Monday, August 23, 2010

Writing for Charity Recap: In which I get to Handle Sara Zarr

Happy Monday, Y'all! And especially happy today. School starts! 
 (Kid C in his second grade class)

First thing I'm going to do with my free time: Shower for as long as I want. 

Then I'm going to write. 


I went to the Writing for Charity event on Saturday, and it was seriously incredible. The day event included star-studded author panels, and then critique groups, and the evening extravaganza featured a comedy group, singing, and more authors!

Here are the highlights: (the good photos were taken by Heather Zahn Gardner)

-James Dashner and a pregnant (with twins) Shannon Hale MC'd the event.
(Shannon Hale, in a wheel chair. That's dedication)

-James tried to auction off Shannon's double placentas. Yes, he said the word "placentas". In front of a large crowd. Twice.
(James, showing how a placenta can fold up into something as tiny as a button)

-It's okay, because Brandon Mull one-upped him by saying the phrase "vaginal birth" and then turning red and giggling. 

-I was Sara Zarr's handler. I'm having a shirt made that reads "I Handled a National Book Award Finalist."
 (Sara Zarr. What's that I see? A smile?)

-I discovered "handling" an author means escorting them, getting them food and drink, etc. It does NOT mean braiding each other's hair, exchanging BFF charm bracelets, and most importantly, NO POST-CONFERENCE SLEEPOVERS.

-Also, Sara Zarr does not like her peppermint patties to be served to her on a paper plate. Seriously. Don't do it.

- Funny story:
You know how I call author Matt Kirby "He Who Shall Not be Named"? 
(He Who Shall Not Be Named... Matt Kirby. aka Matthew J. Kirby)

Well, I was talking to friend-of-the-blog Jenni Elyse, and she sees Brandon Mull walking behind me.
 (Brandon Mull: bestselling author of Fablehaven series)

Jenni waves to him and exclaims, "Look! It's He Who Shall Not Be Named!"

I turn around to discover it's Brandon Mull, not Matt Kirby, behind us. He pauses for just a moment, gives us a weird look, and smiles and nods like Okay, whatever crazy girls.

After he walked away, I'm like, "Um, who do you think that was?"
Jenni's all, "Matt Kirby. Duh."

I'm all, "That's Brandon Mull. Author of Fablehaven."

Jenni gives me a horrified look. "Are you telling me I just called Brandon Mull...the pseudonym for...VOLDEMORT?!"

It was so so cool. That's why Jenni and I are friends. I just imagined what Brandon thought of the whole thing, walking by complete strangers, who shout, "Look! It's 'He Who Shall Not Be Named'!"  

-I got to spend the day with most of The SIX, and Emily Wing Smith was a fellow Handler. (She handled Ally Condie)
(Emily, me, voted best handlers)

-Here's the one picture I took. Now you know why I use Heather's photos.
(Autograph table- From far left to right: Bree Despain, back of Ally Condie's head, Sara Zarr and James Dashner, wondering where he can score some placentas)

-I got page one of a completely new WIP critiqued. Now to write page two...

So how was all y'all's weekend? Anyone else make it to Writing for Charity? Anyone do anything fun? 


  1. I'm smiling because of you. When can we set up a time for you to handle me again?

  2. Don't take too long a shower lest you become raisin-like. Enjoy your free time!


  3. Sara- Does this mean we ARE getting BFF charm bracelets? :) I can't wait to handle you again. Any way you could request me for SCBWI in New York? I could handle the crap out of you there!

    Anne- I plan to shower so long, I shrivel to half my size. And then, I'm taking a bath. Good to see you there!

  4. LOL

    I survived my camping trip... even though it started with a trip to the ER.

    I think you had the better weekend.

  5. ha ha ha! Love it! It was such a great night and so good to see you!

  6. I did a lot of writing...syllabi and assignments. College starts today and I'm teaching two classes. I'm very excited!

    Thanks for the recap...they are always such a blast. I you have more fun at the event or writing about it?

  7. Britt- A trip to the ER? What happened? Personally, I always think disasters that require emergency rooms are always exciting. We missed you though!

    Aubrey- So good to see you too! Can't wait to catch up again.

    Una- I definitely have more fun writing about them. In person, they're really very boring.

    Totally kidding. Good luck teaching classes!

  8. I call dibbs on handling you at your first event as an author. Sounds like a blast. I'll even braid your hair (even though I suck at braiding, I'll do it for you)!

    Wish I could have been there, but I spent all day Saturday finishing writing a 28-page article on how to critique. :)

  9. I didn't know you were there to "handle" an author. How exciting! That's the back of Ally Condie's head because she was talking to me. The unnamed giant in the picture. ;) Sorry I ruined your photo op, I didn't know you were taking a picture. It was a great event and very fun to see you and all the other authors. I'm doing my recap on Wednesday, but it probably won't be as cool since i didn't handle any authors. I just talked to them. Nothing too exciting.

  10. Nothing overly exciting, just a kidney stone.

    Kidney stones + narcotics + a three hour car ride + sleeping in a tent + 3 kids = a very interesting weekend.

  11. Robin- You totally get first dibs. If you're still alive by the time I get published. How did the article go? Someone in the audience Saturday mentioned Dave Wolverton's putting together that group, so it sounds like the word is spreading. I'm all, "I totally know Robin!"

    Sara- Talking to them is better than handling them. Then you don't have to worry about anything!

    Britt- did YOU have the stone? That's horrible. I'm sorry I said that was exciting. My hubby had one once, and he was driving on the freeway, and had to pull over, totally incapacitated with pain.

    Which, now that I type it out, does sound exciting.

  12. Yup. Lucky me.

    Yeah, that would be why I did ZERO driving on the trip!

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  14. Yay! I made Brodi's blog! I can cross item 2 off my bucket list. Item 1 is making a fool of myself in front of an author. Oh wait... I did that too. ;)

  15. That sounds like so much fun! I wish I could have made it. Alas, maybe next year, although I doubt I'll ever be cool enough to be a "handler."

  16. Jenni- You had a very productive weekend. Congratulations!

    Jenilyn- You have to be cool to be an author. But an author's handler? They let anyone do that.

    I'm holding you to your word... see you next year!

  17. Man you author folk know how to throw a good party. It was great to see you there. Now that the little people are back in school lets go to lunch or hang out or something. Or i'll just come over and watch you write, thats hanging out right? :)

    My kids go back to school tomorrow, today is meet the teacher night. I'm very excited as I've used today to get them ready. Where have I been?

  18. When I have Brodi Ashton excited that she knows me, I know I'm doing well. :D

    The article is up at the forum right now, letting everyone practice their awesome critique skills. :)

  19. Debbie- Yes, come over and watch me write. That won't be awkward at all! :) I agree, we need to do lunch.

    Robin- Why don't you share the website info?

  20. Well, that’s crazy enough, it just might work!

    The website is called David Farland’s Writer’s Groups and is located at (wait for it…) Feel free to stop by and look around (and do stop by the Writing Discussions site to diss—um, critique—my Critique Guide), but if you want to join you’ll have to register at the site and email Jim “Tailspin Jim” Wolverton at jimwolverton at gmail dot com to ask for a copy of the questionnaire so he can sort you into groups.

  21. It sounds like a blast. I wish I could have come. Sigh.

  22. Robin- Thanks for the info!

    Leisha- There's always next year...