I have been absent, but I have good reasons:
I took the plunge and registered for the Big Sur Writing Workshop, to be held the first weekend of March. Not only is this the very first professional workshop/conference/anything! I've ever been to as a prospective writer, it will also be the first time I've rented a car. Ever. Not to mention the fact that I haven't driven more than a few blocks in five years. (Let the adventure ensue.)
Honestly, I had absolutely no idea I was going to be interested in this workshop a month ago. I wasn't even thinking about workshops -- mostly I was moping about how much I had left to do on my current WIP before I could possibly consider sending queries for it. But then one of my friends came back from a conference of his own, gushing, and I saw Casey McCormick's post about it a few weeks ago, and all of a sudden I was thinking thoughts like, It's only BARELY out of my price range, and Why not? Because really, WHY NOT? I've been seriously plugging away at this writing thing for close to two years now, and to be honest, I haven't really gotten where I wanted to be (or even close). Maybe it's time to change something up, I thought.
So I registered. Which turned out to be a great decision right off the bat, as it forced me to write a query for the first time. I think it's sort of okay, but who really knows? (Hint: After this workshop, I will!)
I'm excited. I'm really, really excited. For the first time ever, my writing is going to be in front of (relatively) objective eyes. Specifically, objective eyes from one of the most respected children's lit agencies in the country (Andrea Brown Literary). I had a dream about it last night, that's how crazy excited I am...
...But there's just one (tiny) catch: My WIP is not ready to be seen by objective eyes. In fact, before I signed up for this workshop I was busy doing an enormous drag-down beat-it-out rewrite of the entire thing. And then, suddenly, I had four weeks to beat it into shape. (GULP.)
So that's where I've been all of February. I finished the rewrite on Monday (YAY!), but now am look forward to the sprintiest marathon of my life as I attempt (Heroic or tragic? You decide.) to prettify this draft sufficiently in the next two and a half weeks. I'm doing a rough outline tonight and diving in tomorrow. There is a good chance I will not survive. (There is an even greater chance that you will not hear from me until after the workshop. Gentles, do not despair.)
Are any of you going to be there? It occurs to me that I have absolutely no idea what I am getting myself into...