By Chad “hopefully a bit smarter now, but not promising anything” Morris
1. Publication primer is awesome. Anytime other great writers will honestly give you feedback on your writing, it is time well spent. Plus, I got to give feedback on some great stuff, including Peggy Eddleman’s future bestseller (right, Peggy?). Oh, and I also learned that if you haven't seen every episode of Firefly, you may be mocked.
2. Sarah Eden makes very funny videos. (Shock to the heart.)
3. Amber Argyle has a lot of energy. . . I mean a lot of energy (Really, she should have to share some with the rest of us). She also taught me the difference between hard magic and soft magic (What exactly is Gandolf's power?), which I thought was very interesting and useful .
After the conference, I was talking about it with Shelly, thinking I was sharing all my new and deep knowledge. Turns out, she knew most of it already. Yeah, I'm the slow one in this marriage.
4. Jennifer Nielsen gave one of the most helpful presentations for me--Five essentials to writing for middle graders. She discussed attributes of middle graders (Moving toward abstract thought, love to discover, inconsistent, egocentric, challenge authority, but want approval, and are ready for moral questions). She gave the great insight that middle graders don’t want to read who they are, but who they wish they were. They want to imagine they are the person in the story, get lost in it. The whole presentation also made me very curious about her book, The False Prince.
5. Pitching may not be that bad. It also may give you an ulcer.
6. A bookstore can be a very dangerous place (Yeah, as if I didn't know that before. It's the only shopping that I enjoy.)
7. Kathleen Ortiz shared this awesome video.
Then she gave a great presentation on using social media. I might even try to master twitter a bit more, and use google analytics and Klout, make a fan page eventually and an author website. But don’t rush me.
Of course, if anyone is struggling with social media, you could do what I did—marry someone who rocks at it. (Maybe I should give that presentation. It would be really short.)
8. Sit at a table with Melanie Fowler at the very end. She empties out her M&M stash.
9. Writers are some of the nicest, most interesting, normal/eccentric, intelligent/nerdy, AWESOME people in the world. I really like hanging out with them.