Last Sunday I attended my first Wordstock. For years it was in November, always coinciding with my birthday weekend (when I prefer to flee the city for the fresh smells of ocean air and the crashing sounds of the Pacific). It has since moved to October, but there's always been something else going on at the same time.
This year I finally made it a point to go. With David Levithan there, how could I resist? He was, as always, witty, wise, and inspiring. He talked about his latest book (Every Day) and he shared the three books he's loving on right now. They are Nina LaCour's The Disenchantments (which I adored), Eliot Schrefer's Endangered, and A.S. King's Ask the Passengers (the last two are already on my nightstand in the TBR pile.
Thursday I had a completely awesome day hanging out with Libba Bray (who has written such lovely, smart books). I went on a school visit to Hillsboro High School (which was a really cool experience). She did this awesome improv exercise with the kids about creating a story. It was broken down into six questions:
Where are they from?
What do they desire/want?
What do they fear?
What is the next thing that happens?
What is the last sentence of your story?
The kids had a lot of fun with this. She pulled several up to the front with her and had them answer the questions, drawing from the audience for participation as well. After she was done, she answered questions and took time listening to each and every student. She was funny, she was kind, she was honest, and she gives great hugs. We talked about books (including the new novel by Gayle Forman due out in January (Just One Day) which we both adored). In short, she was everything I hoped she'd be and more. I had so much fun I went to her event later that night at Powell's and took my husband along as well (who is now a big fan too). At the event, she shared a brilliant writing prompt. "In the letter I never wrote to you I said..."
Now that NaNoWriMo 2012 is less than two weeks away, I've been trying to narrow down the story that I want to tell. I've got a couple characters starting to materialize, their images getting more and more solid each day. As I learn more about them, I keep coming back to Libba's six questions. They really do seem like a brilliant place to start...
|Libba Bray with my copy of my favorite of her books.|
|David modelling his last two for me. For my photo/book project I've been forcing authors to pose with my books.|