Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Step in the Right Direction

This past Mother's Day weekend was absolutely incredible. Thursday morning, my husband and I took our kids to Salt Lake to visit with his sister (The Purple Lady) and her family - and Friday, she and I attended a writer's conference together in Provo. We attended several writing classes that were given by authors and literary agents, and we were truly treated like royalty. Friday night, they served us an exquisit dinner (we had a choice between chicken or pork) that looked and tasted like it belonged in a fancy shmancy restaurant.

Photo by The Queen of Purple

Dessert was equally divine. I only wish we had thought to take a picture of that as well. You know me...everything has to be about food. Haha.

Anne Perry was the key-note speaker at the Conference, and she also held a master class on Saturday. The Purple Lady was only able to attend the conference with me on Friday, so I attended Saturday on my own. It was truly inspiring to be in an environment with so many talented, published authors and literary agents; though, and I feel like I have been given a rare gift for having been able to attend.

The whole experience kind of gave me my first taste of what to expect with the industry too. I submitted my writing for a first-chapter contest back in February, and since this was my first time really putting my stuff out there professionally, I felt a bit vulnerable. Still, I tried not to to allow myself to get my expectations up too high. There were sure to be a lot of entrants into the contest, and only a few winners would be chosen from each category - with one grand prize winner. My main attraction to this contest, though, was the fact that every entrant would receive a critique of their work by judges who had been chosen from the industry. The judges were anonymous, so I didn't know if they were authors or agents, but I did know that their critique would be gold, and I was anxious to hear what they had to say.

As expected, I didn't place in the contest, and the critiques came back evidencing that I still have a lot of work to do before I am anywhere near ready to publish. I feel like I really learned a lot at the conference; though, and now that I am over the initial shock of my first professional rejection (haha), I feel truly blessed to have the valuable critiques of the contest judges so that I can begin to make the necessary improvements to my work to prepare for publication. Many writers submit to publishers and get rejected without the slightest idea as to how they can improve their writing. But now, I at least have some direction as to where I need to go from here, and what I have to do to prepare for next year. I am feeling extremely motivated and inspired, and who knows - maybe I'll even be brave enough to sign up for a pitch session next time. ;)

Anyway, Zachary took The Purple Lady and me out to dinner on Saturday night for Mother's Day. He had already done so much for me in watching the kids for two days while I attended the conference, but the Teppanyaki was delicious - and we awesome ladies even caught shrimp in our mouths. Hehe. It was so much fun.

Sunday, we attended church with my sister-in-law, where her son gave a fabulous talk in sacrament. The Relief Society was later treated to a special surprise for Mother's Day too. The icing on the cake, however, was a turkey dinner we had back at the house afterward with my husband's siblings and their families. It was truly a perfect weekend, and I am feeling completely and utterly blessed. :)

Source: twowritingteachers.wordpress.com via The Purple on Pinterest

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