Yeah, I know it’s Wednesday. Work with me, people. My husband has a sinus infection, one of my roomies at SCBWI had the plague (hi, Tiffany!), and I’ve been spending most of my non-working time sleeping and eating Vitamin C drops like candy in an effort to avoid the scurvy. *makes hex sign* Ok, that and watching DOCTOR WHO (Matt Smith season). The Vincent Van Gogh episode made me cry tonight. Anyway, these are some highlights from my long weekend in NYC:
♥ Sara Zarr’s keynote on crafting a creative life was incredible. Inspiring, resonant, hilarious, and wise. I am fascinated by the idea of balance, so this was a topic near and dear to my heart. I love the idea that the most important thing is finding joy in the work, and that it is indeed possible to make a sustainable creative life, full of days of quiet productivity instead of stressed-out flailing. A life that you can "center yourself in calmly," Sara said, that "expands you not reduces you," and that in doing what you are meant to do, you become a better spouse, friend, etc. That you can "have faith that what matters to you will matter to others and will eventually reach them." That we can choose how to experience our lives, and think of what habits and people support our work, not thwart it. That the real satisfaction is in the work itself, immersing ourselves in it, not talking or tweeting about it and obsessing over the process. There’s an incredible writeup of the speech here.
♥ The GLBTQ panel moderated by Lee Wind, featuring Awesome Agent Jim & editor Ari Lewin from Putnam. This was a fantastic discussion about how to include LGBTQ characters and what the market for them is like (ready & waiting!), and frankly it was more interesting to me than the other panels put together. I have gay characters in my books because that’s the reality of the world around me, you know? It was really nice to be in a room where everyone agreed on that.
♥ Hanging out with Awesome Agent Jim on Saturday night. Everyone I ran into raved about how awesome he is. He’s friendly, charming, and funny. I feel very lucky to have an agent who is genuinely so nice and comes off as such. Plus, it was fun to hear him enthuse about his other clients’ work and talk theatre. Here’s a pic of me and Jim with awesome agent-sisters Suzanne Young and Robin Talley (I’m in the middle).
♥ Getting to spend time with other writers. My CP Katie & I email and Facebook all the time, but it was so fun to hang out with her IRL and see pictures for her characters and tease her about being a workaholic who subsists almost entirely on coffee. I also got to meet the hilarious Tiffany Trent (who was my poor plague-ridden roomie) and Sonia Gensler (whose book THE REVENANT I cannot wait for—have you seen the omg-gorgeous cover?) and Shana Silver (who had the cutest skirt ever) and Frankie Mallis (so friendly and chatty) and Caela Carter and Dhonielle Clayton from the New School program and Brian Bliss and Suzanne Young and…I’m sure I’m missing people but it was fantastic, all of it. Here’s a pic of me with super-fantastic roomies Tiffany and Katie.
♥ Going to the Bourgeois Pig with friends on Thursday night. Garlicky gruyere fondue and toast points in a restaurant with an intimate speakeasy feel. We’re talking red walls, dim lighting, tin ceilings, and velvet couches, not to mention champagne punch with adorable glass cups. And then going to Pho 32 and Shabu with my friend Meg for lunch on Fri. Pho is seriously perfect cold-weather food, and I’m going to have to find a good DC place to get my next fix soon.