So I went out to Get Lit At the Beach, and have now returned! ^-^ The drive wasn’t too bad at all. My Scholar and I got up on time, had everything ready to go, and were out the door pretty much when we planned to be. Some energy drinks and pastries had us in a pretty good mood altogether; which is very important when you have to wake up at 5 am. lol
I’m still not really fond of eight hour car drives. But, if you really need to do one, I recommend starting super early in the morning. Somehow it’s actually less exhausting than when you start later in the day. Also, the scenery is generally better. ^-^ I think this may be the first time I’ve ever seen the sun coming up over the mountains as we headed north. Really beautiful.
We didn’t have any trouble on the road, and got to Cannon Beach well in time for a bit of a nap before I had to head out to the first event of the weekend. By the way, the town is lovely! We also had a great view of Haystack Rock from our room. It has such a towering, haunting feel. The more I looked at it, the more ideas began wheeling like seabirds inside my head.
Get Lit At the Beach is a great conference. Not only was it fairly affordable, despite the long drive, but it also had this wonderfully cozy sort of feel. Definitely perfect for someone who is shy, like me, and just jumping into this sort of thing for the first time. The authors were all on hand for the entire weekend, and very happy to answer all kinds of questions. I actually talked briefly with all of them at one point or another, including the incomparable Terry Brooks! ^-^
And no, I didn’t faint or anything. Although, I did get a little emotional when I got the chance to tell him how much his work has meant to me over the years. He seems to me a genuinely kind and excellent person. I only hope that he didn’t find me too odd. haha ^-^
One of the best things was getting to hear the authors talking about their writing processes, and their experiences with various aspects of the publishing side of things. It was very interesting to me how, even with people who have all gone through traditional publishing routes, there was no ‘one size fits all’ sort of procedure for how it happened. I have to say that it’s also rather relieving to know that I’m not alone in some of my writerly eccentricities.
I took lots of notes, for uplifting reminders and maybe some ideas of new ways to work next time I get stuck. Looking back over them, I think my favorite is a quote from Jim Lynch. It says, “The best writing advice I can give you is: resist it if you can.” Next to which I wrote, “Haha, too late!” XD
Another piece of advice that stood out to me, and which more than one of the authors touched on, was that writing novels doesn’t get easier. It may even get harder. I think I might have to print this out, or write it out in fancy script, and pin it on the wall above my desk.
All in all, this weekend was just the best! Can’t stop saying how much of a great time I had, and how much I learned. It was inspiring, on so many levels. I was even able to do some outlining for Angel Wings that I’m quite excited about! I definitely plan on going again next year. ^-^
Oh and I also bought some books! Haha, I could not resist. 🙂 Awesomely, they are all outside of my normal reading range. And yet I am so excited to read them, partially because I got to listen to their authors talking about them. Here’s what I got:
The Highest Tide – Jim Lynch
What I Didn’t See and Other Stories – Karen Joy Fowler
The Samurai’s Garden – Gail Tsukiyama
The Language of Threads – Gail Tsukiyama
I think I’m most excited for Gail’s books… actually I almost bought a third one by her, “The Silk Women”, but flinched at the last second. It going on my list though, for sure.
I hope you all had excellent weekends as well. ^-^