The second time around is better in many instances. Love. Manuscripts. Conferences. You just seem to know how to avoid problems and what to do when they come up. So this year when I was asked to return to the DePaul Summer Writing Conference, I was both honored and extra-prepared.
I avoided one-lane highway closures due to Optimus Prime battles. Instead, I relaxed on a train packed with Cubs Fans--thankful for my Chicago transfanism (Sox-fan-identifying-as-a-Cubs-fan, interchangeable when necessary). And I arrived without sweaty nervousness.
At my teen novel characterization class, students were subject to my past-picking exercise--borrowing flaws from friends and family like outfits. This year's students had a hunger to write for teens--eager to share their work, ready to improve.
I was grateful that B.A. Binns...
...returned to my class. She's also teaching a workshop on writing for teens. You can still catch her at 10:30 this morning! Go, go, go!!!
And James Klise...
...made my month when he said my workshop gave him new juice for one of his characters. Compliments like that make all the prep-work soooo worth it!
Teen writers--like teens--find excitement in the everyday. And there's nothing better than building off that excitement. Proving why conferences are oh-so important. [Psst. I'll be in LA at the SCBWI Summer Conference, too! A million thanks to the SCBWI LA family for granting my wish and honoring my door prize winnings. And a thousand thank-yous to my Love for the early birthday gift of airfare. Kiss, kiss, kiss!]
After my workshop, I snuck into Rebecca Johns-Trissler's talk on writing for consumer magazines, where I gained the strength to possibly tackle a genre I've never tried.
On the way home, those bastards at Garrett's Popcorn pulled my arm and made me buy a bag.
After already trying their carmel corn, I took a different route and mixed--carmel and butter--the perfect combo of sweet and salty. Deeeelicious! The second time around you always know what is better.