May 30, 2012

You Can Tell Doubt to Go Soak Herself

I have some fun news. Of Grace and Chocolate has received official nomination for the 2012 Whitney Awards! There is still a voting process for narrowing down the initial nominees, but this is a bucket list item for me and I didn't think it would happen so soon. I'm just very happy about it.

*happy dance*

Also, I've received news that my next book, THE ORCHARD, will be released sometime around April, 2013! It's so nice to have a general timeline! Even if it seems so FAR WAY!

Also, I am nearly done with SILK, the YA fantasy I've been working on for over a year. I'm really trying to hit it hard and make this story amazing. Then I'll be prepping it to send out. I have knots in my stomach just thinking about it! Good knots. Kinda.

While writing SILK, I've been thinking a lot about character arc. I attended Dan Well's workshop on writing a series at Storymakers and what I loved about it was his breakdown could be applied not only to series, but each book, and each chapter within that book, each scene, and also, the characters.

In SILK, there are 2 main characters, a villain, and 3 more key characters. And they all have POV scenes. At first this worried me, but the more I remember, study, and read fantasy, the less I worry about this. Now my concern is making sure that there is a clear point to giving each of these characters a POV. That they each have definitive character arcs. When I get excited about each one's story, I think I'm on the right track. I find when I'm floundering, it's because I'm not attacking their arc, their growth. When I think about weaving their stories together . . . I get goose bumps.

And then doubt lifts her head and says, "Uh, this is not exceptional."

Yes, Doubt says that. Doubt is a dummy-head.

So I'm still working on it. Don't tell me I can't pull this off. I have to make the attempt.

May 19, 2012

Storymakers Writers Conference 2012

I cannot believe 2 weeks have passed since one of my most favorite events of the year. This writers conference is so much creativity, inspiration, know-how, and motivation packed into 2 1/2 days, if you ever have a notion to go, just GO. It's open to anybody. And it's a good deal. LDStorymakers works hard to keep it that way. This year I got to be an instructor at Boot Camp, an intensive critique camp. I got my own table with my name on it and everything. And it filled up with people! So that was GREAT. My classes each day were so good and I learned a ton, again.
Did you want to see some pictures?
Fun dinner after boot camp with my adopted writing group plus Eric Swedin and Kirk Shaw, Senior Editor at Covenant. Glad I got to sit with him, as just after the conference he announced he's trading editing for law school. Good luck, Kirk! Kendra, Margot, Eric, Marion, Chris, Christy, and oh my gosh I forgot his name, me, and Kirk. Oops.
Our talented, and angelic emcee, Sarah Eden. You see the halo, right?

The lovely Becca Wilhite, who sat next to me at the authors' book signing. Tons of fun!

The amazing Ali Cross, who sat on the other side of me at the book signing. We laughed way too much.

Abel Keough , who came over and told me it was so nice to see me behind a table this year. :) I agreed.

Angie Lofthouse and Stephanie Black, yay!

Dan's bestest smile. Thanks to TJ Bronley who went around with my camera and snapped pictures.

Ronda Hinrichsen, Michelle Holmes, and James Dashner.

I enjoyed dinner my 1st night in Provo at Bombay House with Howard and Sandra Tayler. They rock.  So does Bombay House. And Dan Wells' hat.

Nicole Giles and somebody, and Shanda Cottam, who I didn't see near enough of!

I love this picture of Josi Kilpack and Lisa Mangum!

My long-time friend who tags along with her husband, Dylan, at this conference. Angela Kennedy. So great seeing her again!

Stephanie telling Daron Fraley, Heather Moore, and Gregg Luke to scoot in. Gregg was my bad back buddy, and we both toted around our stuff on wheels.
Three awesomes. James Dashner, Jeff Savage, and Robison Wells. I went to the midnight premiere of Avengers with Jeff and his family on Thursday. This was such a fun panel. I tweeted it live.

Most of our Cody group, plus Sally who meets us every year. Sue, Carla, Leah, and Sally. Leah moved to the Seattle area last year so it was great to have her with us again, too!
The Whitney Gala, and the woman running the show, Josi Kilpack. She's a wonderful example to me.

We get to dress up. Me and Margot. Isn't she pretty?!

Annette Lyon. Love. Her.

Hi, Marion. *waves*

The losers' dessert shot. Awww, but they're so cute.

Jordan McCollum and Heather Justesen. Love seeing these ladies. Heather was co-chair for the whole conference along with Jaime Theler. Huge job and they did it well.

Chris Miller and I matched. :)

A couple of my inspirations: Brandon Sanderson and Jessica Day George. I was kinda fan-girling it in this picture.

I think this was Stephanie's 5th Whitney win and Dan's 3rd. Awesome juju right there.

Lisa Mangum, who totally helped me with my pitch to HarperCollins that morning. She's SO GREAT.

This is James Dashner's stuff. He asked me to watch it for him while he visited the restroom before he left. No really he did.

See? Then he told me not to Tweet it. So I didn't. What did you think of the conference, James?

Me, too. I didn't want to leave such an amazing atmosphere. See you next year, Storymakers! *blows kiss*

Coming soon, an Austen Tea Party...
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