Posted by: Natalie Hatch | December 7, 2009

Best Thing About 2009

I had such fun the other month at the CYA conference and I promised a few pictures. So without further ado, myself hooping it up with Michael Gerard Bauer – Dinosaur Knight extraordinaire and now successful Hoopman!

natalie hoopingmichaelgerardbauer hooping As you can see Michael only took a little time before he was hooping it up big time. Thanks go to Lynn Priestley for the photos. We tried to get others to get into hooping but very few took us up on the offer.

So what did I learn at the conference? Oh buckets and buckets full of information. Some that were very pertinent to my own writing and some that were intriguing for future reference.

2009 was good in that I learned more about writing and editing than I have in the previous two years. And it’s worthwhile noting that I had been able to attend not only the CYA conference but also the RWA conference as well. Why is this important to me? Being able to talk to other writers, those struggling along the same lines as myself is a wonderfully cathartic moment. There are others out there trying to work magic with the keyboard. It feels good to say to someone “my character did this when I expressly told them not to” and not have them texting for the men in white coats.

I also was able to meet up with writers, agents and publishers and learn more about the industry. At the CYA conference Paul Collins took my teenage daughter under his wing and said something great. I don’t know what he said but she came away from that conference with a renewed vigor to her writing. I would just like to publicly thank him for that. It’s amazing the impact kind words have on youth.

I have interviewed wonderful writers/agents, including: Michael Gerard Bauer, Melanie Nilles, Kim Miller, Richard Harland, Kirsty Eagar, Tania Roxborogh, Kathy Charles, Scott Monk, Jacinta di Mase, Rebecca James, Jack Heath, Paul Collins, and Gwendolyn Heasley.

I’d like to thank them for taking time out of their writing.agenting day to answer my questions.

Books! This year I have read some fantastic books. A big thank you to Text Publishing and Penguin Australia for their support of our blog, they really have been generous and I for one have enjoyed every book they’ve sent. Oh except for The Pocket Book of Boosch, which my teens are laughing their guts at and I just don’t get it. Hmm, might have to watch the show to work out what that’s all about.

Best book of 2009? I couldn’t tell you. I do know that Kiki Lon’s “Enter the Parrot” had me hooked from the first page. Big plug for Kiki.Oh and Neal Schusterman’s “Unwind” was memorable, I liked the science of the story and also he layered the sub plots extremely well. Kenneth Oppel’s “Skyborn” series was great, along with Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series  – and they’ve turned it into a movie (Happy dance).

I’ve read over 250 books this year. Just finished Dean Karnazes’ autobiography “Ultramarathon Man”. I want to run a marathon, but I’m not as fanatical as he is (315km non-stop I say Holy Cow Batman).

Best Movies of 2009? UP by those crafty folks at Pixar. They had me bawling my eyes out 3 times in 15 minutes.  And Star Trek… I am a trekkie at heart and I love what JJ Abrams provided.

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