Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sugar and other Big Life Questions

I return from my solo weekend refreshed
and with a brain so full it's hibernating in permanent migraine mode.

My husband took care of the kids while I was away with nary a hitch.
The baby started walking, everyone slept like angels, I came home to contented smiles and happy kisses.
No fussing, no whining, the house was even decently clean.

My family had been traded by eerily perfect
Twilight Zone invaders!


Monday morning breakfast.
The girls burst out sobbing.
"You didn't put brown sugar on our oatmeal!" (howling)
"What! Since when do I ever put sugar on anything?"
"But Daddy gives us sugar!" (more sobs)

Aha! His secret to success.
Aliens hadn't abducted the Pray children after all. Just Mary Poppins and her spoonfuls of sugar.
Small price to pay for my weekend of inspiration.

And quite a weekend it was!
I'm wading through pages of notes from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Seattle.
Incredible insights from
Mitali Perkins,
author of Rickshaw Girl and Secret Keeper,
Laini Taylor, known for Lips Touch, Blackbringer, Silksinger
as well as
Jay Asher, Lisa Graff and Kim Baker to name a few.

Of my gleanings from the conference,
I think the most important is the mess of questions I came home with
and which I now pass on to you.

Essential Questions for the Writer:

Why write?
What's really important in life?
What do my characters want?
How's my writing routine working?
How can I do my best work?
How can I get better?
If it gives me more time to write, should I dose the children with sugar?


Anonymous said...

I'd say yes to the sugar, as long as I can partake too! Great questions. Staying on target can be challenging. Having those questions answered and posted where I can see them everyday will be very helpful.

Jen said...

Oh my gosh this is so cute!!! Hey at least Daddy was able to keep them occupied and if a little sugar worked then by all means continue with it until it no longer works!!! For the love of writing!!!

Watery Tart said...

Oh that tricksey husband! BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I loved this. Glad you're feeling inspired after your conference, and reenergized--always needed. And I'm glad your hubby managed without you, even if he now needs a spanking.

Rebecca said...

Ah, so cute about the sugar! And really, how can you go back to plain oatmeal once you've tried it with brown sugar?? If you're feeling guilty about the brown sugar, you could always try raw honey (for the beyond one-year-old kiddos anyway).

A little sugar won't hurt 'em, especially if you get more time to write. :-)

And now I'm wondering what insights you gleaned that you're willing to share. Any more goodies to dish out?

Faith Pray said...

Lynn, Jen and Rebecca - I think I'm willing to trade a lot for a few more minutes to write!
And don't they say you should avoid depriving your kids so they don't turn into manic little halloween candy freaks?
Rebecca, I will try to post more of my gleanings from the conference. Some timely notes on plotting by Laini Taylor that were great.
Hart - Tricky hubby, but it's a good thing he managed without me. Now he'll feel good about more writer getaways!

Terresa said...

Oh, I went to a SCBWI conference a few months ago and have another writers conference to attend in just a few more days. Love those conferences to soak in writerly inspiration!!

PS: I slept in a day last week and my husband fed the kids breakfast. They reported to me later it was (gasp) cold cereal, the sugary kind. ;)


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