Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Wow. Work has certainly begun.

Our meetings began last Monday and then the kids started on Thursday, hence my falling off the map. My days have consisted of getting up at 4, arriving at my gym by 5:30, getting to work around 7 and hanging out with eighth graders all day. After, I road rage my way through construction traffic to get home. Once home I make a valiant attempt to write while battling heavy eyelids in my air condition-less apartment.

I've fallen asleep sitting up, on my couch, fully clothed, facing the wrong way on my bed and I even caught a mini nap while leaning against my pantry. It's always like this at the start of the year. The theory is that teaching is a job that simulates hitting a brick wall. At the end of the year it's "GO GO GO" and then suddenly everything stops entirely. At the start of the year you go from months of self-structured time to "being on stage" several hours a day. It can be a shock to the system. By Monday of next week I will have settled in.

Meanwhile, I found time to read Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay and Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why. I'm working on reviews of each that I'll post this weekend. I also mapped my WIP's plot line on a cork board just to make sure my changes don't derail the arc. They don't! Yay!

I'm currently reading Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell with plans to finally read Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver next week.

Alright, I feel a "pass out in my chair" moment coming on so I'll catch you all on the flip side.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WIDK Wednesday and More...

"Word I Didn't Know" Wednesday:

Som*nil"o*quence\, n. The act of talking in one's sleep;somniloquism.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
To my knowledge I've only done this once, and I ended up waking myself up. I have been present to hear others chat it up in their dreams and it can be pretty entertaining. Even more fun is to have a whole conversation with someone when they are clearly more in the sleep realm than the awake one. When you ask them about it the next day they have no idea what you're talking about. Good times.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Have you seen this? http://writeoncon.com/

What a fabulous idea and a wonderful opportunity! I'm registered (it's free!) and looking forward to the information generously given by all the awesome people involved. I can't even imagine all the work the organizers of this conference have put in but I, for one, am most thankful.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lollapalooza and Other Long Words

For anyone unfamiliar with Lollapalooza, it's a popular music festival held in Chicago's Grant Park. It used to be a traveling festival but Chicago has hosted it for several years now. I couldn't afford to go to all three days (my money went to the fantastic SCBWI conference) but my friends were wonderful enough to purchase a one day ticket for my birthday. Tomorrow I will join the sweaty masses downtown to listen to great music all day, capped off with a long set by Green Day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

SCBWI 2010 Summer Conference: LA

Here's my attempt at a mini recap of one of the best conferences I have ever been to.

This is my second SCBWI Summer Conference and I can't get over how professional and inspiring the event is every time I go. It's incredible to be in the same room as so many amazing people. I don't just mean the authors/publishers/editors/agents that go, but the people who come from all over the world because they love to write for children. They may not be published yet, have an agent or even have a completed manuscript but they feel compelled to be part of this. Everyone is friendly and supportive.

Instead of a blow by blow, I'll give some of my favorite highlights.

Here are some of the nuggets of information I walked away with:
How to approach agents without scaring them off. (Hint: Don't leave your query letter on their hotel pillow, how creepy is that?).
An inside look at what certain houses are looking for and what catches their eye.
What's hot, what's not.
There are some incredible artists illustrating for children.
Dressing like Where's Waldo means you'll get your picture taken a lot. (I was Waldo for the Heart and Soul Ball).
Non-fiction is really hot right now.
So are funny middle grade books.
Peer group critiques are helpful and you meet some awesome people.
Writing to trends means that the vampires win (Justin Chanda).
There is a massive amount of people and money involved between acquisition and publication.
I would listen to Ashley Bryan recite poetry any day of the week.

I also had the privilege to meet Jennifer Rees as she did my manuscript critique. She was funny and insightful. I came away from the meeting overflowing with ideas and the drive to revise!

The Heart and Soul Ball

The whole conference was overwhelmingly helpful and I can't wait until next year. If you've never been, I recommend saving up for it. It's worth every penny.

Dawn of a New Blog

I've made the move from Livejournal to Blogspot based on testimonials and research. No hard feelings LJ, I hope we can still be friends. Don't call me, I'll call you.

I'll reintroduce myself here and get off to a fresh start. I'm Kelly, a twenty something writer living in the beautiful city of Chicago. During the day I work with eighth graders and at night I work toward my degree in Graphic Design at Columbia College Chicago. Somewhere in-between I write. I've been working on a YA novel for a couple years.

Other fun facts:
I consider laughter to be a necessity. I place it right behind food, water and shelter.
I would work for Rye Triscuits or Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts.
I can call up a quote from Golden Girls for any situation.

I was fortunate enough to attend the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles this past weekend. I'm still processing all the information! I'll make my next post a recap of it.

Thanks for stopping by! Check back again and I may have cookies.