Registration Opens Saturday for NESCBWI 17!

I’ve talked before about the annual NESCBWI conference. It’s where I connected with my crit group; where I see lots of writer friends; where I’ve heard inspiring keynotes; where I’ve taken awesome workshops; and where I go every year in April.

This year, I’m especially excited, because I’m teaching two workshops! They are:

J1 – Stories Without Stigma: Writing About Mental Health
Sunday, 10:50 am – 11:45 am
This workshop will focus on crafting nuanced, realistic characters who are struggling with mental health. Topics covered will include the importance of talking about mental health in fiction for young readers; questions to ask when researching a particular mental health issue; creating dynamic characters and avoiding stereotypes; mental health issues vs. neurodiversity and intersectionality in mental health; avoiding romanticizing mental health struggles and providing hope for readers. We will look at examples from work such as Laurie Halse Anderson’s The Impossible Knife of Memory (PTSD), Other Broken Things by Christa Desir (addiction), OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu (OCD), Pointe by Brandy Colbert (eating disorder), and Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (depression).

M8 – Write Like a Runner: Training Your Writing for the Long Haul
Sunday 3:05 pm – 4:00 pm

Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole.”—Haruki Murakami. Writing a novel and running a marathon require a lot of time, focus, dedication, and can also feel like pretty intimidating. But with a little planning and a lot of motivation, you can approach the novel writing process with the focus and heart of a marathoner. Learn how to craft a schedule, deal with setbacks, and focus on short-term goals to get yourself to the finish line.

Registration opens this Saturday (February 4) at 2pm. NESCBWI fills up fast, so make sure to be at your computer this weekend. And hey, maybe sign up for my workshops while you’re at it! (I promise I won’t make you run.)

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s appropriately fall-y here in New England, and all I want to do is wear hoodies, see all the turning leaves, drink tea, curl up with a few good books, and bake all the baked goods. Hopefully I’ll get a least a couple of those in over the weekend. Let’s kick things off with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing.

ReadingLife Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People by Camille DeAngelis
If you liked Big Magic, get Life Without Envy immediately. Must-read for writers.

Writing: …I thought, maybe it’s true—maybe this will be an adventure.
New projects are always an adventure.


Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! Between the heat and the excitement of the summer Olympics (oh my lord, those gymnasts!), I am super feeling August right now. While I cling desparately to my iced tea, let’s get the weekend started with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing:

Reading: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cyborg Cinderella plus galactic political intrigue plus an adorable prince equals a big yes!

Writing: “I think I’ll never have another first time I went sledding, and I’m blindsided by sadness.”
Main character starts having some feels.

Links Galore

A few links I’ve been saving.

Links Galore

Lots of links I’ve been saving:

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! In case you missed it, make sure to check out Natalie C. Parker’s guest post and enter the Madcap Retreat giveaway. Now let’s kick off the first weekend in June with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing, in fifteen words or under.

ReadingWritten in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
Powerful and sensitive story of a girl forced into marriage by a favorite ’15 author.

Writing: “I have to save all my energy for victory dances. It’s a physics thing.”
Mass equals force of dance skills squared.

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m excited to head into a potentially snowy weekend with a great pile of library books. Let’s head into the weekend with a little look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or under.

Reading: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Cozy and heartfelt–exactly the kind of book I needed. And the sequel just published!

Writing: “Masha and I were in the same orientation session at Ov.”
Working on my next story for the Hanging Garden. Check back on Monday for the full story!

Because I Didn’t Write About Baby Sea Turtles

My latest short story is up at The Hanging Garden! This cycle’s theme was water, so initially I thought, “Of course I have to do a story that involves baby sea turtles!”

Look at how cute he is! Go, baby sea turtle, go!

But then I heard a news report of a tragic accident that involved a group of teens who went swimming, and immediately I knew that was the kind of story I wanted to write. A lot of times, these kinds of accidents happen to young adults who are doing something vaguely dangerous. 9 times out of 10, no one gets hurt, but that 1 time is disastrous. Your life is safe until it’s very, very not.

Click through to check out the story, and, if you want even more gif-inspired fiction, check out the entire back catalog of Hanging Garden stories.

Friday Fifteen

Holy cow, this week got away from me. Let’s settle down with some book reviews in fifteen words or under.

1. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Wein does it again. Stunningly written, compelling history, all the feels ever.

2. The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events #11) by Lemony Snicket 
Always a fan of undersea adventures, but this added too much mystery before the end.

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
One way I can pretend I’m a Hogwarts student with a summer reading list.

4. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
Even as a grown-up, I want to do read-alouds of this book.

5. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee 
I was more interested in everyone surrounding the main character, which made for a slog.