February 4th, 2008

Mindy's head shot


I love conferences! I had an amazing time at the Miami conference, and learned so much--especially in the Writing Intensive with Molly O'Neill, Joyce Sweeney, and Alex Flinn. The workshops were fantastic, too! And the speakers were so inspirational. As always, Linda and Vivian put on an amazing conference!

I just received my confirmation for the Poconos Retreat. This will be my fourth year in a row, and I can't wait! I know Rita and Leslie are going. Lisa--is it a definite yes now? You are going to love it! Who else is coming?

I got into my top two workshops, and they both look incredible:

* Alexandra Penfold: The Art of Character Driven Writing: Characters are the heart and soul of every story; they are what drive us to turn the pages and long to return to their stories again and again. In this workshop, we'll discuss timeless characters in children's literature and strategies for writing from character in your own work.

* Jill Santopolo: Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Crafting Emotion and Evoking Reader Response. In film, directors can use music, lighting, and camera angles to convey the emotion of a particular scene. This will be an in-depth look at how writers can use action, metaphor, syntax and objects to convey the same information in novels and picture books. Come ready to write!

I definitely will come ready to write! Being at conferences is so inspirational. When I was at Chautauqua this summer, I came up with the idea for two new stories. One I was able to turn into a fiction piece set in the future for the Highlights contest. I just received a critique from the other, inspired by mjdiem, and I think it might be my strongest picture book yet. The generous critiquer even suggested an editor who may be a good match.

I can't wait to see what manuscripts are born out of ideas from the Miami Conference and Poconos Retreat!

I just looked at the time...my dog went in for surgery today, and she should be out soon. My husky is almost thirteen years old, but still acts like a puppy most of the time. We found two tumors. The small one was okay so far, but the big one had cancerous cells. I'm hoping the tumors aren't too deep, and that all the cancer will come out with them. I've had Bandit longer than my daughters. She's sweet and lovable, and does that adorable husky talk which sounds like we're having a real conversation. She's also inspired several picture books and the character of Scaredy Dog in my MG. Please send her some good vibes, if you have the chance!
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