Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The write kind of weekend

I've been so overwhelmed by our move and the ongoing stress of trying to get our Austin-area house ready to sell that I haven't been blogging or writing much, though I have been reading blogs and writing boards, etc.

This weekend, though, I got refreshed by going to an Awesome Austin Writers' Workshop--my first time back to Austin since moving in June. While I did cry more than once about not living there anymore...the event itself was a treat! 19 of us met at the lovely home of Meredith Davis, founder of the Austin SCBWI chapter, and broke into small groups for intensive critiques throughout the day. My group, The Ramonas, included Chris Barton, Greg Leitich Smith, Lyn Seippel, and Helen Hemphill, and between us we critiqued picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction. We also had time to talk and hang out with the larger group, and we had fun listening to anonymous first pages by nearly everyone attending. We had dinner afterwards at a casual place on the lake, Ski Shores, where a few more folks were able to join us.

In this lunchtime photo taken by Donna Bowman Bratton, I'm in the front left, and going around clockwise from me are: Lyn Seippel, Don Tate, Debbie Gonzales, Andy Sherrod, Brian Yansky, and Carmen Oliver.

These events are always inspiring! I was also glad to get good feedback on the manuscripts I shared...one of which has been on and off my back burner for 9 years (!), and one of which is almost ready to send back to my agent (I hope!).

It's lucky I got there safely, considering I had to get up at 4:30 am and drive 3 hours to Austin to get to the workshop--and couldn't sleep at all the night before! Not only were my nerves and my toddler keeping me awake, along with my usual night owl nature, but somehow a story started brewing in my head while I lay in bed. I ended up narrating most of it in my mind, in hopes I'd remember it in the morning. Sure enough, I remembered it well enough to recite the general storyline to myself out loud as I drove. I found myself wishing for a tape recorder, but didn't have one handy! But I added more as I went, and saying it aloud helped me remember it, even after hearing everyone else's stories that day. That night, relaxing with my laptop as I spent the night in Austin, I typed up the story from memory, and now I have 2462 words of something--I'm not sure what! It's a light romantic story, somewhat goofy as per usual with me, but I'm not sure if it's the basis of a short story, part of a novel, or just an exercise to get my writing brain jump-started again! Either way, it was kind of fun to have my muse on overdrive like that.

1 comment:

Shelli Cornelison said...

Wish I could have been there. It seems I'm out of town or at a kid's game for almost every Saturday meeting. I think I'll actually make it in September. And I'm going to the workshop in October. Hope you're coming back down for that one. And I hope everyone settles in after the move and things flow smoothly and calmly for you this Fall.
Take care!