Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Packing for a SCBWI Conference

Are you packed yet? With at least two SCBWI Fall Conferences this weekend, I’m betting many of us are wondering what to stuff in our suitcases. Below is a list to get us started. Please add any suggestions to it in the comment section. After all, I’m packing too and would hate to forget something.

Notebook and pens (to write down important info, ideas, and doodles)
Business Casual Outfit for Critique (Looking professional never hurts)
Breakfast bar or crackers (In case you oversleep)
Business Cards for networking (Staples can usually make these same day)
A Copy or two of some manuscripts/illustrations (to share as needed)
Chocolate (You’ll want an energy boost during afternoon sessions)
Laptop (For researching leads)
First Page entry (We won’t try to spot the embarrassed soul who wrote it)
Something to share at Open Mic (We promise to clap)
A willingness to learn (If you listen instead of just focusing on being heard, you will get much more out of conferences)

I’m looking forward to the SCBWI Carolinas Conference this weekend. For those of you on Twitter, we’ll be tweeting what we learn at #cfc09. I’ll also share nuggets of wisdom on my blog next week.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2001

Why would someone with a blog about writing write a 9/11 post? Because that day interrupted everything.

On September 11, 2001 I was a fourth grade teacher at Walkertown Elementary. Before my students arrived, I stopped to talk to my friend Lisa about the previous night’s Bible study. We had discussed Revelations, and how, because we lived in a country that wasn’t under attack, we had trouble seeing it as others might.

Later that morning, with my students in the room, Lisa stuck her head in the door. “Remember what we talked about this morning?” she asked. “Get ready.”

I didn’t get to ask her what was going on, but I felt a heaviness.

A little while later, a parent volunteer came by with a brief note from the office. It was a newsflash, followed by orders not to watch or discuss it with our children.

There was noise. I taught from my lesson plans, got a few students to the office when worried parents checked them out early, and made sure we made it to the cafeteria on time for lunch.

When our students were in specials, we gathered in rooms. We stared up at the horror, and we worried, and we wondered. Then we picked up our class and went back to teaching.

It was right not to tell the kids what was going on, but I know they felt the silence. Children know when something is being kept from them. But for a few more hours, we guarded their innocence and gave them some stability. I will not forget that day or the pressing silence.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Carolina Tweeps Who Write And/Or Illustrate

Last week on Twitter, Bonnie Adamson decided to recommend writers and illustrators from North and South Carolina as people to follow. Some of us were having a tough time keeping up, so she graciously shared her list. I've added to it, and it's a whopper. There are kidlit writers, freelancers, romance tweeps, science fiction creators, bloggers, etc. If you know of any other North or South Carolina writers that would like to be added, please leave their Twitter name and actual name in the comment section.

@Koppelmom (Donna Koppelman)
@johnclaudebemis (John Claude Bemis)
@GrannyGretchen (Gretchen Griffith)
@nikiofware (Niki Schoenfeldt)
@mdiffee (Marie Wright)
@quirkywriter (Laura Renegar)
@stephenmesser (Stephen Messer)
@bethrevis (Beth Revis)
@katiehines (Katie Hines)
@moyergirl (Joyce Hostetter)
@carrieryan (Carrie Ryan)
@Constaur (Constance Lombardo)
@NCWriterMom (Maggie Moe)
@catesfolly (Florence Gardner)
@Alan_Gratz (Alan Gratz)
@claycarmichael (Clay Carmichael)
@Georgia_McBride (Georgia McBride)
@CREvers (Christy Evers)
@marybrebner (Mary Brebner)
@kate_reilly (Kate Reilly)
@ncwriterchick (Bernie Hearne)--protects her tweets
@LaurieJEdwards (Laurie Edwards)
@bonniedoerr (Bonnie Doerr)
@ashleymc1477 (Ashley McCollum)
@BonnieAdamson (Bonnie Adamson)
@alijwalker (Alicia Walker)
@katmagendie (Kathryn Magendie)
@AmyClipston (Amy Clipston)
@MollyFyde (Hugh Howey)
@joliehale (Jolie Hale)
@annieteich (Annie Teich)
@shellyyarbrough (Shelly Yarbrough)--protects her tweets
@ElizabethSCraig (Elizabeth S. Craig)
@BergersBookRev (Alice Berger)
@LydiaBreakfast (Lydia Dishman)
@ncyankee719 (Robin Constantine)
@louisehawes (Louise Hawes)
@thunderchikin (David Macinnis Gill)
@ItsDorothy (Dorothy Ray)
@LadyLoriSC (Lori Norman)
@authorann (Ann Eisenstein)
@acfeagan (Alice Feagan)--raised & educated in NC, though currently elsewhere
@authorswrite (Robyn Campbell)
@tadhgceitinn (Tim Keeton)
@chewchewpoopee (Susan LaBarre)

Friday, September 4, 2009

And the winner is...

Janet was picked from the hat and is the winner of the Sweet Repeats Contest. Congratulations!

A big thanks goes out to everyone who participated. I was blown away by the awesome response. Some fabulous books were mentioned. Happy reading!