The last 365 days have been such an enormous roller-coaster for me on a personal note, as well as a writerly note. I'm not going to focus on the family stuff in this here post, as that was filled with too many negative and conflicting emotions. If you really want to know, we shall share a bottle of wine and chat.
Instead, I'm going to give my ode to the wonderful people I've met this year who have been so beyond pivotal in my growth as a writer, and a person...
If you have not had the pleasure, I insist you track down the awesomely sparkly C. Issy. We sort of Twitter-befriended and chatted lots before finally meeting face-to-face at SCBWI in NYC last January. We fangirled, we cried, and we shared mush-brains after an incredible virgin SCBWI conference. Since then, Carli has become an awesome friend and wonderful critique partner. Carli keeps my 'teen voice' in check and inspires me to write super swoony kissy scenes. You can't have her, she's mine. So there.
|The fab Cassandra Clare talking love triangles|
|TOTALLY geeked out when I passed S&S!|
|Henry Winkler's speech was beyond inspirational to the budding writer.|
After a fate-sealing CP request post on AgentQuery Connect, I met the hysterical and insanely talented Alisha Marie Klapheke. As fate would have it, Ish lives literally like a half hour from me. Super weird, I know! It was awkward at first, but soon we realized we had so much in common we might have been sisters in another life. Kinda sappy? Yeah, but I heart my friends. Alisha loves a good edit and has taken the figurative red pen to my work more times than should be legal, but always has great advice and brainstorming. Passive voice be gone! And if you ever need a hot date for some tandoori chicken and naan bread, she's your gal!
|Alisha and I often meet here (YUM!) to talk books, fictional boys, and everything else.|
Inkpop may no longer be a place for young writers to connect and share, but it's the reason Michelle Warren is on my "awesome people of 2012" list. Michelle is a self-published author who I met through the HarperTeen sub-site. Her books, Wander Dust and Protecting Truth, I reviewed right here on this blog!! We traded a few emails and soon Michelle not only became a fantastic friend, but also an incredible beta reader/critique partner/inspiration/cover artist/ and all around awesome person to have in your arsenal. Michelle pushes me to question everything in my writing (the good/probing kind of questioning) and pointed out my horrible 'was' affliction. Awful. Really.
Last July, I met a budding YA/NA author at utopYA Con right here in Nashville. M.R. Polish came all the way from Nevada to take part in a fledgling Con for paranormal writers. We chatted, laughed, and absorbed all the amazeballs info at utopYA. Ms. Polish has recently debuted her novel WOLF SPELL and I had the pleasure of being a beta. It's a wonderfully magical story full of awesome visuals and imagination. M.R. has helped me as well. She has read for me and, like Ish, is a big fan of the figurative red pen. But her insight and questions, like Michelle, have pushed me to question things myself.
|Abbi Glines, Tiffany King, C.A. Kunz (Adam and Carol), and Michelle Leighton at utopYA 2012|
|Raine Thomas, L.M. Davis and Willow Cross at utopYA 2012|
|Linda Foster, K.C. Neal and Myra McEntire at utopYA 2012|
|Laskey Hall at Scarritt-Bennett where it all went down|
|Scarritt Hall at Scarritt-Bennett Center|
I am so very thankful to have these ladies in my life. In the last two years that I've been actually writing, I have heard many times that finding good people to be part of your writing life is crucial to success. These ladies are my people. They are intelligent, witty, creative, crafty, funny, serious, practical, genius, supportive, encouraging, grounding, and by golly I heart them! Because of their insight, advice, and honesty, I would never be the writer I am today. I'm no where near where I want to be, but these fab ladies have helped me find a starting place. And with a little luck, we will all find that place of awesomeness together!