“Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.” — Moliere
After the joy that was NaNoWriMo last November, when my family and I agreed I could throw everything into those 30 days and write a novel, I’ve worked on many writing projects, including this blog, in off-hours from real life. This week, I have permission to enter the writing life at full throttle again–and I’m grabbing it with both hands.
Oh yes, there are a few client matters to be handled first, and a round of doctor visits for the kiddies, but those are under control. The real business of the week is the Pennwriters Conference, including the special fiction seminar spanning the day Thursday. Ah, sweet abandon. To be surrounded in a place with 450 others as enamored of this vice as I, to speak of it day and night, to learn techniques and shortcuts and formats, to steep in its heady liquor until–
Whoa. I’m getting carried away already. Sorry about that.
Where was I? Oh yeah. Making connections. When I went to my first conference a number of years ago, I was really a fish out of water. Since then, I’ve met a number of folk of the Pennwriters persuasion either online or in person, so I’m a little more familiar. I’m also published regularly now; then I’d been practicing law a little more full-time. I have spiffy business cards from my Firefox gig. I have a blog and a whole new cadre of friends. I’m an author with a book under my belt and a story in another coming out in December.
I have a literary agent– a new development last week that was VERY exciting. My agent read my NaNovel with the autistic heroine and it clicked with her–because she, too, has an autistic child. Serendipity. Her comment was this: “What better way to encourage understanding than through a fictional and incredibly interesting YA novel?” What better way indeed?
At the conference, I have a PennPal–this means I’ve been appointed as the guide and gopher for one of their celebrity guests, in my case Keith R. A. DeCandido. So I’m excited about that, though I don’t even know where it might lead. At least we can commiserate over the loss of my dear Firefly as we curse the Fox Network over a few drinks.
I have an appointment to pitch my novel to Melanie Donovan of HarperCollins Children’s Division. How often do we get to see a real editor face to face? Everyone knows editors don’t put their pants on one leg at a time! Eeek! I haven’t practiced my elevator pitch yet, but I’m giving myself time to do that this week. Maybe I can get it down to a two-floor long speech.
So yes, I’m getting ready to sell myself. I’m even getting my hair done. But I don’t think I’ll be selling myself short. Wish me luck.
Causes Barbara Mountjoy Supports
Human Rights Campaign