Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Post Conference

Howdy, post conference! First, welcome to those new BGs we’ve picked up from the conference. (BGs = bloggees, or blog readers.)

It was so great to meet some of you face to face. I was happy to whip out my spider stickers and slap ‘em on your name badges. Thanks, Lynette, for that idea. You all were wonderful and supportive to me at a very busy time, and I’m so grateful for your encouragement. Thank you, thank you!

And again, to those of you who finished our BG story, the BGs at the conference send their kudos. Although I did hear a few, “He did WHAT to my character?” comments.

Someone asked about the legend of Pinky Palmer and now Bloody Bart. Which, by the way, I toted home in my suitcase. Bloody Bart, that is. Right on top. Just hoping that the powers that be at the airport would choose to search my bag. Imagine opening a suitcase to a red-tainted hand, with half a blood-stained arm. Heh-heh.

Pinky Palmer was a rubber hand I brought to the conference a few years ago as a joke to give Tracie Peterson, based on her strict writing rule about “floating body parts.” (A rule to which I do not adhere.) Somehow—and I can’t remember exactly how—after I gave her the hand, it started being mailed from one ACFWer to another. Remember, this was when the organization was waaaay smaller, and still called ACRW. As the lucky member would receive Pinky Palmer from a friend, the hand would arrive in a box complete with travelogues and pictures from all the places she had visited. The new recipient would take Pinky Palmer on whatever journey she desired, add her own notes and photos, and mail Missy P. on to someone else.

This worked great, as long as the organization was all about women. Then the men started to come along.

Enter Randy Ingermanson. Who received Missy P. Who proceeded therewith to shove poor Missy P. into a cabinet and promptly forget her. There she has languished for going on two years. No more adventures. No more thumbs-out hitchhiking. No more palm readings. No more finger-pointing. No more nailing bad guys.

And so, from the dark side, Bloody Bart was born.

He is everything Pinky Palmer is not. While Missy P. is gentle and fun, Mr. B. is gory and hell-bent. Where she is always ready to lend a hand, he is close-fisted. He has already visited a number of ACFW members, trailing damage and havoc.

A book came with Bloody Bart, depicting some of his adventures, many of which were captured in photos or in drawings. He and his book now reside in my house. He shall not stay here long. I fully intend to send him on his disastrous way. Woe be to any of you who ends up with this destructive digit-man.

The conference went very well. The ACFW conference is known for its hard learning, fun atmosphere, and worshipful attitude. Do make it a priority to come next year if you can. It will be held in Dallas for the next three years—a fairly central location to all American travelers.

I want to congratulate two BGs who were big winners at the conference. Lynette Sowell won the Noble Theme award in the sci-fi/fantasy category, and Camy Tang won the award in the suspense/mystery category. I know of these two because they tend to leave comments. If there are other BGs out there who finaled or won in the Noble Theme contest, please let us know.

Next year the Noble Theme award will have a new title and a new, very exciting finale. It will be called the Genesis Award. And it will be co-sponsored with Warner Faith Publishing. The top winners of the five categories will each have their manuscripts presented to the pub board (publication committee board) of Warner Faith for possible publication. These winners will thereby pass over the agent level, the acquisitions editor level—and go straight to the final cut of this top publishing house. This is a huge opportunity for all unpublished writers. I encourage every unpublished BG out there to start honing a manuscript now to enter into the contest. ACFW members only will be allowed to enter. So if you’re not yet a part of ACFW, get over to
www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com and join.

And now, BGs, here we are, post conference. New discussion topics are needed. Any particular issues you conference attendees discussed in workshops that you’d like to talk about here? Those who couldn’t attend—any ideas on your end?


Ron Estrada said...

How about a discussion of sub plots? I've noticed two distinct sub plots, those which are thematic to the story and those that are not. I like the thematic ones, though they take a lot of really deep thought--which hurts my little brain.

Orrrr, a discussion of character names. Do you just pull 'em out of your head or do they serve a purpose? You know, really ingenious character names like a handsome fireman named Buff Ladderman.

Stuart said...

WHAT! Pinky Palmer is a girl! Well that puts a whole new spin on Randy keeping her all to himself.

topics, topics, topics....

Sub-plots does sound like fun :)

Becky said...

Brainstorming topics: marketing tools--what works and what doesn't. The way to get the most for your writing-conference dollar. Critique partners and/or critique groups. After the pub board: the path a book takes to the book shelf. Favorite characters--your own or someone elses--and what makes you love them. Beautiful language--how can a writer move from adequate prose to excellent prose?

D. Gudger said...

Bloody Bart sounds like soooo much fun! Phooey on Randy for "palming" Pinky . . .

Here's a topic idea - how does one go about deciding which publishing houses to pitch your ms? There are so many listed in the Writers Market and the Christian Writers Market. How to choose, especially as a newbie?

C.J. Darlington said...

So ... should we all be watching our mailboxes?

Evelyn said...

I'm sorry I missed the get-together Sat. night - was working in the book store. Sounds like I missed a lot :(

I second the motion on sub plots (or was that third?)

Wayne said...

Brandilyn, it was great meeting you and some of the BGs at conference. Sadly, I think I somehow missed meeting Ron - I have no idea how that happened. I mean, in a room with 300 women, a dozen or so guys tend to stand out. Ron has to be the only guy I didn't meet. :)

One question regarding the Genesis. I thought that the announcement was that the top five scores - regardless of category - would go to Warner Faith's Pub Board. Your comments here today sounded more like it would be the top finisher in each category. Can you clarify that for us?

As for topics, how about how to deal with feedback from editors after a conference. I'm sure that many of us were encouraged by editors to send them the first few chapters of our WIPs. My concern is that if I do that before the WIP is finished, too many bad things could happen. They could get bored waiting for me to finish and find another project to replace mine. I could rush to send them something before I'm really ready, and end up blowing my shot at getting my manuscript published. I think I want to get it finished and in front of an agent rather than just firing it off to editors. But I tend to err on the side of caution. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic, because I'm sure there are other BGs that were asked to submit to editors at the conference.

Gina said...

Brandilyn, I had a wonderful time at the conference and really enjoyed meeting you!

I'd be up for the editor follow-up or subplot discussions. Last year I was very eager and fired off a less than polished manuscript to several editors who in turn rejected them. Now, a couple of editors and agents requested my stuff and I don't want to make the same mistake. I'd love to hear your input!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'm glad the conference was so exciting, and I'm jealous that I live too far away to attend, but I am a ACFW member! So I'm halfway there! I opt for the sub-plot discussion.

Lynette Sowell said...

I'm with Gina. I have two proposals to send four different places. I'd hate to blow it in my overeagerness. :)

Pammer said...

Bloody Bart is a scary fella. I wonder if he is afraid of guns? bwahahaha.

Subjects, well the one near and dear to my heart right now is...opeing lines. I am pulling my hair out trying to get the opening line just right. Course I could just be a crazy perfectionist, but the state of my living room does NOT support that statement. :0) I wonder how we got all that in the car?

Congrats to all our Noble Theme winners. Woohoo!

Camy Tang said...

I think I have seen Pinky Palmer. I'm not absolutely positive, but I believe I spotted her resting on a certain woman's shoulder in the proximity of Randy I. one night during the conference.

Thanks for praying for us at the conference, Brandilyn. I love praying with you. It was nice to talk with you again, too.

At some point, I'd like to know how you craft a synopsis. But please tackle the other discussions first.