Sunday, September 16, 2007

CCWC in the SLO -- Eve

The DMs attended the Central Coast Writers' Conference in our own San Luis Obispo this past weekend, and it was full of friends, fans (of Jay), and fun.

The main highlight for me was watching Jay speak to a room full of women (and two dudes) in his “Why a YA?” workshop, where he gave out so many nuggets of wisdom about where YA originated, why it’s important, how to research and write it, and what the pitfalls are that I had to switch pens because I ran out of ink! We heckled him a bit, but he maintained his poise and kept the crowd laughing and scrawling notes the whole time. Ah, I’m so proud.

My dear agent spoke about “Writing Blockbuster MG and YA Fiction,” where she broke down the five essential ingredients needed in a kick-ass book, and gave a million examples including Crank and Glass by Ellen Hopkins, Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande, and Thirteen Reasons Why by…guess who? Guess who?? Jay Asher! What are the nominees for the next big thing in teen lit? Action/Adventure, Sophisticated crossover YA, and Multicultural stories. Which is good for me, seeing as how my new YA has elements of all three rolled into one. So, I got that going for me.

I also caught Penny Warner’s workshop on “The Structure of Plotting Your Story” where she forced us to boil down our book to a less-than-25-word sentence, which is waaay harder than one might think. She gave so many specifics about what a good plot needs that this time I ran out of paper. Love her. She’s funny, approachable, and smarter than Einstein!

We interrupt Evie's post to bring you...Robin!
I attended Mary Hershey's wonderful seminar on"Finding Your Muse," in which I discovered Mary's muse is named Wanda. Luckily, I now know how to tap into my inner creative mind and find my muse so that I can become a happier writer! (I think I'll name my muse Amy.)

Other highlights included lunching with the always hilarious, entertaining, and inspirational Cecil Castalucci, chatting with recent SLO High grad, Rachael, about the brilliance of Manga, college life, and her hysterical behind-the-scenes commentary on SLO High’s The Three Musketeers play that Robin and Jay had attended, and having coffee talk with Cynthia Omololu, where we solved all the world’s problems and discussed how to handle racism when it’s aimed at kids. Fascinating girl! We laughed, we cried, we became one with her.

We interrupt Evie's post again to bring you...Jay!
I'm so tired.

Robin, Jay, and I capped off the night by having dinner and drinks with Cynthia and agent Laura, where we giggled over convincing our waiter that we were all on a bizarre blind Match.Com date, and generally engaged in childish silliness. Love this profession!

- Eve

The Mermaids with Miss Cecil


cynjay said...

I get misty just thinking about it. It was just the best! Especially once our dates did arrive.

Thanks for letting me be a mermaid-in-training for the weekend. You made me feel like the cool kid in school for once. I was the Fourth Musketeer, the quad to your tricycle, and the raspberry sherbert to your neopolitan ice cream, but never once did you make me feel like it was a bad thing.

Discomermaids rock.

Anonymous said...

Cynjay, I know how you feel - aren't the DM's the best, most inclusive, supportive trio EVER?!?!? And I'm not just saying that because Robin wants to name her muse "Amy!" I get to be the tag-along when I'm lucky enough to go to SLO, and I'm not even a writer. BTW, DM's I'll be there for Thanksgiving week and again mid-February - YAY. Lamy

Disco Mermaids said...

Cynthia, you know how the saying goes...Three's company, but four's a party! And it was! It was awesome having you here.

And Amy, it's weird because, first, you are an inspirational person, and second, because my parents originally named me Amy, but changed my name to Robin just before I was born. So sometimes I feel like the Amy in me is my alter ego--the girl I *would've* been.

Can't wait to see you at Thanksgiving!


Disco Mermaids said...

Well, isn't this just turning into a big love fest!? Loved hanging out with the Cynjay. I was actually a little weepy when you left. Swear! I felt like we had so much to talk about, writing and otherwise, that there was not nearly enough time in the weekend.

Sorry I missed Sunday's hike...I was holed up on my couch working on revisions, yet AGAIN. Woo for me!

And, Robin, why isn't your muse named Evie? I'ma name my muse Herman. Just because I think it's the funniest name ever.

Hi Lamy! :)


Disco Mermaids said...

Okay, I know I'm the slightly younger one in the group, but hanging out with my usual Mermaid crew -- plus Cynthia -- plus Laura -- seriously wiped me out.

I'm going back to bed.

- Jay

P.S. Does anyone know where I can adopt a muse? Mine ran away.

Colorado Writer said...

The DM's rock!

Passing along the love for literature...and helping one writer at a time!

You 3 are so cool!

cynjay said...

Was your muse on the petite side with longish blonde hair? I found an extra one stuck to my bumper and was wondering where it came from.

I can ship it back if you need it.

Disco Mermaids said...

That's very kind of you, CynJay.

Unfortunately, Robin said I'm not allowed to engage in further dialogue with you about which muse you might be talking about.

And I'm also not allowed to ask what color dress she's wearing.

- Jay

Disco Mermaids said...

Subtlety is not your strong suit, dear Jay.



Disco Mermaids said...

Not sure what y'all are yapping about, but I love how we're the only ones commenting on our blog to ourselves.

Anyone got anything else? Robin? Jay? Cynjay? Bueller??


Cathe Olson said...

I'm going to chime in to say how great it was to have all the DM's at the conference this year.

And Jay - your workshops were amazing.

Anonymous said...

Voo doo economics. Lamy