I got back at about 11 p.m. last night from my weekend in Madison. My note to self is that one should never spend only one night in Madison. I feel convinced that every gift I possibly could have wanted for family could be found on State Street, but, alas, I had to leave before I was sure, and too much of my Christmas shopping is still undone.
The reading was great, as was the venue as was meeting Michelle Sewell, editor of GirlChild Press, and hearing her stories about the process of putting together these fantastic anthologies that bring girls’ and women’s voices to the public. The photo embedded in this post proves that it all really happened — after arriving for the reading in the nick of time, I forgot to unpack my digital camera, so thanks to Michelle and others who took and shared pictures. (The next and final Just Like a Girl reading is happening this Friday, December 12th, at Charis Books in Atlanta.)
The highlight of the trip, though, was getting the chance to hang out with Natalia Thompson, girl writer and activist extraordinaire, and Ruthie, a former Girls Editorial Board member. Both these amazing and talented young women have served as editors and writers for New Moon Girls (and have garnered publishing credentials elsewhere as well), and if you have an 8 – 12 year old girl in your life, I cannot recommend New Moon Girls highly enough as both a creative outlet and a place for girls to find community. Yes, I do work with New Moon, but I don’t plug it because I work with them; I work with them because I love them. A lot. I think you will, too.
Although I arrived in Madison Friday night with my mind still woefully empty of a potential SF short story — this despite driving by a strangely lit hill that I’m quite sure is a landing zone for UFOs — I’m pleased to report that an idea burst into bloom on the long, dark, caffeinated drive home. Now the challenge will be to “think short” as my friend and fellow writer Jenny urges, and that will be a new direction after coming off NaNo. But I will try to tell this story in 10,000 words or less — and failing that, there’s always the Writers of the Future contest, which has a 17,000 word limit.