#NESCBWI14 here I come!
I am super-duper excited to flee my M-F job as a school bus driver and head to Springfield MA for the NESCBWI conference! And yes – you read that correctly. I drive the Loser Cruise filled with my target YA audience. Horror stories of the madness from the road can be found by typing “bus” into the search box on this blog. Brace yourself – it can be frightening ;)
I will be taking classes and also helping out as a mentor for Friday’s Pitch Practice with Trisha Leaver, Karen Rock, Lindsay Currie, and Christina Laurie, so I hope to see a bunch of cool new faces (and a few old ones . . . not that you’re old. I mean, “old” in the sense that I already know you. Though some of you are actually older than me, not that you LOOK older than me. I mean . . . ah, screw it – you know what I mean).
In honor of meeting new people (and loads of twisted minds that pair nicely with my own), I thought I’d list five things that people might not know about me AND HOPE YOU WILL DO THE SAME – HINT HINT. I am crossing my fingers that this sparks a trend for the rest of the people at the conference, which will make spying on one another much easier.
1. I was hired right out of college to be a book editor for a political non-profit, which was quickly followed by loads of freelance journalism work (16 years and counting). Apparently everyone thought a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology = professional writer. I was definitely crazy enough to take the job, so yeah, I guess the degree relates in a “Mars is a bit warm” kinda way . . .
2. I am a native Cape Codder, and thus anything past a 15 minute drive might as well be five hours. I drove to upstate New York once and was sure I had made it to L.A. We are a bit spoiled, given that our wedge of sand is only 20 miles wide at most, followed by water. Lots of water . . . and sharks. We encourage the tourist to swim often.
3. My thirteen-year-old daughter is known for climbing on the roof to read, and convincing me to jump from the Town Neck bridge fully clothed. Not only was the water bloody cold and I nearly flattened a kayaker, but my clothing stuck to me like a second skin. Note to self: wet t-shirt when young? Awesome. Wet t-shirt once you have had kids? Ugh. Damn you BAYWATCH!
4. I don’t like calling myself an author (though I do write YA novels, like UNDERTOW and STORMFRONT). I prefer the terms unstable storyteller or talented scribe of literary lies. I mean, I drive a school bus and dress as though I raided my daughter’s Abercrombie collection. Most days I look like an extra from ANIMAL HOUSE. I will admit that I TOTALLY snuck into my girl’s room today and helped myself to a few things. I should be safely tucked into the Sheraton by the time she realizes I snagged her orange, leather jacket – Mwaahaahaaa.
5. I love teaching Fiction Craft to teens and do so often. Getting invited into high schools and libraries to teach those who wish to become storytellers is a truly amazing experience. Plus, I am known as a wild teacher, getting the kids to use their iPods, act out characters, develop scenarios, etc. Before you know it, the room is full of howling laughter as the students re-write their teachers as mind-sucking aliens. Best. Thing. Ever.
So that’s my five things . . . What about YOU??