Day two started eaaaarly… or at least it seemed that way. It was an hour to drive in, and I wasn’t going to miss breakfast (I paid the money, I’m getting fed!), so I was up and driving in at 7:30am. *yawn*
- 9:30am - Noon - Continuing Class (Writing for Children & Young Adults)
Believe it or not, we discovered that someone had complained the day before about the amount of writing time given to us in the class… On day one, Valerie presented us with four or five options of projects we could work on (and possibly share on the last day) over the course of the conference, and the plan was to give us about 15 minutes of writing time at the end of each session. We only managed to get the time in once on day one, and only for about 10 minutes… and someone had a problem with that??? It was bizarre. We’re at a writing conference, people. Don’t you want to write? Weird. But, it became the running joke of the rest of the session, and I hope that other person found what they were looking for in another session.
- 12:30pm – Lunch
I sat at Audrey Dorsch‘s table, and chatted with the ladies around me again. A few of us had a conversation with Audrey about indexing and the work involved in that… I know it might sound boring, but after my brief stint at indexing in university, I found it interesting to hear about it on a professional level. Audrey had made jokes the night before about it not being the most exciting work, but when she talked about it to us, it was clear that she did enjoy her time on that job. Indexing also takes quite the detailed eye, since so much of it can be subjective (unless someone has specified the terms & formatting), and I imagine that job helped to prepare her in some way for her later editing positions.
- 1:45pm - 4:45pm – Workshops A & B: Finding Your Writing Personality (2-part)
Well… I can’t say I gained a whole lot out of this workshop, and unfortunately, I felt like it was a bit of a waste of time. Too bad it took up 2 out of 3 workshop slots… and I had such high hopes! We took several tests to determine our personality ‘color’, and then worked in groups to talk about the various personality colors and what made them different… and finally, how that showed through in our writing life. It was interesting… but I think it could have been covered in one session. It was repetitive, slow, and… did I mention repetitive? I mean, I get the point. Greens like research, yellows are organized, blues are emotional people-persons, and oranges are adventurous free spirits. *ta-da!* Can we move on now?
The best part of this workshop was the last 10 minutes, when we were in groups and answering questions about how we dealt with various aspects of our writing. Oddly enough, the session even went 15 minutes over time… but really, you can only tell me what each color is like so many times before I’m going to tune out and work on something else. The woman leading the workshop even said, more than once, “greens hate it when things get repetitive, they get bored and won’t listen anymore because they just want you to get to the point”. Mmm-hmm. Did you hear what you just said, lady? Are you wondering why this table at the back hasn’t looked in your direction for the past 15 minutes?
I may cover more of this session’s material in a future post – hey, I need to try and get something out of it – but I’d say the best part was meeting like-minded individuals who react in similar ways as I do to various parts of our work. That was really nice… but again, something I could have done in one hour, as opposed to two and a half. Sigh.
- 3:15pm – Appointment: Valerie Sherrard
The day before, Valerie asked us all to write down ONE question that we absolutely couldn’t leave the weekend without having an answer to. I posed “one question, many parts” relating to series writing, since the YA and Children’s book industry often seems so centered around pumping out series that will keep kids coming back again and again… but I’ve also heard that a new writer doesn’t necessarily want to write a series, as it could be a career killer. Anyway, Valerie asked me to make an appointment with her to go over the question, since it was pretty involved and perhaps pertained more to me specifically. So I did! The meeting went very well, and I got the answers I needed. More on the meeting in another post!
- 5:30pm – Supper
Sat at Mags Storey’s table, talked with her a little bit, but saved my questions for my appointment with her on Day 3. She was extremely chatty, very personable, and funny. I also met an adorable young woman who works with special needs high school students and has a firey passion for social justice… I wish I could remember her name, but she was very sweet and truly had a heart to change the world. I bet she will.
- 7:00pm – Plenary Session with Brian Stiller
Wow… talk about an excellent speaker! Brian Stiller was inspiring, encouraging, and challenging… and full of one-line inspirational quotes. It was ridiculous. A lot of people weren’t sure what to expect of his talk, but he gave a lot of good advice about following what God has called you to do, speaking to the world instead of hiding ourselves away, and asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in your everyday life. I wrote a lot of things down during his talk, and I plan to read it over during those moments of self-doubt, to be reminded that I’m doing the right thing. I’m in the right place. I was born with this desire to write for a reason, and who else would put that in me but the One who made me?
- 9:00pm – Autograph Party for All Authors
Well, not all of them… it was more like: “Set up a table with your books and sit behind it for awhile.” Hmm. The ones I wanted to get autographs from weren’t there… of course. Oh well. I ordered a recording of one of the other workshops that I wasn’t in, got a free book (oooh yeah) from the bookstore, and moved on to…
- 9:30pm - 25th Anniversary Cake!
By this time, I was tired, emotionally drained, and ready to go home… but I wanted cake, so I tried to hide in the background while they got it ready, with the intention of grabbing a piece and getting out of there. I sent a text to my husband at this point, saying something like “I’m exhausted, if I have to talk to one more person I’m going to scream”… which meant, of course, that someone came over to talk to me. That was fine, though – I managed to excuse myself easily after a few minutes, grab some cake, and head out the door with it. I ate it on the way to the car, and then drove home…
I think at that point I was just so tired from interacting with so many people… being around a lot of people like that – in a situation where I’m constantly talking, sharing, listening, etc. – really drains me, and after two days, I was beat. One more day to go, though…