Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I'm very excited that registration will open for the ACFW Conference in a little over a month. It is my favorite conference. I get to meet so many friends, both old and new, and I get to see my editors and my agent. I used to have a countdown widget here on the blog, but it was balling up the page loading, so I had to take it off. :( Sadness.
The ACFW Conference isn't until September. It is now the end of March. Is almost six months too early to prepare for the conference? NO! Actually, in some cases it might not be time enough. There are so many things I need to do in the next six months, I'm wondering if I will get them all done.
So, how do you begin preparing for a conference that doesn't occur for half a year?
- Start saving money. Conferences aren't cheap, though I'm convinced the best ones are worth the money.
- Start praying. Pray that God will prepare your heart for the experience. Conferences can be exhilerating, terrifying, friendly, lonely, educational, humbling, uplifting...and that's just in the first hour! Pray that God will help you set your expectations, that you will be realistic, and look on the conference as a stepping stone, not the launchpad of your career.
- Start honing your pitches and proposals. This is one of the most tense parts of any conference for me, pitching a project. Though, I have to say, my editor made my last pitch session with her a complete breeze!
- Finish that manuscript. I have a rather stretching goal of completing three manuscripts by September and a couple of pitches with sample chapters on two more projects. Like I said above, I don't know if six months is enough time!
- Plan to volunteer. You will get so much more out of the conference if you volunteer in some capacity. Last year I was an accidental volunteer in the bookstore, and it was one of the best experiences of the whole conference.
Question: Are you planning to attend a conference? What have been your experiences, and how are you getting prepared for conference season?
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Five animals that I think are funny looking, as if they were made up from spare parts.
And my favorite oddball picture...
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I subscribe to Writer's Digest. Originally, I purchased the subscription to help out a friend
What do I get out of the magazine?
Lots of things!
- I feel writerly when my magazine arrives.
- The articles about writing are informative and educational. I learn about the industry in ways I couldn't just from my own circle of experience.
- I learn about more than just writing fiction. Writer's Digest is full of articles on writing for periodicals, writing poetry, non-fiction, agents, publishing trends, etc.
- The magazine reminds me of how far I've come and how far I've yet to go.
Question for you: Do you subscribe to a writer's magazine? If so, which one?
Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Five sure signs spring has come to Minnesota.
1. Mud. Mud tracked into the house and splattered on cars.
2. Trash. The snow melts, and an entire winter of litter is revealed in roadside ditches. People are so thoughtless with their trash!
3. Potholes. I have to say, Sioux Falls, SD had some real beauties! Winter is hard on the roads here, and every spring there is a new crop of potholes to fix. Some are large enough to swallow a Prius.
4. Cat Hair. My cat sheds a lot at the best of times. In the spring, it's EVERYWHERE. She's a gray cat with lots of fluffy hair. We have to pin her down and cut matts off her because her coat is so dense she can't possibly groom it out. Brushing her is a hit or miss thing, because she only tolerates the brush.
5. Daydreams. This is the part of the year when I start daydreaming about getting flowers and planting my flowerbed. This is the best part of the process, since I do buy the flowers, and I do plant them, but then I fail to give them the TLC they need, and they get to looking not so great.
So, any signs of spring where you live? I have a feeling we're in for at least one more really good snowstorm. It's sort of an annual tradition that when the High School boys' basketball tournament rolls around in MN it's time for a blizzard.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Woohoo! I survived my very first book signing! I have lots of folks to thank!
- First, HUGE thanks to Mary Connealy for first broaching the subject of me signing books with her in Sioux Falls, SD. In my mind, I've dubbed her Awesome Mary. I hope she doesn't mind. :) She made the booksigning so much fun. How cool is it that we were together for my first book signing? Mary's first ever book signing was in Rochester a few years ago, and I was there for that one! Sweet huh? And Mary's been such a cheerleader. Awesome Mary, you rock!
- Second, thank you to Crossroads Books and Music for hosting us. They had everything all set up, posters up, books set out, and had spread the word so well that folks who had bought our books previously came back to get them signed, and others had purchased the books earlier and left them to be signed. The staff encouraged browsers to stop by our tables, and quite a few of them purchased books and had them signed. The store is beautiful. I wish I had more time to browse.
- Third, thank you to Angie Brillhart and the Barbour folks for printing the wonderful posters, bookmarks, having the books there. I can't say enough about the fabulous staff at Barbour and how graciously they treat their authors.
- Fourth, thank you to Rose Z. who drove into Sioux Falls and had lunch with Mary and I and stayed for the entire book signing. She's got a ms under consideration with a publishing house, and I can't wait to hear that it's been snapped up. :)
- Fifth, thank you to Linda and Heather, who got up practically in the middle of the night to ride along with me.
- Sixth, thank you to Misti for meeting us at the booksigning. It was so great to see you again. And to all the people who came out and bought books and said hello.
Whew, that's a lot of things to be thankful for.
Here are some things I learned.
- Mapquest can't always be trusted. I had to stop and get directions to the bookstore. I was about three blocks away. And I was a teensy bit late as a result. ARGH! I HATE being late.
- Book signings in real life aren't as harrowing as I'd made them out in my head. Silly imagination.
- Mary Connealy had book signings down to an art. She knows just what to say and how to make people feel at ease...both book buyers and co-signers.
- It pays to do research...but more about that tomorrow.
Question: Do you like to go to book signings? Whose signings have you been to?
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
This past week, I received my first feedback sheets. People were very nice. They made lots of nice comments. Only one person didn't like the book so much. Many people said they enjoyed it very much.
So which one do you think I thought about the most? The many who liked it? Nope, I thought about the one who said she didn't.
After a bit, I realized I was circling a dead-end drain with these thoughts. I decided to let it go. I decided to stop focusing on the negative, and take a look at the positive. I've got the names of some lovely ladies who cared enough about my book to write in and encourage me. So part of my to-do list this week includes writing some thank you notes.
Because nothing gets you thinking right like saying and being thankful.
Question for you: Have you ever gotten negative feedback that had your head spinning? What did you do to get your head on straight?
Friday, March 05, 2010
Five things I remember about first grade.
1. Learning to read in my head. This was such a revelation to me. I could read without speaking the words aloud.
2. Drawing a picture of a siamese cat that so impressed my art teacher that she framed it.
3. My teacher, Mrs. Williams, had blue and white checked pants, and very sticky red lipstick. And a beehive hairdo.
4. Being reminded on a fairly regular basis when using Elmer's glue that "A Dot Does A Lot."
5. Being sick with the flu and missing two weeks of school, then going back only half days until I was stronger.
What do you remember from First Grade?