Last weekend I had the opportunity to hang out with approximately 6,000 other English teachers. I was attending NCTE or the National Council of Teachers of English conference which was in Boston this year. I had a grand old time! More conference details in a later post.
By far the highlight of my weekend was the author signing I got to do with my publisher Lerner Books. Lerner gave away 100 copies of my book and I got to sign them all and chat with all the really cool teachers who took time out of their conference to wait in line.
As if that wasn’t enough I got to share the stage with one of my favorite YA writers who was signing copies of a Lerner anthology called Losing It -which features short stories about, yup, you guessed it; losing your virginity. I always hope an author who’s writing I admire will also be a cool human and in Amy’s case my hopes and dreams were wildly exceeded.
I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story:
Here I am, very excited about the shiny poster with my head on it. I always try and control my emotion in photos.
Yup, that’s Amy -photo bombing my author shot. I told you she was cool.
Here we are giggling and signing books like a couple -a school girls. Shucks. Seriously though a few tips. When you sign books next to a famous author -don’t sign their name in your books. Also, not a great time to try and bust out your high school Spanish to impress the teacher from Los Angeles. I’m fairly sure what I wrote was not offensive but I doubt it made any sense.
Lastly, here is some love from my agent Lauren. This photo was taken the night before when I signed my first ever book for her. Every writer deserves an agent like Lauren. She rocks!
It’s that time of year again; NaNoWriMo. For those of you not aware of this phenomena. National Novel Writing Month is something of a writer’s marathon. The event, which began in 1999, eggs on participants to crank out 50,000 words of a new project between November 1st and 30th. Writers from all over the world, both professional and amateur, participate. More information about NaNoWriMo here.
I know a lot of writers, newbies, and those with multi-book deals who participate. But not me. “What’s the matter Colonel Sanders, chicken?”
Maybe. And perhaps you’ll find that what follows is nothing more than a massive rationalization. But it’s my rationalization. I do have a project I’m working on currently. I’m about 8,000 words in. So this year NaNoWriMo comes at a pretty ideal time. This year, for the first time, I truly considered it. For about a minute. I’m not going to offer you any excuses about day jobs or kids (I have one of each). My reasons are about balance. For multiple reasons I believe I write best in small chunks.
- Small chunks makes writing a treat instead of a chore
- Small chunks gives me time to revise a bit as I go -smoothing out the rough edges before moving on.
- Small chunks means I have time to go for walks, read a few pages before falling asleep, watch some of my guilty pleasure tv shows.
- Small chunks means I’m not up at 3 in the morning obsessing about what my characters are doing.
- Small chunks has worked really well for me so far.
Barf. I can’t write “small chunks” any more. So there you have it. I think NaNoWriMo is great and really helps some people jump-start on to the page. But it’s not for me. At least not this year…
Additionally, the first person to comment and tell me correctly what movie the Colonel Sanders quote is from gets a brand new The Other Way Around bookmark and some smarties for being so smart. I’ll send ’em to ya!