Thursday, August 5, 2010

SCBWI LA and beyond

Back from SCBWI LA. Always, always wonderful to listen, learn, and catch up with friends, my darling cowgirl agent, meet new people, just soak in everything. Plus LA. I've got a little love affair going with LA. Took me awhile - but I do. This trip, I got to explore Culver City, see the Culver City Hotel where the cast of Wizard of Oz (yes, munchkin shenanigans!) stayed, see Culver Studios and Sony... Plus a decent meal at a little restaurant called Rush. Next year, I vow to get out to Malibu...

This year I was focused on craft. So the character development workshops w/Carolyn Mackler and Rachel Vail were honestly where I needed to be. Rachel Vail's Form to form a character check list? Gold, baby! Serious gold. What I have learned since about a character in a book I'm working on has been phenomenal. I started typing how she saw herself and then out popped her larger story about why she'd done some of things she'd done in the story. I'd always known her surface reasons. But there were deeper reasons to mine. And I hadn't. Having done so now makes such a huge difference that I'm flabbergasted!

So that's the short version, dear reader. Next time I'll post on some of the writers I met and their wonderful books that are coming out soon, including the fabulous Crystal Allen.

Til then, if you haven't yet read Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick, it's out this week in paperback. Lauren is a phenomenal talent; her spare, wrenching prose puts me to shame. And those last two lines- they make me weep every time. Her MC Holly has recently lost her mother, gets involved with the absolutely wrong boy, and the spiral that happens from there will dig in and grip you forever.

Til next time... and maybe some news about Dreaming Anastasia and Haunted. You never know.


Lauren Strasnick said...

Friend! You are TOO KIND. Thanks so much for the shout out. Love your annual visits to my shiny, smoggy town!! Xo.

Vonna said...

Ah, maybe next year! I would really love to go to this national conference (New York in winter sounds a little out of this Texas girl's comfort zone).