Sunday, February 19, 2012

...and Back Home Again

The much-anticipated conference is over. I'm both sad and relieved. I had a great time and met some nice people, one agent and one author in particular that I especially enjoyed. I got really helpful feedback on the impossible-to-edit book, which I've pretty much decided to completely rewrite. As in, from scratch. Daunting, I know. But it must be done. One famous YA author I met raved over the book and said after the rewrite, I'll be ready to query agents. (As we would say in my family...yippee!)

That was just what I needed to hear to get my butt back in gear. I'd been getting so discouraged with that manuscript. But how can I set aside a project after hearing something like that from a successful, published author whose work I know and admire? (Especially after another industry professional I met kindly let me know that the concept for my next book is already tired. Oops! Back to the drawing board. At least I haven't written that much of the dang thing. Might as well go back to Project One.)

And let's face it, spending my non-conference time in Austin with one of my dearest friends was well worth the extra days. I haven't seen her in over a year, and before that in about two get the picture. It was nice to catch up. And I didn't even wreck the fancy new car she let me drive around all weekend.

I'm exhausted. I'm elated. And I'm glad it's all over. Now, the real work can begin.

I have to stop being lazy about that book now. No more excuses! No more edit-me-out-of-here. Just edit-me-into-print. That will be my new motto.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Conference Bound...

Finally the time is here! Tomorrow I leave for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators regional conference in Austin. It's my first conference, so I'm excited, and nervous, and ecstatic, and terrified, and the list goes on...

I didn't make my editing deadline for the conference on the last book I wrote. Surprise surprise. I'm almost thinking I need to leave that project behind for a bit and focus on a new one. Every time I write something new, I think what I wrote even as near as the previous day is total crap.

That manuscript feels like total crap to me now. So maybe it's time to start over.

Sigh. It's okay. This weekend I'll meet one of my top agent choices, and who knows? Maybe she'll see potential in me. The many books I've yet to write which won't be total crap. I hope.

Fingers crossed. Wish me luck!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hungry For The Hunger Games

I'm finally jumping on another bandwagon. This week I finished up Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, so I busted out Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games and started listening in my car yesterday on the way to work. THG is a much-hyped young adult trilogy about a dystopian society in which teenagers fight to the death every year to get food for their fellow district members.

Wow. Remind me not to raise kids in a dystopian society.

I'm only about three chapters in so far, so I can't give you much on it yet, but so far I'm enjoying it. (There's a boy with a girl's name, the only thing that's pulled me out of the story so far.)

Why am I writing a post about a book I haven't really even read yet? Because the movie's coming out next month, and if you haven't seen the trailer yet, it's fantastic! One of my secret dream jobs is to make movie previews, and this particular trailer (the actual theatrical version, not the TV versions) makes me wish again that I lived in Hollywood and got to create these for a living. It's a couple minutes long, but it doesn't feel that long, and by the countdown at the end, you'll be dying to see what happens next.

Check out the trailer at THG.


Friday, February 3, 2012


This week I ran across a surprisingly moving film. Even though it's animated, silent, and about 15 minutes long (all of which are not typically the ingredients of quality literary films), "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" apparently moved the Academy as much as it moved me. Having already picked up some awards at the Austin Film Festival and Cinequest Film Fest, the flick is now up for "Best Animated Short" at this year's Oscars.

The film opens with Mr. Morris Lessmore sitting on his French Quarter-style balcony writing a book whose letters and pictures seem to have a life of their own. When a hurricane suddenly hits, the words and pictures fly off into the sky, and Mr. Morris and everything else around him soon follow. The rest of the film is a love letter to books and a fantasy for any bibliophile who's ever dreamed of the day when his books will talk back.

Gracie, this film is mandatory viewing for you!

Check out the film at Moonbot Studios.