Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Journal Entry for my Posterity

Ann Dee Ellis posted about journals today on her blog. I commented that I did write in a journal, started when I was 9. But it was all a lie. Except for half the time where I apologized to my journal for neglecting it. Journals are sensitive things. And magical things. They sting you with guilt.

I have written from time to time. Tried to write a few things when my babies were little. I even wrote a few excerpts when Brendan and I were dating. I'm glad I did. Even though I was always worried about what my posterity would be thinking when and if they read them.

Maybe I should've written a journal of apologies. I imagine it would go something like this...

Dear Posterity,

Sorry about the freckled white skin, and no, you will not tan. Just accept that pink and white are your only shades.
I should probably apologize for your want to punch people in the face. I should apologize for that. I really should. Punching people is wrong. But for some reason, punching people is some of my favorite memories. Also, sorry about whatever mental issue that is.
Sorry about being painfully competitive. Eventually you will temper and mature. But until then, kick some serious trash. Take no prisoners. NO ONE should ever beat you in a water fight. Ever.
Also, okay yes, this has to do with violence too. It's just that, well, just try not to land yourself in jail. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers

So here's the straight truth. A year and a half ago I had a small interest in writing. I mean, I've always enjoyed writing. But for publication? Never. I decided I should take a writing class from BYU. My professor was very encouraging and put me into a class at a BYU Writer's Conference.

I had never heard of such a thing. A conference for writers? Was I a writer? Did I want to be a writer? I spent a week in a class with Ann Cannon (A.E.Cannon) and 12 other writers in an advanced novel class. They were so patient with me. They talked about critique groups and the other conferences they had been to.

The conference was loaded with great authors and I even had a chance to meet with an editor from New York. She looked at a few pages I had written and the interview wasn't terrible. Despite my having no idea what I was doing.

I returned again this last June and had another great week in Utah. It's such an odd, but great feeling to be encouraged by people who've published numbers of books.

So here I am, preparing for my return trip to this conference, not just as an attendee but as a participant in it's formation. And I've had the privilege to see some of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make it feel like a trip to Disneyland for those who attend.

I hope to see you there.