Wordy Wednesday (“Girl”)

August is one of my favorite months of the year. As much as I hate how it signals the end of summer (ugh, I’m going to be back in classes this time next month; HOW DARE SUMMER VACATION END?), it also brings with it this really great thing called WriteOnCon.

WriteOnCon is a free, online writing conference targeted towards the kid lit audience. Anyone can attend, but it’s really, primarily for picture book-through-new adult writers. It’s a ton of fun, super educational, and a great way to network with other aspiring authors without having to spend a cent on attending a conference in-person. Outside of the scheduled panels and lectures, WriteOnCon also hosts a bunch of critique forums, where you can post the query letter, first 250 words, and/or first five pages of your novel (or other work of children’s fiction) in order to get feedback from other aspiring authors and even some industry pros.

The forums are already open right now, but the conference itself won’t be taking place until next week (it’s Tuesday the 13th through Wednesday the 14th–full schedule available HERE). During the conference, the forums get even COOLER, because then a bunch of anonymous literary agents (known as “ninjas“) descend upon them to critique and make requests. It’s basically the funnest thing ever.

If you write kid lit–from picture book, to middle grade, to young adult, to new adult, and everything in between–make sure to check WriteOnCon out!

In other news, this past weekend mi madre and I went to Chicago in order to do some in-person research for a novel (I’m sure you can guess which one). Although I can’t tell you much about what we did while there, because that would–you know–give away important plot points in the book, I figured I WOULD share just a few pictures with you.

IMG_2009The Bean! We spent a lot of time exploring Millennium Park on Saturday. Although I’ve been there too many times to keep track, it was a unique experience visiting during Lollapalooza, which was happening right across the street at Grant Park. I was a little bit jealous of everyone attending, because what I heard of the music was fantastic. Lollapalooza is definitely on my have-to-do-this-before-I-get-too-old bucket list now.

IMG_2016We treated ourselves to a fancy brunch on Sunday, in a restaurant located high above the city. They stuffed us with waffles and fruit and rolls and ten different kinds of desserts and it was delicious.

IMG_2025This gorgeous view of Chicago is courtesy said-restaurant’s bathroom. (Please note that I was not the only creep taking pictures there.)

The trip was super helpful, and I am now busily working away at adding the new information I learned to the manuscript.

The winning category for this week’s Wordy Wednesday is poem/song lyrics. This poem is one I wrote a couple years ago, at this point, exploring the idea of whether life is worth it if you don’t get to really live.

**********

Girl’s heart pounded on

as the verdict came in

It was a matter of time

and her ending looked grim

 

She spent the next days

filled up with sorrow,

which beat was the last

Would she live to tomorrow?

 

She sat on the couch,

face pressed to the glass

watched the runners pass by,

hearts freed of their past

 

In Girl’s dreams she saw herself

running, flying and free

She wanted to be happy

but they said she couldn’t be

 

Then one day her friend came

and stopped at her door

and Girl’s heart forgot rules

as he said, “Run just once more?”

 

Boy reached out his hand

and she took it in hers,

looked back at her house

saying no words

 

She liked this much better

than sitting, dying inside

and she gave it her all

with Boy by her side

 

He pointed out beauty

although he knew what he’d heard

and they walked in the heat

and their hearts flew like birds

 

Girl was no longer sad

but she loved life too much

She knew her heart fumbled

at every foot’s touch

 

The day came when the heat

was replaced with rain

and she knew it was over

she’d never fly again

 

But she didn’t give up

she wanted life’s beauty

and with Boy she snuck out

away from her duty

 

Against pavement feet hit,

they sprinted through rain

Boy made this one count,

knew it ended her pain

 

As her heart gave out then,

she was filled with joy,

that she had known life

and that she had known Boy

 

They ran past a pond,

the surface like glass

And he watched her pass by,

her heart freed of its past

*********

51

~Julia

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9 thoughts on “Wordy Wednesday (“Girl”)

  1. YAY WRITEONCON! Conveniently, it’s always writeoncon when I finish a novel, which means I can lift my query out of varying degrees of suckage. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without all the crit! And so rewarding returning the favor 🙂

    Wow, Chicago looks awesome! And I laughed when you mentioned that it was novel research. I did that once for MS#1, dragged my parents out to New Hampshire. We stayed in a small town where nothing happened because that was the random city that I picked to set me novel in 🙂 IF LIFE WERE FAIR is set in NY and then Montana. NY I can do. Montana…I’ll have to wait on that one.

    The poem was lovely 🙂 You multi-talented writer 😉

    Like

    • It’s so much fun getting to critique everyone’s queries. I sincerely hope some of those make it to shelves, because I’m dying to read them (including yours). 🙂

      CADENCE was almost set in New York, until I realized that: A) as much as I love NYC, I don’t know nearly enough about it to set a novel there, and B) going to Chicago for research is a possibility, because it only costs a couple hundred dollars for the weekend, but New York would cost me a couple thousand. Y no tengo ese dinero.

      Haha, thanks!

      Like

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