Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Conference Recap

Oh, another writer's conference. One migraine and one painkiller later, I'm ready to start back to business. The 'not to be named test' grading is over and I'm back writing full force.

First, I want to share a conference highlight. The biggest moment for me was a conference session with the fabulous Liza Ketchum. I was moved by her discussion about the power of endowed objects in fiction. It was eye-opening. We all place indefinable value on things. This is not a monetary value, but a value that transcends the physical world. This value is related to deep cores with us all -- positive ones like: faith, hope and love and negative ones like: resentment, prejudice and jealousy. Objects also serve for my favorite writing purpose and that is to drive the language of symbol. We use words to communicate to one another but we also communicate in many other ways and using words to convey other forms of communication is a real 'kick'. Of course there is conversation and thought, but the relating the sacredness of objects is a way to shake those cores in the readers and there is always that intention in the back of my mind. I could go on all day.

Here's my recommendation, if you every have a chance to hear Liza speak, go!

Other fun moments, chatting with the friend of Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman, talking to Janet Lee Carey about loss and redemption and the best of fantasy, having a consultation and then having the person I'm consulting with take a few notes, letting George Shannon know that I hid his Tippy-Toe Chick, Go book because I've read it so many times (+50) to my son. I also met Boring, Mel. He's great!

Karen Cushman shared many great thoughts. Follow a path to books that you are passionate about, don't follow popular opinion. Don't be so afraid of failure. Use 100 percent of what you find. Always remember that being published is out of your hands.

Jennifer Brown, book reviewer for PW, stressed that books should be meaningful. She reminded us that a fresh original voice is always welcome.

Agent Rebeca Sherman encouraged us to take a fresh take on things, to think about having books with living, present parents. She felt you shouldn't follow trends, but write your story. She also felt that forming a book club and reading current books together would help you understand the market.

Well, that's my conference recap.

Here's my thought for the day.

If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.

John Heywood -- English playwright and poet, 1497-1580

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