An ABC Event report and other catch-ups!

Happy Tuesday, everyone, and happy holiday season!

Wow. December 4th already, where has the time gone? And double wow, it’s been a while since I’ve last posted. My apologies. This year has been quite challenging, but now that things are (somewhat) settling down, I hope to be more consistent. And since we have some catching up to do, my darling fellow blogger Susan is here to help!

LAURA: You there, Susan?

SUSAN: You bet, Laura.

LAURA:  Awesome. And aw, cute sweater! 🙂 Whatcha want to talk about first?

SUSAN: Other than the great sale I got this sweater at, I definitely choose your fabulous ABC Event in October!

ABC EVENT: The Beauty of Reinvention by Laura Bowers

LAURA: First off, thank you to everyone who came despite the fact that Hurricane Sandy was barreling toward us! I truly appreciated it. 🙂 And ha, doesn’t it look like I’m thinking, “What the heck am I going to talk about,” as our lovely co-RA, Edie Hemingway introduced me?

DSC03262-001

SUSAN: She hit her stride quickly, though. Laura told us about her love for books as a child and her early attempts at writing. Despite that, by the time Laura was in high school, she never thought it was possible that someone like her could be a writer – even though she earned an A+ in Creative Writing.

DSC03265

Laura then and now.

Sadly that misconception followed her into adulthood. Thankfully, Laura finally saw the light at age 29 and decided to pursue her lifelong dream. She also told us of her evolution as a writer, which included taking a stab at picture books, finding her literary home in the young adult genre, and understanding what it means to love your characters and their stories. This finally led to the publication of her first novel BEAUTY SHOP FOR RENT, INQUIRE WITHIN.

DSC03267

The self-designed cover of her attempt at writing a picture book.

LAURA: Before getting into the craft portion of my presentation, I thought it would be fun to rev up everyone’s creative mojo by doing a writing exercise.

Now, I have to admit … whenever a presenter asks me to do a writing exercise, my first reaction is to inwardly groan and say, “Seriously, do I have to?” So I was worried about folks losing interest and wishing they were at Wal-Mart buying batteries for the storm when I gave this writing assignment:

Think of your favorite fairy tale that ends with two people falling in love. Now go beyond the story’s ending and write a “Dear John” letter from one of them telling the other why they can’t be together anymore.

A few people shifted in their seats … yes, you did! Don’t deny it! … But afterwards, many brave souls read their letters out loud and they were HILARIOUS! Great stuff was shared, very bitter accounts of how Rapunzel has grown tired of the prince’s obsession with long hair and why the Princess will no longer tolerate her new mother-in-law’s continual Pea tests. In fact, Susan and I were so pleased with the results that we’re going to soon start weekly writing exercises here on the blog, right, Susan?

SUSAN: Right-o, Laura. We’ve got some great exercises up our sleeves. I can’t wait to see what they produce!

After those great turns at fracturing fairytales, Laura went into a discussion of her own personal setbacks, roadblocks, and slumps that have hurt her writing career. She also shared how her mistakes caused her to have a five-year gap between book sales.

DSC03271

LAURA: After sharing my past glooms and dooms, I thought it would be good to switch back to positive by having everyone do … yes, cue the groans! … another writing exercise! Explaining it would take too long, but let me say that after Edie Hemingway shared what she wrote, everyone in the room was totally floored. It was fantastic!

Seriously, Edie. You are going to turn that into a book, right? Right?

SUSAN: You better, Edie!

After that, Laura discussed the many tools, techniques, and mental strategies that she uses as a writer. She then elaborated on what she did to get past the slumps, roadblocks and set-backs in order to sell another book and reinvent herself on a daily basis. After that, Laura shared traits and quotes from several other popular young adult writers. Look for those in a future post!

DSC03270

LAURA: By the way, there were several times during my presentation where I’d promise to post links on the blog or I would stare blankly at Susan and say, “Remember that website I told you about last week? What was it?” Well, here they are:

The Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson. One of my favorite plotting tools!

The Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson. By the way, in December, she’s hosting the 5th annual PlotWriMo, Plot Writing Month. How did I not know about this??? And be sure to check out her videos on YouTube. They’re fantastic!

Tutorials – Channel 101 Wiki, where screenwriter Dan Harmon gives six simple and invaluable tutorials on story structure.

And finally, here’s the list of Ten Tips for New Writers that lists my favorite writing how-to books. 🙂

DSC03277

Thanks, Edie, for putting on another great ABC Event!

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS, UPCOMING EVENTS, AND CHIT-CHAT

~ So, now that November is over, another season of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month,) and PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month,) is behind us, would anyone like to share their results? Did anyone complete an entire novel or fill a notebook with thirty picture book ideas? If so, please let us know so we can give you a mighty huge woo-HOO!

~ Also, did you know that March is National Novel Editing Month? To complete this, you’re to spend at least 50 hours editing a 50,000 novel.

[LAURA: Hmm, I’ll have to look into this since one of my 2013 goals will be to complete NaNoWriMo, PiBoIdMo, and anything else that ends in Mo. 🙂

SUSAN: My sights are on the NaNoEdMo…I have one that needs another makeover and hope to have a first draft of another done before then. Besides, I’m one of those sickos that just love to edit!]

~ Speaking of March, mark your calendars for the 20th Anniversary Celebration for our region, combined with our Annual Spring Conference to be held on March 23, 2013 at the The Bishop Claggett Center in Buckeystown, MD featuring author T. A. Barron and Caldecott award-winning illustrator, Paul O. Zelinski! Other presenters will be SCBWI Co-Founder and author, Stephen Mooser; Literary Agents Ammi-Joan Paquette and Elena Mechlin; and Editors Jill Santopolo of Philomel/Penguin and Sylvie Frank of Holiday House. More details will be coming soon!

~ And don’t forget about May Mid-Grade Madness, where we push the insanity envelope and write a middle-grade novel in 72 hours. We promise to give you all earlier notice than last time.

Happy writing and drawing, everyone! 🙂

Advertisements

About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, and blogger at As The Eraser Burns, Joyful Miles, and Write, Run, Rejoice. In the past, she's been a waitress, telemarketer, cook, real estate agent, and during her college days, a costumed character at holiday parades. (Memories of being terrorized as a candy cane still haunt her at night.) At the age of thirty, she pursued her dream of being a writer. Her first novel, Beauty Shop for Rent, a “Steel Magnolias for teens,” was inspired by a rusted sign by a charming old house, and now, she can honestly say that writing is a thousand times more rewarding than being a candy cane!
This entry was posted in Member News. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to An ABC Event report and other catch-ups!

  1. Of course I did NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo! I had to defend my Rock Star status, after all! I completed the month with 50,250 words on my YA novel (although only 49,539 of those words officially counted, because I didn’t manage to type up all of my handwritten pages before midnight – I was so close!!) and 30 picture book ideas (as well as 2 1/2 YA novel ideas).

    I wrote about my crazy November full of Doing it All, and the things I learned from what I accomplished. If you want to read the blog post, it’s here: http://i-am-so-grateful.blogspot.com/2012/12/winning-and-losing-and-i-wouldnt-change.html

    How did everyone else do this November?

  2. That post was a ton of good content. My new ToDo list is now bulging. Thanks so much.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s