Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Weekend in Philly PT 2

I had one bizarre moment during my weekend at the writer's conference in Philadelphia. If you read the post below, you'll remember that I took a train to Philly each day. I had to get a 7 am train to get to the conference by 9 am. The nice thing is that I can easily sleep on the train.

Saturday morning, I woke to what I thought was a nightmare, then I thought maybe it was a flashback, then I realized it was just the gods playing a joke on me.

I had boarded the train and settled in for a nap. I like trains. They have big comfortable seats. The gentle motion is like a boat on a calm sea. I can't really read on a train (motion sickness) or do any other kind of work, so sleeping is my commuting activity. I always hope I don't snore.

I was sure I was dreaming. I am a vivid dreamer, and many times, my dreams have a soundtrack. But this time, it had to be a nightmare. As I came out of my slumber, I heard:

Make new friends,
But keep the old,
One is silver
And the other gold.

It was being sung in a round. This was followed by the Jeep Song, Cowboy Joe, and One Bottle of Pop (also being sung in a round). Now I was awake, or at least I thought I was. The mostly empty train was full. Full of Girl Scouts!

I thought this must be a flashback of some sort. All those years I spent in the girl scouts, at girl scout camp, singing these simple-minded songs. It was some sort of karmic illusion. If I closed my eyes, would they go away?

No, it wasn't a flashback, I was on an hour long train ride with about 50 girl scouts. And they were singing.

New Template

This is the new template. I didn't move all of my customizations over yet, but of course none of them are documented, so it's a pain in the ass.

And I'm not sure if I'm going to keep this template.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend in Philly

I believe I've fully recovered from my weekend extravaganza at the Philadelphia Writer's Conference. It was a wonderful conference, exceedingly so, because I got a scholarship for it from my writers group.

Unfortunately, I did not have the money for a hotel room, I commuted each day. Which wasn't too unfortunate, because the regional rail line is a great way to travel to the city.

The PWC is different than other conferences I've attended. The major sessions were 1 hour on each of the 3 days of the conference. That truly made a difference. Too many times these sessions are too short to achieve any depth. Issues are glossed over and there is no time for discussion.

On Friday they had the agent/editor appointments. I signed up for the agent who represented children's lit. After I introduced myself, I started my pitch. She immediately interrupted to tell me she did not represent picture books. Not to be daunted (and because I was hyped up on adrenaline and caffeine) I asked if she would mind listening to my pitch and give me suggestions. She agreed. After my pitch, she did not offer suggestions, she asked to see the manuscript. Although she does not represent PBs, she wants to read it to possibly pass on to a co-worker that does PBs (do literary agents work like real estate agents? If an agent facilitates a sale, do they get a cut from the other agent?). I was beside myself! But I was smart, since I only used about 3 of my allotted 5 minutes, I went over my "Writing Business Plan" with her and asked her advice.

One interesting tidbit she passed on is that she reads writer's blogs to see if they are crazy. This was not the first agent I heard say that. And I'm pretty sure crazy is a euphemism for "pain in the ass" or "impossible to work with".

On Sunday, I found out that I had won the "Wall of Words" for poetry competition. For those who are unaware, this is common at conferences. Writers can place a one page piece on the appropriate wall (fiction, non-fiction, poetry). Name of the back so all are anonymous. Everyone gets to vote. So I was pretty stoked. People who were not related to me liked my work! Yeah me!

If you have an opportunity to attend a con, don't miss it. I've been to 2 and they have been unbelievably helpful.

I'll post more later.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blogging for LGTB families

Today is "Blogging for LGTB families" day. I didn't know about it until I read Terrance's post on Republic of T. Now you might ask why would a straight woman care about lesbian and gay families.

Because an attack on any type of family is an attack on all families. Including mine.

Why should these families be treated differently? What makes the man/woman/child family somehow superior than any other combination?

I think the problem lies with the conservatives. Now maybe you believe that the man/woman family is best. I'm not going to argue that. But having an opinion doesn't make it so. So in typical conservative style, they seek to criminalize behavior they can't control. Control, I believe, is the keyword there.

My opinion is that when these conservatives (particularly christian ones) see g&l families flourishing, they feel threatened. They feel threatened because they must believe their belief system is right, absolutely and unquestionably, or their entire belief system falls apart.

So if they can't convince people to be straight for Jesus, they will marginalize, penalize and criminalize the g&l family.

I've found that g&l families tend to be excellent families. Maybe because they have to fight for being recognized as a family, they take it more seriously. I don't know. But I do know that 10 years as a foster parent, I've seen no kids taken from gay families and put into foster care. However, I've seen many gay families open their doors to foster children and adopting them.

Something I don't see these conservative Christians doing.