! Go Dawgs!)