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Elizabeth Scott

conference!

Monday, March 27, 2006

On Saturday, I went to the SCBWI MD/DE/WV Novel Writing Workshop -- and it was so amazing! I've only ever been to two conferences before (both held by the same chapter of SCBWI), and at both of them I was so nervous I could barely bring myself to speak to anyone! (For instance, I desperately wanted to ask Lara Zeises to sign my copy of Contents Under Pressure, but couldn't even work up the nerve to walk anywhere near her!)

Anyway, this time, not only did I ask Lara to sign my copy of Contents (which she did! because she's fabulous!), I even ended up speaking. Lara was kind enough to ask me to be on a panel of first-time authors, so I ended up speaking with people like Andrew Auseon, Lauren Barnholdt, Laura Bowers, Janice Repka, and Melissa Wyatt, which was a real honor. We'll skip over the part about what I said, though I am proud to report that I didn't pass out from sheer terror, which I was afraid might happen, as I haven't spoken in public since about 7th grade.

It turned out there were quite a few authors there, and one of them, Liz Gallagher, has a book coming out next year (Dove Of Picasso) that sounds amazing! I also got to hear Nadia Cornier, of Firebrand Literary, give a great talk about what *not* to do when writing query letters, and Andrew Auseon spoke really eloquently about what it's like to be a first-time author.

And, as a bonus, I didn't even get lost on the way home! (I did on the way there, but that's another story...)

Pittsburgh!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yesterday I went to Pittsburgh. It was sort of a last minute thing, and I went because I've never been and I actually like road trips. Although admittedly the view from an interstate (even one that's not a huge one like, say I-95) never truly captures a place, I loved seeing all the hills and the amazing farmland in both Maryland and Pennsylvania on my way there and Pittsburgh itself is a fascinating city--there are SO many bridges! On the way in, I saw at least two, and I loved that the city was connected by these long arching bridges, creating little sub-cities within the city. The only downside was that it was *cold*--I wasn't expecting balmy weather, or anything, but it was barely in the 30s and as I'm a total wimp when it comes to the cold, I spent a lot of time turning the heat up in the car as far as it would go until the windows fogged up. (And then I'd have to roll the windows down to clear them up--a vicious cycle!)

I wish I'd taken some pictures, but my phone doesn't have a camera, and so I leave you with a link to a gorgeous black and white photo of Pittsburgh's bridges when they had even more than they do now: bridges!

photo is from pghbridges.com

post by email test, and I finally buy something that isn't books!

Friday, March 17, 2006

I finally broke down and bought a new purse. I know--new purse? so what?--but I can never find a purse I like and so I've been lugging around an enormous leather messenger bag for about a decade. I finally realized that its scratches and odd stains had crossed the line from 'lovingly worn' into just plain 'worn,' plus the annoyingly dinky cell phone I now have kept getting sent to the bottom of the bag, so I'd never be able to find it when it rang.

And I don't know about you, but my phone always seems to ring when it's the least appropriate time to, like when I'm talking to someone, or am trying to carry bags of groceries to my car. So I got a new purse, only the salesperson at the Coach store forgot to take some anti-theft device out, so I've been setting off alarms EVERY time I walk into a store, and while I've always dreamed of making a grand entrance somewhere, it's never to be to the sounds of "BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!" blaring at ear-splitting volume.

Anyway, I had no idea what to do--I'd gone through the purse twice trying to find any anti-theft devices--but then, last night, I went to Borders. Naturally, I set off the alarm, and apologized in my usual blabbery way as a salesperson came over to investigate. ("I'm so sorry! I have this new bag and it keeps setting off alarms and I don't know why it's doing it and I don't know how to stop it and oh wow, is that book thirty percent off?")

And then the salesperson fixed it for me! I don't know how he did it, but he asked me to clean out anything magnetic or electronic, and then waved it over something behind the counter and boom! A non-alarm activating bag!

Now I just have to figure out how to keep my cellphone from disappearing into the depths of my new purse....

eta: wonky spacing fixed. I will figure out how to do this post by email thing. Maybe.

testing...and my .00001 cents

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Although I'm late on this (as always!), there's been a lot of talk about Naomi Wolf's article, "Young Adult Fiction: Wild Things" (printed in the New York Times)

I've read a couple of The Clique books, as well as most of The A-List series, and I found them to be enjoyable escapist reading. In fact, when I read the first A-List book, I thought of Jaqueline Susann's wonderful quote about who she wrote for: ""I write for women who read me in the goddam subways on the way home from work. I know who they are, because that's who I used to be." Part of the pleasure--in fact, I'd say a majority of it--in reading books like those Wolf is so upset about is that the characters in these books have it all...and yet most of the time, they are miserable. (Take Cammie from the A-List series, for example--although she is rich and beautiful, she's also desperately unhappy, and spends most of the books *not* getting what she wants in spite of all her machinations)

Additionally, though I think that all the books Wolf proposes as alterna-reads are wonderful, I think a variety of books should--no, make that *must*-- be available to teens. When I was a teenager, the young adult novels that were available to me never spoke to any of the experiences my friends or I went through, and the few books that might have (like Judy Blume's "Forever") weren't available for me to read, as I grew up in a very conservative community.

The best views on Wolf's article come from teenagers, a variety of response can be found in the comments of Scott Westerfield's blog entry on the subject and I also enjoyed Melissa de la Cruz's response, as well as Sarah Dessen's thoughts.