Friday, August 27, 2010

A little bit late....Writing for Charity

This past weekend I attended the Writing for Charity event at Waterford School. First off, it was so nice to be back at Waterford!!! I have such good memories from WIFYR and it was great to spend time there again. One or two people even recognized me (I got some questions about the first page contest), and I met a few wonderful writers who I've heard about through blogs/facebook.

Some highlights:

~Me eating about nine cookies. Yeah, I know, the fat person inside me is determined to get out.

~Talking to Matt Kirby and Sheila Nielson, both of whom are published by Scholastic.

~Meeting Ann Dee Ellis. I read her blog all the time (Throwing Up Words) and I know Carol, but I hadn't met her in person until this event. She's wonderful :).

~Listening to other people's first pages. Even though i didn't bring my own, it was fun to hear the work of such talented writers.

~Getting my book signed by Sara Zarr. Let's face it, she's awesome.

~James Dashner offering to auction off Shannon Hale's placenta in front of a large family-oriented audience.

~Brandon Mull talking about sex in front of said audience, then laughing.

~Getting frozen yogurt.

~The author panel.

~Shannon Hale in general, who is hilarious.

~Emily Wing Smith. She's the nicest person, an awesome writer, and she always makes me laugh.

So there you go. What an great event! I'm happy to support such a wonderful cause, and I'm looking forward to attending next year.

On a different note, I started school Wednesday. Three hours into the first day and I already had Senioritis. Much as I love my school friends, this summer was the best, and I miss all my writing buddies so much!!!! I'm flying out to see Kita in October (and visit colleges, but that's not important). Can't wait!

My school schedule:

Red Days:
1st period - Teacher's aide for Ms. Thompson
2nd period - World Civilizations
3rd period - FREE
4th period - FREE

Black Days:
1st period - IB English
2nd period - FREE
3rd period - AP Statistics
4th period - AP Biology

Pretty easy, if I do say so myself. Nothing in comparison to what my schedule was last year. Still, I'm worried about keeping up on my school work, since I'm already struggling to focus on writing. There are just so many social distractions! Every time I sit down to get stuff done someone invites me out, and I just can't resist a good party.


I need to focus.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Skittles

Sorry I haven't blogged in so long. This past month has been really busy, and it's hard to find time to keep up with all my writing obligations.

I just spent two weeks at the yourword creative writing residency in New Smyrna, Florida. There are no words to describe how this experience impacted me. I got to work with some amazing writers, both my peers and the Master Artists. Benjamin Percy headed our fiction group. He likes purple skittles (or so we speculated), knows how to present an engaging seminar, and has the deepest voice of any person I've ever heard. We had so much fun in his class, and I'm really going to miss his humorous comments and creative insight. Although they were not my main teachers, I absolutely loved working with Denise Duhamel and Beverley Donofrio. Denise was brilliant in her use of poetry to help us fiction writers develop characters. She smiled so much I'm surprised her face doesn't hurt, and she always had kind words for all participants. Bev was amazing. If you haven't read Riding in Cars with Boys (or seen the movies, for that matter) you should definitely check it out. I will be eternally grateful for her thoughtful evaluation, and also for giving me the courage to write and present a memoir piece on the final night of the program.

My time at Atlantic Center for the Arts has taught me many things, but I am most grateful for the friends I made, friends who I'm sure I'll be in touch with many years from now. Caroline, Kim, and especially Kita, you guys made this trip for me. I love you so much! Can't wait for y'all to fly to Utah. Sundance 2011 baby!!!

Anyways, that's about all I can think of for this post without becoming incredibly redundant. Below are some pictures. Aren't writerly people just awesome? :)

Kita and I before the final public reading


Kita and I in the ocean


Me and Kim

Kita Kate Kim

Haha. Love this one.

Me, Caroline, and Zac Effron

Kita and I in the library

Me, Kita, and Caroline