This weekend, I was involved heavily in the annual storymaker’s writing conference. Annette and Heather (conference queens) did a fabulous job of organizing the conference and making it all work and run smoothly. I had a fabulous time connecting with writers I love and admire. I wish I had more time with them, but this conference is a busy one for me. I enlisted the help of my oh-so-hot husband and my oh-so-perfect daughter to run the bookstore with me so I didn’t have to worry so much (and I didn’t worry, knowing it was in good hands).
I taught the class for beginning writers with Heather Moore and we did fabulously (so says James Dashner, who sat in on the class as the acting peanut gallery). And I was happy to make the acquaintance of agent Jamie Weiss Chilton from LA. She was truly gorgeous. I’ve never had hair envy like this before. I also got to meet Janette Rallison’s editor from Putnam, Tim Travaglini. She speaks so well of the man in the bow tie that I loved having the chance to talk to him. And of course Janette herself is amazing as always. I just love everything about her and so appreciate the talent she brings to the world.
I got a small opportunity to chit chat with my editor from Covenant. He’s a funny guy. Sadly our classes were both at the same time so I didn’t get to listen in on his.
I so appreciated Jen and Jeff Savage for staying late after the Whitney’s and helping Scott and me tear down the bookstore and load it all up. I owe them big time.
It is an amazing thing to see how this conference has morphed into something our little band of storymakers never really intended. It changes like a child hitting a growth spurt every year . . . every year a little wiser, a little better tuned . . .
I wish I’d had more time to hang out with everyone I love, but loved getting to see some of my dearest friends win a Whitney award. Having been on the Whitney committee, I knew the winners a month ago. Never have I been forced to keep such hard secrets. Keeping a secret from Josi Kilpack proved to be a challenge of indescribable magnitude. We talk on the phone often and I count her as one of my best gal pals. Not telling her I knew something marvelous about her nearly killed me. I count it as an act of my true friendship that I did keep the secret.
Jessica Day George, as usual, kept me laughing. She’s a riot. I got to hug Kerry Blair. She gave me a book. Is she cool or what? Having her and Janette live in Arizona totally stinks sometimes.
And the Whitneys . . . oh they rocked . . . yes they did, in spite of the fact that Rob wouldn’t let me do anything even though I had a wicked awesome dress. I’m posting pictures so you can see my wicked awesome dress. My only huge regret is I didn’t get a picture with Josi.
Jules Jessica Day George and Jules’ hot husband in a tux!
Angela and Jules
three more hotties
Hotties at the bookstore, Janette Rallison, Me, and Tami Norton (the hottie in triplicate just keeps going!)
Jessica and Jules
Heather, Josi, Me, and Annette as Josi and I (former queens) thank the new queens for a job truly well done.
My husband is HOT in a tuxedo
Kerry the beautiful Blair and me
What an amazing weekend!
At Stake Conference (a church function) we were counseled several times to keep a history of our lives. Gone are the days of dear diary for me. My first diaries were of little interest, they usually consisted of what I had for lunch or phrases like “Nothing happened today.”
How can one have a day where nothing happens?
In my teenage years, journal entries became vividly more exciting, but I intend on burning those before my daughter ever finds them.
So in the spirit of dear diary, I am going to the list version of what I did yesterday.
- Worked eight hours at ebay
- Did dishes
- Did one load of laundry (tried to do two, but dropped a battery down the lint removal thing and spent an hour with a magnetized pole to try to remove battery–battery is still in there)
- Put videos away at the store since Scott has an apparent aversion to this task.
- Gave Murky and Bing haircuts (absolutely necessary since they were looking like orphans)
- Spent two hours on yardwork.
- prepared dinner.
- swept floors and had to play taskmaster as Murky and Bing mopped the dining room and kitchen floors (this would have been easier–and faster–to do myself, but then they lose the satisfaction of a job well done and don’t get the lesson on the value of work–or something like that)
- ate dinner/played the what-was-my-favorite-part-of-the-day game with Scott and the kids (which sometimes gets pretty silly)
- Put kids to bed. Scott usually handles this part since he is such a good daddy. So for me this consisted of shouting out “Brush your teeth!” and “Say your Prayers!” as I settle into my computer chair to write.
- Edited forty pages of The Hazzardous Universe.
- Edited fifteen pages in another manuscript for someone else.
- Arranged the spreadsheet for the catering at the LDStorymaker conference to ensure that everyone is getting the meal they desire. Cussed at the fact that I lost the spreadsheet and had to enlist Scott’s help to find it on my hard drive.
- Said my own prayers (It’s glaringly apparent I need all the help I can get)
- Went to bed.
So you see . . . I cannot dear-diary my life, because no one really wants the internal monologue as I go through my daily chores(aside from the fact that it would contain an abundance of cussing). The list is irritating enough (I’m still miffed over the battery thing).
I do keep a journal for each of kids. Sort of letters to them as they grow and expand in their lives. I started it with the hope that when Rae became a teenager–too cool to listen to the mother of her present, she might be willing to listen to the mother of her past. I decided not to play favorites and started letters to the boys as well. I love my letters to them. For me, that is REAL writing time. Hopefully that will count as journal keeping for me.
Okay here’s the deal: My editor just wrote to me with a request for title suggestions since the marketing committee is meeting tomorrow regarding my book and guess what . . . they aren’t all that fond of my original title. No worry for me since I’m not all that fond of it either. I don’t hate it or anything, but I imagine it could be better. You can read the very abridged first chapter here: http://www.juliewright.com/zion.html to give you a brief and basic summary of the book. I need title suggestions and need them by ten tonight.
Here’s where the contest comes in. I will give a free book of your choice (if you want to wait for this one to come out, you can even pick Seeking Zion) to the person who can come up with something acceptable to the committee. If the committee doesn’t choose any of the ones suggested here, not a problem, I will draw a random commenter from a hat (I have lots of hats) and they’ll get a book.
Thanks for your help guys!!!!!!
Someone asked me if I wrote to music.
During the daytime hours when my kids are in school, I’m clocked into eBay and incapable of working on manuscripts. This means that I’m writing and editing during after-school hours with children home. Writing with kids around presents challenges, especially at my house where my child population doubles due to my children’s friends.
I experience no writing time that doesn’t include:
“It’s my turn to use the Game Cube!”
“Mo-om! Rae won’t give my book back!”
“Mo-om, can we have second lunch today? I’m starving!” (this is usually from Bing who seriously believes that everyone in the world gets two lunches every day.
“Mo-om, I invited ten of my best friends to come and play, and we’re going to make popcorn, and throw it all over the living room . . . that’s okay, isn’t it?”
“Honey, do you know where my (fill in the blank) is? I looked everywhere and can’t find it. (Scott’s version of looking everywhere is putting his hand in the closet. If the item doesn’t jump into his open hand, he comes to find me. In spite of his inability to locate anything in the house, the man has a grid in his head of every city and subway station in the world. He can always find the car in any parking lot, and never gets lost . . . we all have our talents.)
I don’t write as fast as I’d like, because I have to pause and turn around. I have to laugh at the fact they dressed the dog up, or scold for miscreant behavior, or kiss bruises better and bandage cuts, and take time to snuggle with all of them, husband included.
Do I write to music?
In a way, I guess.
I write to the beat and rhythm of my family.