Ever since moving back to Utah some 6 years ago, I have wanted to attend the Writers and Illustrators for Young Readers Workshop (WIFYR). Formerly held at Brigham Young University, the conference always collided with the Secondary Literacy Institute that I had to attend because of my job. Well, this year, WIFYR was relocated to Waterford, a private school in Sandy, UT, and the Literacy Institute started a week later than it did in year’s past. All this “backstory” is to tell you, I am attending this year BECAUSE “the time to hesitate is through.” Jim Morrison AND my son told me that.
Sooooooooo this is how my first day went – typical Renae. Sigh.
WIFYR – Day 1: Well, I did it: Walked into the auditorium laden with huge, ugly computer bag, Walmart reusable bag filled with books, lunch, and soda, AND my purse to envy. Searching for a seat in the quarter-filled auditorium, I wandered across the front to the empty seats on the south side. Rounding the corner, I TRIPPED over who-knows-what. The carpet? The slight incline? My own 2 feet?
Of course, I SPRAWLED, along with the computer bag, grocery sack, and cute green purse. Books and lunch slid out of the Walmart bag and people came rushing. Well, 2 concerned folk ran to my aid, INCLUDING Brandon Mull. Yes, the Fablehaven author came to my rescue, and all I could say was “I’m all right. I do this all the time.”
Brandon’s reply: “Oh, a grand entrance, huh?” Yeah, I guess you could call it that, but I catalog it as just plain CLUMSY!
Later that morning: My first class with Cherie and Rick, authors extrodinaire, was fun and enlightening. The most rewarding writing segment ignited a plot idea for the story idea I’ve been pondering. YaY.
Afternoon: Great breakout sessions with Alane Ferguson, Young Adult mystery writer – among other things – who talked about “finding your character’s voice.” Lots of good ideas, tips, warnings, etc. (She doesn’t exactly admire Stephanie Meyer’s lack of the writer’s craft.)
And the second session with Brandon Mull was just as great as he shared ideas about strengthing the story by developing 5 essential elements. Brandon was entertaining and honest. Maybe too honest. Upon leaving this breakout session, I realized I’ll be lucky to publish ANYTHING EVER! And luck just does not follow me. Read on.
Late afternoon: Can’t find my keys. Again. I finally remember that I shoved them into the book bag when I sprawled upon the auditorium floor. Of course, the book bag is locked in the morning’s classroom. I call for help. Twenty to thirty minutes later, I meet up with Carlos who VERY KINDLY opens the door for me. I find the keys. Whew!
After 5:00: I head for my PT Cruiser, only to find that the keyless entry won’t work. Why? Because the *#$&% battery is D.E.A.D. Seriously. I’m NOT kidding. It is DEAD! Being an old school sexist, I start looking for MEN with JUMPER CABLES to help me jump start the problem car. Three men later, I get help from Carrie – yes, young, capable, “I-am woman-hear-me-roar,” Carrie. She has jumper cables AND know-how!
A few minutes and a little maneuvering later, the car turns over; I drive from Sandy to the western desert where I live, stopping off to check the battery life. The news: It’s a good battery. What could this mean? A dying alternator, perhaps? OH NO!
And that, my friends, was day 1. (Although I am leaving out the spilled coke and over-flowing toilet episodes.)
June 15, 2010 at 9:29 AM
So glad to hear that day one went so well. I’m already looking forward to reading about day two! If a bomb squad requires you to evacuate the building, look for your computer bag immediately.
June 15, 2010 at 1:38 PM
Please do not leave out the spilled coke and over-flowing toilet episodes!! C’mon! Those have to be doozies! I hope you’re not feeling sore from the fall today! I bet no one even noticed the fall — they probably just thought — “wow — I just saw a really cute green purse move quickly through the air! 🙂 Where did that go!”
June 15, 2010 at 5:02 PM
C. and A. Day 2 went much better – only missed my exit and arrived a bit late. This is a wonderful workshop. So happy I committed to this. I am learning so much and I can apply many lessons to my day job. I think I’ll be a better writing teacher as well as an improved writer after this experience.
Thank heavens no one snatched up my cute green bag OR the computer bomb – I mean bag!
Thanks for being my faithful friends!
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June 16, 2010 at 8:15 PM
DAY 3 – Class was great! I’m still trying to decide if I would have been better off attending something like this a year or two ago, before getting so far into a novel. Or if this is the right time, since I have something to reflect against and apply all this newly gained knowledge and feedback. I love getting feedback from the group. I have realized that I need to get drastic in my initial revision crusade, at least I feel better armed for it now. Love the blog. Don’t forget to mention “The Patch”…
June 16, 2010 at 8:34 PM
Jason, thanks for the comment! I LOVE commenters! I’m posting the pix I took today on The Write Groove, and I thought about mentioning the patch. By the way, the Hello Kitty band-aids pictured in this post do NOT have the same super powers as my HRT patch!