Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend in Pittsburgh 
(Nov 12, 13, 14)

Gary, my husband, and I drove to Pittsburgh on 
Friday morning to enjoy a weekend in this three 
river city. The weather was an unexpected treat 
for this time of year.  Dry roads and clear, sunny 

conference on Saturday, Nov. 13.  Click the link 
to view the schedule, presenters and workshops. 
One of my manuscripts, Asha's Journey, was 
critiqued by Deborah Vetter.  She offered many
suggestions that guided me in a fresh edit which 
I did when I got home.  I did feel overwhelmed 
when I got home from all the input and, yes, 
discouraging news about the economy's affect on 
the publishing business, but energized none the less.  
As Pat Easton, regional advisor, stated in her opening 
address, she writes in the basement so that she doesn't 
jump out the window!  It was great meeting her and
connecting to all the organizers, new writers, illustrators, 
editors and agent, Quinlan Lee of Adams Literacy,
that I met.

I had the added pleasure of sitting next to Ms. Vetter 
at lunch.  I learned a lot about her life and her 
experiences as executive editor for Cicada.  We had 
a humorous conversation about "green burial."  How 
and why I brought up that topic is gratefully forgotten.  
But, actually, everyone at the table had fun with the 
topic.  No one had ever heard of green burial as an 
option to casket or cremation.  And Ms. Vetter was 
delighted that it existed!  Here is a link for those
interested in reading an interview with Deborah Vetter 
(Sept. 2006).

I have also been researching agents, and have submitted 
to one, but after going to Quinlan Lee's talk, I am very
interested in submitting to her.  I felt a connection and 
loved her energy.  She also made a clever analogy that 
an agent is sometimes a stager.  Before selling a house
one must present the house in the best light.  Maybe 
some repairs are needed.  Or updates.  Or coats of fresh 
paint.  Maybe a few new items.  Well, manuscripts need 
to be staged for the editors she feels are right for the 
manuscript and often manuscripts need a little work 
before she sells it.  I like that and I like that she is on top 
of all the editor moves in the industry, negotiates contracts 
and manages one's career.  All worth 15% in my opinion. 
Quinlan Lee stated that she is a middle grade junkie, so 
I'm eager to work on my MG novels. 

Saturday night, Gary and I went to Heinz Hall to hear
Rags to Ritzes:  The Music of Irving Berlin.  Conductor,
Jack Everly, led the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in a
rich selection of music with vocalists Ashley Brown, Ted
Keegan, Natasha Yvette Williams, Tony Desare and Eric
LaJuan Summers.  There truly is "No Business like Show 
Business."  What would this world be like without music!
That's what I dislike most about winter.  No birds signing 
in the dawn.  Well, where I live, anyway!

1 comment:

Eileen Loveman said...

I loved her explanation as a stager as well - good luck to you and see you this summer! I'll miss you!