Saturday, June 21, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jigg!

My dad used to always say, "home again, home again, jiggity jigg," in a very solemn voice but with a smile on his face, as soon as he pulled the car into the garage. And so I say it now that I'm home from the most incredible experience of my life.

If any of you out there want to become a published author, I can't imagine anything better for you to do than to take your first novel to Brigham Young University's Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers workshop! This is because on the first day in the first five minutes, my teacher told me to put that old novel in a drawer someplace and not look at it for at least six months. As the week went on I realized that this was VERY GOOD ADVICE. In five intense days I workshopped twenty-eight first or second chapters of other writers' work, some of which I would not have been surprised to find printed in published volumes at the book shop. It opened my eyes to the possibilities. Our teacher explained how to build a fantasy world, develop plot and characters, find the natural conflicts, and then interweave it all to create a great story. AND he convinced me I could do it all in a fraction of the time I had thought it would take.

And as for that first chapter of a whole new book that I wrote on Tuesday night, everyone liked it. Even better, the book that will grow from that first chapter has a "get out of slush-pile free" card. It doesn't get better than that.

7 comments:

Gabapple said...

Congrats on that, by the way! I really hope that you finish it and get it to that editor quick! :)

Cherilyn said...

Incredible! Can't wait to read the finished and published product. :)

picturepro said...

yay yay for you! i am so glad that it was such a great experience! glad you are home safe too :)

Frozen Cacti said...

It's always nice to be surrounded by people who can really understand what you are dealing with. Looking forward to seeing what is to come.

Mike always says that too. Maybe it's a midwest thing?

Teric said...

EXCELLENT! Awww I'm so jealous now. :)

Please explain, what does a 'Get out of slush-pile free' card actually do?

Rebecca Mother of A Tribe said...

In effect, a "get out of slush-pile free" card was handed to everyone who went to the workshop. An editor from a closed publishing house said repeatedly over the course of the week that if we wrote BYU on the envelope and mentioned the conference in our cover letter, she would read the first three chapters of our manuscript and respond within two or three months. The other editor and the agent made similar statements.

James' said...

Rebecca,
It's Heidi James. It's great to see you are still alive and plucking.