Just got back from Words in the Woods, a wonderful children's writers retreat near Springfield, Illinois. Joining us for the retreat were speakers Barry Goldblatt (agent extraordinaire); Holly Black (author of the Spiderwick Chronicles, among other excellent books); and Namrata Tripathi (super-savvy editor, Hyperion Books for Children). For me, one of the most valuable aspects of the retreat were the suggestions and feedback from my critique group on my manuscript. I'm intent on finally finishing my revision of Into the Fire this summer, and I came away with some great ideas. From the speakers, lots of great stuff on plot, building characters, setting, and revisions.
The super-duper organizers of the retreat, the Springfield Scribes, wrote some incredibly funny skits to introduce some of the sessions. I'll try to post a video of one of the skits later. In the meantime, I got to play Pink Pain in the character catwalk. Apparently I had an alter ego I never knew about:
Yes, that's a whip I'm wielding. And I'm told I handled it convincingly.