There and Back Again

By Amy K. Nichols

New York

I returned from New York late Sunday night. Which means I accomplished the first writing goal I set for myself for 2010. I got on the plane (Thank you, Xanax) and went to the SCBWI 2010 Winter Conference.

Did I network my keester off? I did my best. I chatted with a couple of my “dream” agents, and received encouraging feedback from two editors during the Friday Intensives/critique session. I also caught up with old writer friends. And I made a number of new writer friends. That, I think, was the best part of the conference. OK, that and geeking out over Dr. Who with Libba Bray.

Number X is our Doctor

Before I left for New York, I sent a short story out to several journals. This story won an honorable mention in a contest last summer, but remains unpublished. I’m hoping one of the editors this round thinks it’s a good fit. I would really like this story to find a home. Soon.

On the flight to Phoenix, I started a new short story. I’m hoping to have that one out the door in the next week or two.

Something one of the editors said during my critique session sparked an idea for my novel, something that would enhance the narrative. On the flight home, I also started experimenting with that. So far, I’m happy with the results. I’m going to keep working this new idea/angle as I revise, and see where it leads.

There are a number of things I haven’t started yet on the list I posted in January. I’m hoping to reach some of those goals through the effort I’m putting in now. Some of them will take a back seat while I work in other areas. Some of the items I will begin in the coming weeks. Thankfully, there’s the next status update — and my fellow Confessioners — to keep me accountable.

As I think the list through, though, everything goes back to that first item. Getting on that plane to New York.

Room with a view

I seriously questioned going. I don’t like flying. It was an expensive trip. I’d never been to New York and didn’t know what to expect. But I went. I took that first step. And now I’m on fire for writing. I’m zooming again. I’m eager to get back to work, to write until my fingers bleed, to make this dream come true.

Can’t wait to see what’s next.