Post Up: The Baty Booster Shot

Post Up: The Baty Booster Shot

It’s only been four months since Chris Baty delivered his moving keynote speech at Crossroads 2012. In the time since, many of you have started and completed novels during November for NaNoWriMo. We’ve been quietly working on ways to up our game in 2013. (More on that soon, we promise.) And Mr. Baty? Well, he’s taken his inspirational ways another step further. First, if you want to hear his speech again, here it is for your listening pleasure. (Videos from the conference are coming soon… ish.) Between globetrotting and working hard at his own writing, Chris Baty has also opened a little Internet shop of wonders, which you can–and dang sure better–check out here. There you will find posters and signs with that special Chris Baty touch of sincere care and interest in you as a person and a writer. Grab one and close your eyes, hear his motivational words echo around your head and remember that he believes in you so you should too. Then get to writing. And then write some more. And more. Make us all...
Amber J. Gardner: How I Got to Crossroads

Amber J. Gardner: How I Got to Crossroads

I decided to become a novelist shortly after my mom passed away in 2006 from cancer. My father had died (also cancer) when I was a year old, so I found myself without any immediate family and completely on my own by the age of 20. The latter was probably a good thing, the former not so much. It was the first time I decided to take writing seriously, but didn’t actually make any progress till I finally completed the first draft of a novel in 2008 thanks to Chris Baty and NaNoWriMo. Still, I wasn’t writing as much as I should’ve been due to perfectionism, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, etc. Once I failed to graduate college, I was miserable. I hadn’t achieved any goals and I was still living in Puerto Rico, which is where I’ve lived since I was five-years-old and desperately wanted to leave since I was 13. So after a Quarter-Life crisis, I decided I had enough. I was going to take my goals seriously. Moving to the U.S. was one of them, so after family on my father’s side found and contacted me (thank you Facebook!), I moved in with my aunt and uncle in Fayetteville, Georgia. Meanwhile, I’d become an avid fan of Chuck Wendig and his blog Terribleminds.com for at least a year now. He was one of my writing idols because he was doing it. He was writing full time and doing it HIS way. I loved that. Thanks to his blog and his books, I was writing more than ever before. So when I heard he was speaking at the...
Crossroads 2012 in Pictures

Crossroads 2012 in Pictures

Thanks to Jacqueline Harnevious of Skyler Photography (www.SkylerPhoto.com) for taking some great pictures of Crossroads 2012. You can reach her at JacquelineSkyler@gmail.com. If you have pictures of Crossroads you want to share, shoot us an...
Chuck Wendig’s Talk at Crossroads 2012

Chuck Wendig’s Talk at Crossroads 2012

So: I also run this blog called “terribleminds.” Is that the word for it? “Run?” I write it? I curate it? Whatever — let’s just go with, “I pull blobs of dubious writing wisdom that get caught in my brain filter and smear them on the Internet’s walls.” This blog, which is nominally focused on writing, obviously draws a lot of writers of various experience levels — from the never-written to the never-published to the often-published. And with writers — particularly those from the more inexperienced end of the spectrum — come questions. Questions of how to *do* this thing that we do. Some questions are very specific: how do I make my characters pop, how do I outline, how do I write a query letter? But then there’s a category of question I like to think of as, “Questions From The Department Of The Overwhelmed, The Bewildered, The Insanely Frustrated.”  These are questions that are *gibbered* more than *asked* — if one were to ask such a question in person it would sound like, “Whuh? How do I… what do I? Wh… where do I begin? How do I start? Muh? Guh?” More a series of squeaks and whimpers that ultimately culminate in communicating a feeling of helplessness, confusion, and abject frustration. Thing is, I understand this sense of helplessness. We step up to the blank page — this snowy tract of tabula rasa that hasn’t earned even a single footprint across its virgin expanse — and the potential overwhelms us. Or, it has me, at least — once upon a time upon starting a new story I’d...
As Seen On Twitter

As Seen On Twitter

The luckiest writers conference in the world got even luckier this year with the best lineup of writers and best group of attendees in our brief life. We couldn’t be happier right now. Here are a few of the highlights… as seen on Twitter. [<a href=”http://storify.com/CrossroadsMacon/crossroads-as-seen-on-twitter” target=”_blank”>View the story “Crossroads (As Seen On Twitter)” on Storify</a>]<br /> <h1>Crossroads (As Seen On Twitter)</h1> <h2></h2> <p>Storified by Crossroads Writers  · Mon, Oct 08 2012 21:32:22</p> <div>I think I am addicted to @CrossroadsMacon #wordysouthMeaghan Walsh Gerard</div> <div>Thanks again @thischrishorne & @CrossroadsMacon for the BEST weekend! Now to blog our #wordysouth adventures while I’m still #writershighThe Dulcimer</div> <div>Wow. Kevin Coval just got a new fan. That reading was fantastic. #WordySouthTia Kalla</div> <div>S/O to @CrossroadsMacon I had a great time opening the day this morning…my apologies for all the swear wordsKevin Coval</div> <div>@kevincoval ~ Thanks for Saturday. #crossroadsmacon was tremendous with your lead off. Enjoyed our talk ~ The guy in the orange cap.gary ballard</div> <div>Loving this! Meeting so many great people and getting star struck left and right! #WordySouth @ChuckWendig @ChrisBaty @AdamMansbachSarah-Rachael M.</div> <div>Great conference – it keeps getting better. Thanks for making it happen, Chris and Heather! #WordySouth http://pic.twitter.com/lP2Bz3TxAnne Wainscott </div> <div>Adam Mansbach on publishing "Go the F*** To Sleep": "We all thought it was funny…we also thought we were just bad parents" #wordysouthThe Dulcimer</div> <div>The very funny @adammansbach talks about Go The F@!* To Sleep at @CrossroadsMacon #wordysouth http://pic.twitter.com/ULirT9MMMeaghan Walsh Gerard</div> <div>Ohmygosh. Ravi Howard about to speak! 😀 #WordySouthSarah-Rachael M.</div> <div>Ravi Howard "imagination in a story gives the facts a little more room to breathe" #wordysouth  http://instagr.am/p/QcUMSlTD3a/Angel Collins</div> <div>Chris Baty ROCKED...
Read for the Record Day at Burdell-Hunt Elementary

Read for the Record Day at Burdell-Hunt Elementary

This spring, Crossroads was happy to connect with Macon’s chapter of the Junior League. With the support you all have given us, we thought it only fair to help the Junior League with their work to boost literacy rates here, starting at Burdell-Hunt Elementary School. The day before the conference, they had their “Read for the Record” event and it looks like a success. Here’s what our friend Julia Wood says: Hey Chris, I just wanted to say thank you to Crossroads for your support of Read for the Record today at Burdell-Hunt Elementary School. The children had a great time, and we really appreciate your contribution and the volunteers from Macon State. Here are a few pictures from today. Sincerely, Julia  ...
X-O Manoawesome: interview with Robert Venditti

X-O Manoawesome: interview with Robert Venditti

Rachel: How does working in digital, something you did for the first time in The Surrogates: Case Files, change the collaboration of a writer and artist? Is it essentially the same process or are there some aspects that alter? How does it improve upon the traditional methods? ROBERT VENDITTI: Brett Weldele and I have a done two graphic novels with each other, so our process is pretty established.  It also helps that Brett handles all of the art himself—even the lettering—so it’s really just the two of us working with Chris Staros at Top Shelf (publisher of The Surrogates).  I will say that the content of The Surrogates: Case Files lends itself well to the digital format, and Brett’s style, particularly his unique color palette, really shines on a screen.  There’s this one page in the first issue where he draws a dusting of fall leaves, and the colors really pop.  It’s one of my favorite moments.   Rachel:  You recently began publishing your first month by month, working on X-O Manowar.  How does this sort of quick production and historical sci-fi/fantasy aspect change your style of writing? How does it determine your research process? VENDITTI: Writing for a monthly book is a big change from the graphic novel writing I’m accustomed to doing.  There are always multiple issues in various stages of production, which took getting used to, since I tend to be a linear writer.  With a monthly book, there’s also a need to reorient the reader every issue—without making it read like you’re reorienting them—and I’m still learning how to do that as effectively as I...
Q&A: Carrie Howland, Agent, Donadio & Olson, Inc.

Q&A: Carrie Howland, Agent, Donadio & Olson, Inc.

If you missed Carrie the first time, don’t worry because she’s back for Crossroads 2013! Click here to register: CrossroadsWriters.splashthat.com The Mind of an Agent: Chatting with Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson Chris: I’m always curious about how people end up where they are. How’d you become an agent? Had you always set out to do it, or did you happen into it? Carrie: I grew up in a small town in Michigan where an ‘agent’ was someone who sold you insurance. I attended a private liberal arts school for undergrad, on Biology/Environmental Research and Pre-Med Scholarships. (I’m probably one of the few literary agents who has taken, and passed, two semesters of Organic Chemistry.) The ‘mistake’ of course was taking Creative Writing 101 to fulfill an art requirement. I’d always loved to write and began reading (more like devouring) books at the age of three, much to the chagrin of my kindergarten teacher who didn’t know what to do with me two years later. After declaring a Creative Writing major, I still fulfilled all my Pre-Med requirements (and even added Pre-Law, ‘just to be safe’). Then I decided to spend a semester off-campus. By this time, I’d become the Poetry Editor of our campus literary journal (which drew submissions from across the country) as well as a reporter for the campus newspaper. So, to me, it made sense to study ‘abroad’…in New York City. I asked to be placed at a publishing house as an editorial intern or at a literary journal. My NY program advisor called one day and, in the thickest New York accent I’d...
Delilah S Dawson: The advice would I give myself if I could go back in time…

Delilah S Dawson: The advice would I give myself if I could go back in time…

We tasked the awesome and cool Delilah S. Dawson with applying her ample imagination to this question: If you could go back in time to the very start of your writing career, what advice would you give yourself? Considering how far this Pocket/Simon & Schuster published author of “Wicked as They Come” and associated editor for CoolMomPicks.com has come, we thought it was a perfect question to have her answer. When you come to the conference, you’ll be treated to more of Delilah’s insight (she may or may not wave a cupcake). Specifically, she’s going to speak on being “shipwrecked” as a writer and what to do with yourself while you’re waiting on your writing ship to come. Until then… enjoy!...