Friday, December 16, 2011

What I Learned At Big Sur.

I recently returned from a writing conference in Big Sur with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. It was an amazing experience and I could write about it for hours, but I really should be doing other things like writing a book and/or wrapping Christmas gifts for my children, getting Christmas gifts for my family and forcing myself off the laptop for a few days.

So, here’s the quick version:

· Living on the beautiful redwood coast for a few days.

· Meeting amazing writers and really nice people.

· Having five to one crit groups with Jennifer L and Eric Elfman. Both had great insights and were very professional and helpful.

· Listening to Ellen Hopkins and Jeff Stone speak about their publishing process.

· Being able to accost editors and agents at lunch and ask them questions about publishing, how to tweet, their pets or anything really. Guess what, they’re regular people. Just like us.

· Having no internet or phone service kept me writing and focused.

· Lots of tea and brownies.

· Good meals with writers where we’d talk about writing and practice our pitches.

· Winning the luck of the draw and getting to room with author Joy Preble. She’s written a paranormal trilogy, beginning with Dreaming Anastasia (which I'm reading and love) and she had a sit down with me and asked me some hard questions that led me to an “aha” moment. What I’ve been most impressed with, as I begin to follow more and more of the YA writing community, is how generous and giving all these authors and writers are. (Thanks Joy!)

· Leaving the conference with a handful of new friends and feeling encouraged about my writing journey.

So, now I’m off to work on being a mom and the Christmas chores this role involves, including wearing a sweatshirt my daughter made for me with her palm and footprints (strategically placed to look like a moose with antlers) and may or may not say the words “Merry Christ-moose!”

I hope you all take a little break from writing and enjoy some holiday time with your family. And then, as New Year approaches we’re going to talk about goals. Big writing goals. Are you with me?

P.S. How do you balance the crazies of the Holidays with writing?


  1. Okay, next time I need to go with you. I need to start writing. And where is the accompanying photo of that sweatshirt?!

  2. Erika,
    Yes to both of those and, trust me, you don't need to see a photo of the sweatshirt! It's hideous!

  3. Here, here! I want to see the moose shirt too! Emily, thanks for sharing your wisdom from Big Sur and helping me discover my own aha moment.

  4. Hope you wore that sweatshirt! :)