Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Outsourcing for SCBWI

I have a peculiar form of social anxiety that really only rears its head in very specific scenarios: writer's conferences. One-on-one I’m fine, in groups of people I know I’m fine—but put me in a room full of strangers and ask me to schmooze and talk about my writing and, as previously documented, I fall apart. So when it comes to conferences, I need a companion like my friend Davis. Witty, wealthy, and wickedly good looking, he’s got the "fabulous trifecta" covered. See, I can keep up with fabulous, but I can’t generate it on my own. We all have our weaknesses.

So, when I decided to sign up for the SCBWI conference I went straight to Davis and coerced him into signing up. Lest you think I lack self-esteem, let me publicly announce and fully embrace my great coercion skills. I’m good even when I talk someone into something just for the sport of it, but when my performance at a writing conference depends on coercion, watch out.

So he had to come all the way from London, he had to take time off work, and he’d never heard of SCBWI, but Davis actually does have an amazing YA sci-fi in the works and has always wanted to become a published author. So really, it’s a win-win, no?

We met this morning for breakfast to discuss our plan of action. I agreed to do all the research on the editors, agents, and writers going to the conference and he agreed to be the life of the party. When I mentioned that the ultimate scenario would be to have a high-powered editor fall in love with him over the course of the four-day event, he shrugged as if it were in the bag. I love Davis. For the first four days of August I will be his auxiliary brain and he will be my auxiliary fabulousness.

Symbiosis: not just for clownfish and sea anemones any more!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nothing but Eve

No musings, no anecdotes, no wry commentary. I’m a dried up husk of a writer; I used up everything I had to revise my manuscript and send it off to my agent yesterday.

Turns out I’m not the only one feeling frantic about finishing a project—this seems to be the summer of urgent writing. I’ve enjoyed following my sister-in-agent Eve’s hilarious blog about trying to finish a novel in 30 days.

She starts here. Gets to a dark place here. And sounds hopeful again here.

Thank you, Eve for being amusing in my place today!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Speaking of Fetishists...

A woman from Ojai, California recently moved to Ashland because of our lax nudity ordinance that allows the libertines in town to bike naked, stroll naked, or just simply “be” naked as long as they cover their naughty bits while in a city park or the downtown commercial district.

The Ashland Chamber of Commerce would not let her walk in the parade. Deeming their decision “unconstitutional” she did it anyway, commando style. Photographers Jim Chamberlain and Steve Yungen took some incredible shots of this, starting with when she stripped down (check out the children’s faces in the background) stood up (love the things associated with stripping—gloves and fringe—misplaced in this photo on the veteran and flag) and paraded down the sidewalk (much to the merriment of frat boys with video cams. Soon to be seen on Girls Gone Wild - Ashland!).

Click for full (graphic) frontal:

She says she’s making a statement about the Earth, but her signs read random things like “Check out Dr. Emoto’s research,” and her actions are fueled by pure exhibitionism. She needs some PR help, needs to shore up her messaging and refine her spin. Otherwise she’s just another naked lady holding a conch.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Curiously, a lot of traffic to my blog comes from fetishists.

According to Google Analytics, quite a few people are directed to my blog after Googling tight pants + pain and/or fetish, which will lead the disappointed masses here and here.

I didn’t do this on purpose, to increase traffic. After all, any poor fetishist who lands on Juvenescence and sees my dumb mug in the sidebar or reads a line or two of me droning on about writing will run faster than you can say latex-rubber ball gag.

The Internet seems to be a decent resource for fetish material (!) so I'm sure they'll eventually find what they're looking for...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Wheel

Yesterday I wrote this on my blog:

"I have just finished Young Adult Novel number two! After weeks of ignoring dishes, weeds, children, friends and not least of all, husband, I have a sleek 180-page, 45,137-word manuscript. It’s just half the size of my first novel, but an altogether different kind of book. I’m happy. Very happy. Now about those dishes…"

A few hours later (after the dishes were done) I was already angst-ridden and feverishly working on the excellent edits I’d received from Jennie.

When does it stop? Will I ever be able to sit back, put my feet on my messy desk and say, “Ahh, job well done, self!”

I set goals for being able to celebrate, but then celebrating doesn’t seem right because the next goal is bigger. First it’s when I finish the manuscript, then it’s when I finish the edits, then it’s when my agent starts submitting it, then it’s when I get a contract, then it's when the next manuscript is finished—it’s a publishing hamster wheel I tell you!

New goal: relax. Let it soak in. Go sit by the pool.

But first, Jennies great edits!

See what I mean?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Out of the Weeds

I have just finished Young Adult Novel number two!

After weeks of ignoring dishes, weeds, children, friends and not least of all, husband, I have a sleek 180-page, 45,137-word manuscript. It’s just half the size of my first novel, but an altogether different kind of book.

I’m happy. Very happy. Now about those dishes…

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Lawn, Ablaze.

The Fourth of July is a major spectacle around here. It starts with the Ashland parade, which lasts over two hot hours and attracts about 15,000 spectators (perhaps more this year because of the Naked Lady). After a short respite and some barbecue we get on with the real fun: lighting the fireworks that Scott and the kids had procured at the seasonal TNT Shack. Chosen mostly based on size and name (particular favorites are Screaming Bees and Underwater Fury), these Chinese gems never fail to amuse.

We start with an appetizer of sparklers and after someone gets hurt—nicked by an errant spark, poked by another child’s hot stick, etcetera—we get to the good stuff. Crazy Monkey, Around the World, Climbing Panda, we light them all, sometimes simultaneously. Once we've violated as many air and noise pollution laws as we can, we head out to watch the City of Ashland do its Fireworks Show, which is orchestrated to music composed just for this event by American composer Robert W. Smith, and played by the members of the American Band College at SOU. Quite the to-do.

Exhausted, we drive back from the city fireworks show around 11:00 to find our front lawn ablaze. Apparently one of the six chambers of Havana Heat, a pyrotechnic the size of a small car battery, had not lit earlier and only went off after the smoldering chamber next to it heated it up. In flagrant disregard for Smokey the Bear’s advice earlier at the parade, we had not hosed down all the fireworks before we ran off to see the big show. Oops.

Thankfully, all ended well and the Raedekes continue to set a good example for kids everywhere.

(Addendum: Garage Band next door played in the parade and killed! I'm swollen with pride.)