Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Sweet Success

Whew! It's been a whirlwind ever since the Trails to Sweet Success conference ended almost two weeks ago, and I'm happy to report that the conference was a sweet success, with no major glitches and all speakers giving wonderful, information-filled sessions and excellent critiques on our work!

The conference was held at McCormick Creek State Park in Spencer, Indiana, and it was a wonderful drive. Here's what I saw most of the trip:

Two-lane roads for the entire drive. I love flat land and cornfields! Yeah, Indiana!

The lodge was quaint and charming. The Canyon Inn staff was extremely helpful, especially KJ and Marc, our two techies that helped set up projectors, computers, presentations, etc.

Canyon Inn

Some of my personal favorite conference highlights included hearing one of our members discuss the Nigeria Library Project he's created, learning how to physically page out a picture book, putting names with faces of all the members I always communicate with via email, attending the very inspirational HoosierLinks meeting on Sunday, and talking with our conference faculty about their lives in the city. I loved the short hike to the waterfall as well.

Some of our conference faculty; Andrew, Eve, and Jessica

This conference definitely ranks near the top of all conferences I've been to (and I've been to lots!). It was a great learning experience and a joy to be around other writers for an entire weekend.

Thanks for stopping by,
Katie M.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nature and Writing

I am geeked out....this is the weekend! Our Indiana SCBWI conference, held at McCormick's Creek State Park in southern Indiana is taking place Friday through Sunday. A weekend mixed with nature, inspiration, writing comrades, editors, agents and fun. Does it get better than that?

The conference starts off Friday night, runs all day Saturday and ends with my HoosierLinks meeting on Sunday, where attendees will gather and share bits of inspiration and helpful hints that they can take away from the meeting and use immediately. We're also having a book swap, so every attendee that brings a gently used book on the craft of writing/illustrating can take a different book on their craft. We've never had a swap quite like this, so I'm hoping it turns out 'fair and square', as my daughter says.

And while I'm off enjoying two of my favorite treasures in life, nature and writing, my other two treasures, my husband and daughter, will be back at the homestead taking care of a rather pressing issue. If you follow my other blog, you'll know just what I'm talking about (can we say...bawk, baawwkk, baaawwwkkk)? Check it out here,

Thanks for stopping by,
Katie M.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Miracle on 49th Street by Mike Lupica

I finished reading Miracle on 49th Street this morning. I went into the story with high expectations, since one of my favorite MG novels is Heat, also written by Mike Lupica. I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed, although I still think Heat is my favorite that he's written.

The story premise of Miracle on 49th Street involves basketball and I'm not much of a basketball fan, which is why I was hesitant to start the book. It's been in our book basket for 6 weeks now, and I've renewed as many times as possible with our library, so I either had to read it or return it unread.

I'm sure glad I read it. My favorite part of Mike Lupica's writing is the way he builds characters. He creates depth and personality, so that I feel like these characters are my friends. The friendship that he created between Molly and Sam, the main character of the story and her sidekick, was so real and true. You can't help but root for them throughout the novel.

It takes great skill to build characters this way and maintain them throughout the story. If you're looking for a good example of how to create a strong friendship between characters in your novel, Miracle on 49th Street is a fine place to start.

Thanks for stopping by,
Katie M.