"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fab Austin Writing World

Seriously, did I manage to locate myself among the best children's writing community in the world? I meant to post yesterday but it was packed with Austin Kidlit stuff.

First was lunch at The Cheesecake Factory and a day of writing with the awesome Jo Whittemore. Jo's the author of the really cool YA fantasy trilogy The Silverskin Legacy. You can check out her website here and her blog here. We chatted about writing (duh), YA vs. MG, what sex is appropriate in YA, what bad words are appropriate in MG, and critiquing. My salad was enormous, but I managed to save room for a piece of the yummy cherry preserve cheesecake. Jo had the hot fudge sundae.

Then it was off to Barnes and Noble which has about one electrical outlet in the whole place. So we zipped back to my house and got some quality writing time in. My dog only pooped on the floor once. Jo pretended not to mind, which, truly, I do appreciate :)

But we couldn't write all night because Cynthia Leitich Smith organized an Austin Kidlit happy hour at Waterloo Icehouse. The $1.50 Zeigenbock was such a deal, I could have had about 20. But I stuck with two which looking back was the way smarter move.

I managed about five pictures, but if I find anymore online, I'll let you know.

Here we have Brian Yansky, Brian Anderson, Jo Whittemore's husband (who does have a name which is Roger), and my husband Riley.



Blooming Tree Press Editor Madeline Smoot. She's smiling because we've just spent the last fifteen minutes talking about how fantastic The Emerald Tablet is. Or maybe it was because she'd just ordered some cheese fries.



Chris Barton and Jenny Ziegler's husband (Carl). This was one of those "I'll try to take some random pictures" things.



Another random photo. Jerry Wermund, two backs, Anne Bustard making a funny face, and Francis Hill Yansky.


And the last shot of the evening. Madeline Smoot, Greg Leitich Smith, and Carmen Oliver in a gorgeous, pink top!

Hope everyone's having a great week!

24 comments:

Amy said...

It sounds like you had loads of fun! And great company (never seen so many men at a writing thing)! If I took all those pictures, the chances of me remembering the names is Very Low, so super-good for you.

PJ Hoover said...

LOL, Amy. I was trying to explain that there really are more women writing kidlit, but then, well, the pictures speak for themselves. Or maybe guys just like beer more?

Christine M said...

Looks like a great time was had by all. How great to have such a wonderful local writing community!

PJ Hoover said...

Yeah, everyone does seem to be smiling, don't they, Chris!

Tabitha said...

Great group you've got there! :)

I would love to have heard what everyone said about the MG vs YA. That line is getting fuzzier by the day. :)

PJ Hoover said...

Tell me about it, Tabitha! And with the line fading, knowing what's OK and what isn't is hard. So I figure I'll just write stuff for the time being and see where it falls. It'll probably be an editor's final decision where stuff falls and what should be cut anyway.

Sheri said...

I hate to sound so naive, but what's a Zeigenbock?

I agree Amy, we have 97% women in our group also. What's up with all the men, PJ?

Are all the people in your group published already? Did you all start out together before agents and contracts?

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Sheri! Zeigenbock is a cheaper version of Shiner Bock which are both Texas beers. It's the German element around these parts, and the beer's pretty tasty.
I'm not sure about the men. We actually do have more women, and remember, some of these are spouses.
And, though there are a huge number of published authors, not everyone is at all. But it's such a strong, supportive group, that it's really encouraging to be a part of.

Angie Frazier said...

It looks like such a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing the pics. I agree that you just have to write what you write, and not worry about where it falls. The editor will tell you! :-)

PJ Hoover said...

It was fun, Angie, and nice to get out! Thanks to the neighbors for watching the kids :)
And it's nice to feel that way about the writing. It makes everything come out much more naturally.

Don Tate II said...

Great to meet you last night!

PJ Hoover said...

Great to meet you and your wife, Don! And I hope your son enjoys the Zack Proton books!

laurasmagicday said...

Thanks for posting the pics. Looks like you all had an awesome time. Glad you got a chance to write with a good buddy too [especially one that ignores the dog's poop on the floor:=)

beth said...

soooo jealous. I wish I had a more active reading/writing community in my area!

I mentioned a book club to some friends recently...they preferred a movie club :(

PJ Hoover said...

Glad I remembered to take the pics, Laura. And you know, almost no one wore red. Now why is that? We all need more red!

It's kind of funny about the book club, Beth. But there is a lot of craft studying you could do from even a movie group, depending on what they talked about. Hmmm... I don't really picture you going on and on about Brad Pitt, but you could identify his character archetype from the Hero's Journey.

Alison said...

It was good to see you! Sorry we didn't have have more chance to talk, but I did get you in a photo, posted to my blogs!

keri mikulski :) said...

Wow.. Looks like a great time. Yummy - The Cheesecake Factory. :)

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Alison! It was great to see you, too! I wish I'd taken more pictures, but we'll just have to do it again so I get the chance. See ya soon!

Cheesecake Factory is my favorite, Keri! Love the place. And the cheesecake I got this time is by far my new favorite. Plain with cherries on top!

jo-no-anne said...

Actually, I loved how you handled the dog poop thing. :o) That was a good time. We should do again soon (i.e., when I have time off work again!).

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Jo! Hopefully you weren't sufficiently icked out enough to never come back!

Beth Kephart said...

I think I'll start to live vicariously through you.

PJ Hoover said...

This was a rather unusual day, Beth, filled with writing social activities. Most days I'm trying to justify not cleaning the toilets so I can work on swag :)

Barrie said...

Wow! Looks like it was loads of fun!

PJ Hoover said...

It was a blast, Barrie! Are you ready to move here?