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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Conference Jitters

I'm nervous about attending the WIFYR conference and showing up unprepared or dressed the wrong way. I want to put my best foot forward so to speak and to reach out of my comfort zone and meet and greet the other attendees and also the presenters, editors, and agents that will be present. So, I asked the novel class assistant if she could answer a few questions for me, which she did.  She also sent me this great link that I'd like to share with you as well. First time conference attenders need all the help we can get right?

This is the link she sent me from Mary Kole, one of the agents attending the conference  After reading Mary's post I ordered business cards from
Since I'll be driving up from CA for the conference I need to come prepared with everything that I'll need and I want to get it right. So, I've been looking through my maternity, yes, maternity clothes for decent business casual. No easy task, especially when if I decide I need something more I'll have to drive over an hour to a store. I know clothing seems a bit of a silly consideration, but for someone who'll be 19 weeks at the conference I need to be comfortable enough with myself to network, network, network.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Did It

Tonight I submitted to my WIFRY class my required first 30 pages. Even though these pages have been written and edited many times over the past year, I found myself terrified of letting them go. Until now it has only been my critiquing partner Kathryn Purdie and two sisters who have read my work. Knowing that 12 other classmates-well 11 if you consider that Kathryn will be there, complete strangers to me will be reading my work and critiquing it is really daunting. To numb myself before the process I sent just my 30 pages, into which I fit my first 3 chapters, to 3 other people. They responded favorably and without a large amount of helpful suggestions, but still, at least now a few more people have read it.

The submissions are due on Monday, the 23rd, and then we will be sent everyone else's work to critique and print out before the conference- That is three-hundred-and-sixty pages (it seemed more significant written out that way). Now the waiting. All my classmates will know my work before they know my face. I wonder how that will affect their opinions. I do hope that they are both helpful, kind, and specific in their criticisms. I hope to do the same.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Getting My Book Taken Away

I was a really good student in 5th grade-smart, but also into sports. I sat in Mr. Perguson's second row. He was the overweight teacher that turned away from the class and sneezed towards the chalkboard to cover up his flatulance.  I never got in trouble, until one day during silent reading.  This is the book I was reading:
See them walking on the beach in nightgowns? Does this look risque to you? It sure did to Mr Perguson.  He took my book away and asked me where I have gotten it.
"My mother," I replied.
He harrumphed and told me he'd be keeping it for a while and that he would be calling my mother after school.
As the daughter of a daughter of a high school principle I knew that if I got in trouble at school, I would be in trouble at home. My parents supported our teachers as much as they could. So I sweated it a little, but mainly hoped that my mom would just think it was funny. After all, this was Katherine Paterson, the author of Bridge of Terabithia and The Trumpeter of Krakow. And this one was the Newberry Medal winner in 1981. 

I went home and told me mom what had happened. Better she heard it from me first, right? She did laugh, just like I was hoping. Later that evening she talked to Mr. Perguson on the phone, but she did not share the conversation with me.
The next morning before class started he came to my desk and returned my book saying he had read it the previous night and it was okay for me to read.
No kidding, I thought, my mom is the one who gave it to me.
He didn't question my reading for the rest of the year. The flatulence I'm afraid though, didn't go away. If only I'd been a few rows further back . . .

Note: there are 21 different covers of Jacob Have I Loved, and this cover is still my favorite.