In spite of not running much, I feel like I’ve ran a marathon, one that lasted for a whole week. The Writing for Young Readers conference was the incentive I needed to take my writing to a new level. The first day, the magnitude of the work ahead of me overwhelmed me. By Wednesday, and because I was in an exhaustion-induced high that seemed to slow time for me, I had an epiphany. If I keep writing, never give up, and implement the tools I acquired during the conference, in the end, my book will be a better book. Critique groups are hard. Baring your soul (that’s what my writing means–my soul) in front of people to discuss is a akin to standing naked in front of strangers while they discuss each and every flaw of your body. But it’s an essential part if the writing process.
I had the privilege of attending the Contemporary Novel Workshop, taught by Ann Dee Ellis, author of This is What I Did.
The quality of writing and critique in the group was way beyond my expectations. I’m honored for having shared a week surrounded by such talented artists. At the beginning of the week we started with 15 strangers, and by Friday, I felt my companions were part of my family. I expect great things to come from our group. The stories we were working on were funny, romantic, imaginative, and also heart-wrenching, real, life-changing.

                                           The Crying Class: Melanie, Christian, Michelle, Erika, Amy, Lisa
                                                    Me, Cherise, Ann Dee, Angie, Shar, Tony, Alicia and Neil (not in picture: Rebekah)

One of the best parts of the conference was the book signing. My dear friend Julie gave my Gorgeous Boy a ride so he could have his books signed by Brandon Mull (Fablehaven among others) and Dave Farland (where do I start?), two of my son’s favorite writers. 

Another awesome thing was meeting Carolyn! C., I’m so sorry I missed our lunch on Friday! I arrived late and our class stayed late too! I’m so sorry. But thank you with all my heart for finding me. I love meeting online friends in real life. At least we know we are real!

And to finish my post, and just because I can’t blog and not mention the amazing WorldCup, here’s a clip of the game that fed my hope that this year, the Cup might be ours. 4-1!!!!!

4 responses to “WIFYR and the first week of the Worldcup!”

  1. MT says:

    Yamile! I found you too. 😉

  2. Shar says:

    Hi Yamile! It was such a great week, wasn't it? I'm so glad we had class together.

    and yesterday's win by the US – awesome!

  3. Shar says:

    PS. I miss hearing your accent. Just like Alicia said, I can hear it when I read your writing 🙂

  4. lisa says:

    I know we didn't plan it like this, but how great is that sign above us? All this urgency!

    Also–did you take that photo of the bird at the top of your blog? It's such a great photo!

Yamile Saied Mendez

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American, Picture Book, Middle Grade, and Young Adult author.

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