Sunday, July 25, 2010

Standing in My Character's Shoes -and- How Many Pairs of Shoes Does a Girl Need in LA?!

Last week, I heard GREASE's Pink Lady Dinah Manoff give a talk, "Stand in Your Character's Shoes." It was more than a talk, really, because she successfully pulled a bunch of writers out of their shells to explore and further understand their protagonists by using acting exercises. It was enlightening! Plus, Dinah is super fun so the time passed much too quickly!

Martha Schoemaker, one of my fabulous critique partner
s, went with me.

Martha, Dinah, and I

Dinah spoke at a Field's End Roundtable. Field's End is a writers' community that's near and dear to my heart. Click here to read Dinah's amazing bio (scroll down to or click on July) and to read more about the Field's End Roundtables.

Speaking of things writerly and heart-worthy, SCBWI's Summer Conference is July 30th - August 2nd! Squee! Jim cashed in his airline miles and hotel points to send me! (Have I mentioned lately how much I love that man?!) So while next week's post will be delayed, it will be worth waiting for. Bloggy buddy
Molly Hall and I are teaming up to bring you Molly and Dawn's Excellent Adventure!
Molly and I got together last week to hang out, discuss our trip to L.A., and try to solve the age old question: is it possible to bring too many pairs of shoes? We didn't plan to wear matching jean jackets, but I'm taking it as a sign. It means we're both going to sign with awesome agents this year. (It might just mean it was a cool night and we both happened to grab light jackets, but let's not go there. Positive energy, people.)

So! Who else is going? I'm from L.A. County, but I've never been to this conference! If you've been, do you have any tips for us?
Also, when is the last time you saw GREASE? Have you heard about the sing-along version?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blog Awards

I've collected a few blog awards, and I'd like to thank the kind people who gave them to me and pass them to other bloggy friends.

The first is the You Are My Sunshine - Supportive Commenter Award.

Hema P. at
Wading Through Words gave me this one. Hema's comments are always thoughtful, so I was flattered she chose me. I'll pass it to:

Paul Greci at Northwriter
Susan R. Mills at A Walk in My Shoes
Marsha Sigman at Marsha's Musings

The From Me to You Award is from
Medeia Sharif.

Medeia always has lots of fun stuff going on at her blog. Right now there's a
contest! She's giving away Laurie Halse Anderson's CATALYST, Kate Brian's FAKE BOYFRIEND, and Gregory Maguire's WHAT THE DICKENS. Yes, I'm entering! But before I do, let me pass the From Me to You Award to:

Suma Subramaniam
Kristen Lippert-Martin at A Rock in My Pocket
Lydia Kang at The Word is My Oyster

Sharon K. Mayhew at Random Thoughts
gave me the Sweet Blog Award.

I met Sharon and Hema, along with some other really cool writers, through
Mark McVeigh's awesome webinar. I like that we keep in touch through blogs! I'll pass the Sweet Blog Award to:

Lola Sharp at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword
Jemi Fraser at Just Jemi
Stina Lindenblatt at Seeing Creative

I've also been tagged by a couple people, but I'll save that for another post. Before I end this one, however, I would like to thank Paul Greci because I recently won
BLACK AND WHITE by Paul Volponi at his blog. Thanks, Paul! Or maybe I should say, "Thanks, Pauls!" Tee-hee.

Thanks again for the awards, and congrats to the new recipients! Happy writing, everyone!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekend in Oregon

Jim, the kids, and I went to Portland for the weekend. We had so much fun! Remember those "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" assignments? This is my weekend, color photo version.

We took our very first trip to

It's so large, one of these is helpful.

We met someone uber famous!

(I'm fully aware it isn't the real Jimi Hendrix who, sadly, is no longer with us, but
at least I didn't pose with a cardboard cutout of a celeb. This time.)

Going to Voodoo Doughnut was also a highlight.

I was a bit horrified when my husband told me about the bacon maple bars at Voodoo Doughnut, but then I thought about how I love to dip bacon in maple syrup. My son and I each ordered a bacon maple bar.

I believe it was William Shakespeare who said, "The bacon maple bar is not to be judged; it is to be savored.
" (Okay, that's a lie. I just said it right now.)

Jim ordered a doughnut called the Voodoo Doll.

It has raspberry filling and a tiny pretzel stake.

My daughter ordered a doughnut with chocolate icing. I didn't take a picture because, you know, it was a doughnut with chocolate icing.

While we were away, I had extra time to read. I'm finally reading THE BOOK THIEF.

I have only fifty pages left, and I can't wait to read them! It's awesome, as many of you already know.

So how about you? Do you have any extra fun plans this summer? What are you reading? What would you choose: the bacon maple bar, the Voodoo Doll, or a chocolate doughnut?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

KidLit Fun

A couple weeks ago, a group of us got together for an informal evening out.

left to right:
Andrea Lawson, Jennifer Mann, me, and Suzanne Selfors

Margaret Nevinkski
and George Shannon

Janis Segress
(left) and Robin Gaphni

It was great catching up with everyone. We had exciting news to celebrate!
Jennifer Mann recently signed with agent Holly McGhee of Pippin Properties. Shortly after that, Jen received the SCBWI 2010 Don Freeman Memorial Grant in Aid. Wowzers, people! She is having quite the year. And that's not all. Margaret Nevinski recently signed with agent Mary Grey James of East/West Literary Agency. Woo-hoo!

I love sharing the good news!

Congratulations, Jen and Margaret! I'm thrilled for both of you!