What a delightfully smooth, well-run, 1 day conference. As I drove away, the GPS taking me on a spooky off-the-freeway-then-back-on mini-adventure, as I sped past miles of crops (previously mist-blanketed, cooling off from a day of baking in 93 degrees), as the seamy-red, YOU NEED OIL BABYDOLL! light flickered on, shocking me, as Prarie Home Companion kept me calm, I asked myself if driving hundreds of miles to Rocklin was worth my time and effort.
Why, yes—it was.
The best panel of the day was put on by none other than my heroes, the YA Muses. Not only did they give a professional, in-depth talk on revision, but they also gave us candy. Visit their website all week for a recap of their panel. If you are in the midst of revising, you must visit them. I’ve said it before, I’ll keep on saying it: YA Muses is a treasure trove of info, no matter the genre you’re writing in. Plus, I can vouch that they are nice. Professionalism and niceness—what could be better? Go read them. Go see.
Lin Oliver was entertaining and informative with another list of advice. Follow Your Weirdness remains a list highlight. Also, starting your novel on the day (close to the actual second) when your Main Character’s world changes forever was a tip to take home and mull over. Lin critiqued my manuscript’s first 20 pages. Her comments were to-the-point, delivered sometimes with humor and always with a sense of care and consideration for the work. Her notes were a happy antidote to that other critique I received.
I met people, took notes, napped for 10 minutes in the minivan, took notes, stretched my legs and wiggled my toes, breathed in the information.
And then I returned to my father-in-law’s, where my preschooler promptly squealed out a detailed account of his first miniature golfing experience. I didn’t get farther than the living room rug, where I collapsed, chatty little lovely morsel in my lap, my husband massaging my shoulders. A glass of local merlot and a salmon/roasted potatoes dinner from my father-in-law capped off that reunion. Well! Life is full of extraordinary ordinary blessings.
Back home in the Valley-Of-The-Constant-Bake, my son in school, the dog snoring next to me
on the bed in my office, it’s time to go over my notes and get to work. With a mini-Snicker’s bar. Courtesy of those wonderful Muses.