Tuesday, October 26, 2010

South Carolina Writer's Conference

Three months ago, my writing partner in crime Maya, suggested we go to the SC Writer's Conference in Myrtle Beach. I was in full swing of getting ready for the Doll & Teddy Bear Expo, so another big event wasn't on my mind. She said that we could have our manuscripts ready (because agents and editors don't want to talk to you unless the piece is done) and go. Because I was in a daze, I said, "Sure."

Between dolls and finishing chapters, reworking other chapters, I managed to be ready for the conference. I was exhausted and glad that Maya drove. It was nice being in a different location and this was my second time to Myrtle Beach. And it has changed. But the great thing about it was that no one was there. It's the perfect time to be in a tourist spot. Off season. The streets were practically deserted, like in a zombie or post apocalypse movie. It was great!
Our hotel room was clean and we could see the beach, the sunrise in the morning. We were on the beach the first night with a full moon and the second night we watched an orange harvest moon rise. The sound of the waves breaking on the beach were very soothing.

Full moon rising. My pics of the harvest moon didn't come out but the memory will always be there. It was also wonderful being on the beach as the tide was coming in.

Up the beach as the sun set beyond more condos and hotels.

I loved how the moonlight shone on the water.

I took this shot of a palm tree because I hadn't seen one in ages and I like the textures of it. Myrtle Beach looks like a mini Miami.

The conference itself was at the Hilton. This is the ocean view. It took place over three days, the first being paid workshops. I didn't have any of those (Maya did), so I hung out by the pool and took everything in.

The second day started the basic conference schedule. My first session was a slush fest, where the first two pages of manuscripts are read and critiqued. The two people I were interested in having look at my work were the ones doing the critiques. I found something out. YA (young adult) is in three definite categories. Mid-Grade (ages 9-12), tween (13-15), and teen (16-18). I was not where I thought I should be. My manuscript was definitely mid-grade, so the people I was interested in weren't interested in my work.

I was a bit disappointing but I also picked up a few tips from that reading. I was not deterred. I had another workshop with and author, who gave a lot of good advice and a list of agents interested in what I had written. I was now thinking to 2011, to the Society of Children's Books Writers and Authors conference in Los Angeles. That conference would be geared to those writers, agents, and editors.
One workshop where I didn't garner much, the last one where I got some good info. Maya had her list of pitch sessions with agents and editors totally mixed up. Her last one was with a kid's agent and she asked me if I wanted to go in her place. I said sure, why not. I wasn't really prepared, wasn't dressed for it, and just shot from the hip. The agent was interested and I was expecting her to ask for a query but she asked for the whole manuscript. Maya said that my hand was really shaking. I was in shock. My toe is in the door. Still more work to do.

Now, I have to make sure it really flows and that there are no typos so I can send it to her. It's happening. Hard work is starting to pay off. Life is good.


I'm Back, Again

I kind of don't know where to start. For the past two weeks I've been finishing my manuscript to go to the South Carolina Writer's Conference in Myrtle Beach. I've gotten confirmation on a holiday art & craft show in December, I have a commission to make 15 holiday cards, and I'm planning on doing NANOWRIMO again in November.

The art show will be at Krankie's Coffee Shop. It will be my first time and I've already have Wandi dolls started. Winter Wandis. This time I will be knitting items for them to wear. I also have Winter Sprites started, and will be reworking my angel ornament pattern.

Working on booking shows for next year and right now I have a One Woman show in October 2011 (Halloween related of course). I have to get started on that now. Oh my!

Now that my first manuscript is done and will be off to an agent, I must begin the second one in the series. I'm glad that second story is already outlined and ready to go. I've got to get a schedule made up, like pronto.

I would like to welcome Paul Smith to the adventure. I didn't see a link but thanks for joining.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Getting Back Into the Swing

I started these five Ghostie Girls for the expo and as you can see, they didn't make their debut. I will continue to work on them and put them up for sale, even if Halloween will be over. If they don't sell, I will have them ready for my show in Oct 2011. Yes, I'm plotting and planning next year already. I will be doing a one woman Halloween Show at Hampton House Art & Framing.

This little miss will have a pet spider to go along with the spiders that decorate her dress. She is a full body needle felt with wire armature. Her bodice, stockings, and shoes are felted. Her vest is dyed wool fabric.

This one has felted spats and will eventually get buttons on the sides. Her dress has a drop waist and I haven't figured out what she will be holding.

This cutie's outfit will be circa 1862 and will probably hold a deadly doll or killer teddy bear. Her boots will also get beads for buttons.


Her is a modern miss with a bat design skirt. I think she's suppose to have an overstuffed goodie bag with a monster stuck in it.

Another modern one. Her t-strap shoes are needle felted. She has a tulle skirt under her pumpkin and ghost print skirt. Her bodice will be felted and she will be getting wool fabric suspenders with pumpkin buttons. She may also get an overloaded goodie bag.

Here they are all together. They have character already.

I also am planning for a local holiday show. I've pulled fabric for Winter Wandi Girls. They will have mittens, scarves, and hats. I will probably knit them myself. I would like to knit me a pair of socks.

Most of these projects will be on hold until after I finish my YA manuscript. I have four more chapters to rework and I've got a week and a half to do it in. Yeah, I'm a mad woman. I still didn't decorate my apartment for Halloween this year. Drats! Now I'm thinking pumpkin snowmen.

Monday, October 11, 2010

More Expo Pics

I forgot a couple of pics from the Doll & Teddy Bear Expo. Here is Alba Garcia who makes lovely BJDs (ball jointed dolls). They are different because they represent us fuller figured females. Plus, she's lovely person. Check out her site http://www.fantasiation.com/.

My photo of R. John Wright's booth didn't come out well but this nice pic of his Alice did. He signed and dated a hang tag for me to put on a Christopher Robin and Pooh doll I have of his. It took me forever to save up to buy that doll. I've finally met the creator and he was very nice too. I love Alice and they now sell their work direct. With a layaway. Bad news for me, very bad news.

These are leftovers from the expo and they are now finding homes in several local shops. My witches flew off my table. I thought that was kind of funny.

Here's one of my Goth Girls that I decided to keep. She has a friend and of course her pic didn't turn out well either. She was being difficult but that's okay. I'm coming up with a story for them, so you'll get to see the other one. Just love her dress. My mom had given me this fabric because she thought it strange and didn't know what to do with it.

This is one of my favorite witches. I just had a little bit left of the star print fabric and knew it had to dress a witch. My mom did the bead work.

Here's a spider witch. Yes, she's got little spiders crawling over her dress. Don't get too close.

I know, my pics don't always work. I'm a doller, not a photographer. I just love my Voodoo Bunner and it was difficult letting her go.

Witch Bunner. Both of these cuties bodices are needle felted in black.

Masquerade Bunner I.

Masquerade Bunner II.

Obi detail.

I want to welcome Laura Frasier of Farm Girl Arts at http://www.farmgirlrenewables.blogspot.com/, Sharon at http://www.riamelin.blogspot.com/, and Berri. I didn't see a site for Berri but thanks for joining me on my creative journey.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sci-Fi Piece

This little piece was commissioned for a sci-fi author. I didn't get her name or the name of the book but the author is Elizabeth Bear. I only got the pic of a cover that wasn't used and I don't know the story. But this little lady does have a huge metal arm.

She kind of reminds me of Hellboy but cuter.

She is made out of Paper Clay, wire armature, and cloth.

Here is her wrapped body. This is my first finished air dry clay piece. I've started many and have a nice selection of heads. I don't know if I like it or not. Need more practice but I'm quite pleased with the way she turned out.


She's got a cute face to go along with that deadly arm. I like her pose. It's a 'don't mess with me' pose. I will most definitely try this medium again. Then I can know for certain if I like it or not.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Doll & Teddy Bear Expo

Okay! Had a really good time at the expo. Here's me and my table. That's my mom behind the tree of skulls. She was trying to hide but it didn't work. She came down to help me put finishing touches on things and help me at the show. We froze the first day. Had parkas and sled dogs the next.

The top pic is a close up of part of my table. Blogger isn't allowing me to comment where I want to. Beneath that pic is my Witch Bunner. The Voodoo Bunner pic didn't come out well, but I will take another and post it soon. Love them both.

This is one of my Masquerade Bunners. The mask is felted. I will get more and better close-ups of them. I guess it was more of a doll show, my bunners got some interest but didn't sell.

Close-up of some of my Goth Girls. The witches flew off the table and I sold a few skull ornaments.

Me and Gregg Ortiz. I met some really cool people there and we just cracked each other up. Good thing we weren't neighbors or they would have to separate us.

Monica Reo and one of her lovely ladies.

Me and Monica. We met many moons ago at a doll show, when I was just starting out. She was very encouraging. I took watercolor classes from her mom who was a wonderful paperdoll artist.

Mark Dennis and his creations. I just love the movement of his work. He offers classes but I need a few more shows to fatten the coffers to take one. His class is on my list of things to do.

I tried to get a close-up of one of his pieces. This is Pele and her sister, earth and water.

Here's Katherine Hallam of Katie Rae Bears all the way from England. She's going to be having her own bear show next year. I'll have to keep an eye out on that show. Sounds like a road trip to me.

Deana Ellis of Wiley Bears and Felted Fantasies. Way cool felted work and she's nice to boot. All the way from Oregon.

The show for me was very successful and I'm planning my next big one. I like the ones that are connected to conferences or conventions. I met extremely nice artists and made many new contacts and networked like no body's business. I am so ready for the next show. I was pooped beyond belief the last day, but I did it. I worked and I participated.

Onward!

Happy October!

Fall is finally here in the south. Yay! It's been awhile since my last post. I was way busy finishing pieces for the Doll & Teddy Bear Expo that was this past weekend. I'll do another blog on that.

Right now, it's good to be back and read my fellow bloggers. I feel as if I've missed so much. I am thoroughly enjoying the cooler temps and the air just smells different. I still would like to decorate for Halloween, it may happen.

I will get back to polishing my YA manuscript and start preparing for a local holiday show. I hope I remember how to post pics.

Wendland Witches

I'm liking my new group of waiting to be witch dolls. I'm working on stories for them too but for now, here are some more sketches. ...