After many months of cramming college classes into my busy work schedule, I’m finally done! Grades have posted and my full degree accepted. Woohoo! Since I’m a non-traditional student, I opted to have my degree mailed instead of attending the ceremony. But I’ll admit, part of me wishes I’d attended because I worked my arse of for it! In any case, I can’t wait to hold the paper in my hand. The completion tastes sweet on my tongue folks! Just sayin’.
Last week, I attended the Writing Workshop of Chicago and learned some great things, hung with my BFF, met some great writers, and explored a haunted hotel! First, let me say that when an agent states they need to be hooked by the first paragraph, they aren’t joking. I attended a session where anonymous first pages got read aloud and a panel of agents put their arms up when they had heard enough to stop reading. My jaw dropped at how fast hands went up nearly every time. Of course, there were a few pages when hands weren’t raised, but not often. This just reiterated to me the importance of the first sentence in what should be an amazing first paragraph.
The workshop was held at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. This structure was built in 1893 and the some of the architecture was breathtaking–and creeping in other areas. Al Capone had virtually made it his home back in the day and the government had purchased it during World War II to make headquarters. A group of Chicagoans purchased it in 1945, remodeled and opened back up to the public. The hotel has been known for ghost sightings and has one room so haunted it’s nailed shut! I took many pictures and lurked the halls and stairwells trying to tease ghosts out of hiding. Unfortunately, I didn’t encounter any specters during my stay. What I did get though was a helluva idea for a story!
Now, let me say as I writer, I cherish books. I love smelling the fresh ink drifting off the pages. But on my long drive to Chicago and back, I decided to try an audio book. After completing Abandon by Blake Crouch, I decided I’m in love with audiobooks! Now when I drive to and from work, or while doing housework, I’m listening to a book being narrated. Oh my gosh, I’m going to get through so many more books I’ve wanted to read! I’ve no idea why I’ve never done this before!
With more time on my hands, I’m making good progress on the new book I started. This story is going to be high fantasy. My grandson has inspired a lot of the characters due to things I catch him saying or some odd question he has asked. The innocence of a four year old child can make us see things in such different lights. So, I’m taking his indirect suggestions and creating an entire world with new beings. I’m totally excited about this story!
That’s all for now. Have a great day!
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fantasy