Monday, January 01, 2007

Resolutions for a literary life

Posted by Lisa

I've never been lazy. Not the kind of lazy where you lie on the couch for hours watching "Man vs Wild" or some such TV show. Okay, I confess, I did have the Discovery channel on yesterday. And, yes, Bear Grylls, the British star of the show, fought his way through the Costa Rican Jungle, the Utah desert, and the French Alps in marathon back to back episodes. (How amazing is he?) But I was tidying the whole time, more or less, most of the time anyways, except during the really exciting parts of the show. I was organizing my two-year-old daughter's room while she spent the afternoon at her grandmother's.

I work hard, in general, at writing, at my work as an occupational therapist. And the hard work of writing, I'm willing to do. But there's more to writing than writing. There's meeting writers and agents and editors. That can be hard work too; sometimes easy conversation isn't so easy.

A few weeks back, my writers' group made plans, big fun plans to go to Grub Street Writer's Halloween event, "Grub Gone Scary." Guest readers included Hank Phillippi Ryan who has a mystery novel coming out this spring. When babysitting arrangements changed at the last minute, I debated whether or not to try to seek alternate child care. Believe me, my gut instinct was to shrug my shoulders, put on my slippers (my wool socks actually), and curl up with a good book; I was reading "Al Capone Does My Shirts" by Gennifer Choldenko at the time (if you haven't read this, you have to!) But I thought an evening out with Amy, Hannah, and Lynne might be fun. And I'd be meeting, greeting other writers too. Maybe I should try to go.

It all worked out in the end. I showed up in the nick of time, enjoyed the readings, and even had the opportunity to speak with a lovely literary agent who represents middle grade work. Without my writers' group by my side, I may not have taken part in the Halloween party. And I wouldn't have had the opportunity to network. Oh, and by the way, it WAS a lot of fun. Fun and spooky time well spent.

In 2007, I know our group will enjoy many literary events in the Boston area. I hereby resolve to do my best to join them. Having them by my side will be wonderful. Now in February, I head to the SCBWI Annual Winter Conference in NYC. I'll be alone; so far I am the only member of our group with an interest in writing for children. Sigh. Perhaps I should kidnap one of them and bring them along - the hotel room is already paid for.

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