Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The sun comes out as my delayed flight arrives to take me to chicago.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Very Bloggy Blog

Lots of people are getting in on the blogging action. Me being the sharer that I am, I'm all about promotion. Therefore, here is a list of some blogs by a few friends of mine. Want to tweet 'em? They're IDs are right after their links. For more, check out the widget to the right of this blog, featuring live feed of all of the #deltacon tweets.

With no further ado:
Robin's Beyond Words 2011 (@WriteRagamuffin)
Corey's Travelling Beyond Words (@travellingmusic)
Allie's Alpha Delta Lambda Chapter (@AllieBGolightly)
Tania's Infinite Winds (@NeistiKegawa)

And don't forget the Official Student Leadership News Blog by our amazing & tireless student leaders! (@sigmatdsa1)

Obviously, this is just a small smattering of convention blogs. If you have another to add, please post it to the comments, along with your Twitter ID (if you have one) so everyone can follow you. I'm sure that there are many more amazing Sigma Tau Deltans out there just dying be heard (we're all writers, after all), so take this opportunity to shamelessly promote yourself!

Monday, March 21, 2011

10 Tips for the Maiden Voyage "Beyond Words"

First time attending the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention? Here are a few tips to ensure that get the most from your experience.
  1. Go through your program as soon as you get it. Circle all of the panels you are interested in. Plan on attending 4 or so per day. Know when your fellow chapter members and other friends are presenting so that you can be there for them whenever possible. (I once did a panel where only two other people showed up, so my chapter-mates were greatly appreciated).
  2. Schedule yourself some downtime, whether that means a quick lunch and a nap, or a long swim before your first panel of the day. The convention can be overwhelming, so finding peace is very important.
  3. Don't feel as if you must attend every single scheduled event. Allow yourself room to breathe and rearrange for your comfort and peace of mind.
  4. That said, do attend the opening ceremony, student leadership workshop, business meeting, dry t-shirt/bad poetry contest (just because it's my favorite, and my bad poem is EPIC), at least two featured author events from the reading to the Q&A, and the gala. Without these core events, the convention wouldn't be as meaningful.
  5. If you want to attend two concurrent panels, please follow these simple rules: Sit in the back of the first and wait until a presenter is done before making your exit (do so between presentations). Wait until you hear applause coming from the room you are planning to enter, and do so during that applause. It is very frowned upon to enter in the middle of a presentation, and you risk throwing off the presenter who's worked very hard and may be very nervous. Panels are generally run in the order they appear in the program, so plan accordingly.
  6. Be ready to answer questions about the paper you are presenting. There are always questions!!!
  7. If you find yourself lonely (many chapters come with very few members), chat up people in your panel, at t-shirt tables, even in the lobby. The Mega Chapter got started because one of my chapter-mates talked to a guy surfing on his laptop in the lobby because she noticed he was on a site that she liked. He is now one my closest friends. There will always be at least one person at the convention who loves the same literature/author/poet that you do. How will you ever find them if you're not talking to people? (And when all else fails, find me on FB or Twitter. The Mega Chapter is open to all!)
  8. Get your homework done before the convention. I bring stuff to work on every year, and I barely get time to even glance at it. Be realistic. There is always something going on, and you don't want to miss out because of procrastination.
  9. This may sound silly, but double-check that you packed the following items: socks, underwear, your printed paper, itinerary, cell phone charger, prescription meds, journal/writing implements. The sooner you pack, the more time you have to remember what you've forgotten (I had to wash my socks in the sink every night one year because I forgot to pack them!).
  10. HAVE FUN AND BE OPEN TO NEW EXPERIENCES! If nothing else, you will have gathered another year's worth of characters and inspiration for your writing.
Now I'm sure that I'm forgetting a thing or two. If I did, don't hestitate to add on with a comment. Any questions? Well, you've found me here, so leave a comment, and I'll reply with the best answer I can. I'm also on Twitter as @jilliephillips, and my FB Badge is just to the right of this column. I'm available :-)

Have an amazing time Sigma Tau Deltans!

NaPoWriMo & Two Days to Go!

Could it be a better month for English majors/minors? With the convention looming, and me reminding myself everyday to pack my poetry journal, I happened on a site that informed me that NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is coming! How could anything be more perfect?
We Sigma Tau Deltans are lucky to be able to gather together and share our thoughts and inspirations for a whole four days, and we should remember that it is our creative and critical talents that got into the convention. The NaPoWriMo challenge is to write 30 poems in 30 days, and with the incredible amount of poetry panels at the convention, as well as the other poetry events coming, there is no reason for any convention-goer not to go BEYOND WORDS!!
Wondering about the major poetry events this week? Here they are:
  • Rectangle Readings: Always a talented bunch! These are pieces read/performed by authors who appear in this year's edition of the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle. Usually, this includes a smattering of creative nonfiction, short fiction, and poetry. Wed 8:30-10:00
  • Bad Poetry Contest: Ah, who could forget Shannin reading "Look Away"? Every year, it gets funnier. Some inappropriate--and welcome!--humor. Bring your trite, high school, cliche, outrageously awful poetry! Boo for your favorites. The point is to be as bad as possible and don't we Sigma tau Deltans need that freedom in our literary lives? Thursday 9:30-11:00
  • Kay Ryan: Unfortunately, I have to miss her Q & A on Friday during the day because I'll be presenting my own poetry, but if you love poetry, she is a definite must-see. I won't miss her reading that night and neither should you! Friday 2:00-3:00 (Q&A), 8:00-9:30 (Reading, Q&A, and Book Signing)
  • Open Mic: Coming right on the heels of Kay Ryan, the Open Mic is the exact opposite of the Bad Poetry Contest. Bring your best. The atmosphere is low-key and comfortable. Feel free to read poems you didn't get to include your poetry submission for the panel, preview your presentation, get inspiration for new directions for your poetry (which is always my goal), or simply get over your stage fight about sharing your words with the world (another reason I participated last year). Last year, I learned a lot, and you will too. You can even get creative. Last year, one guy got up and did some stand-up comedy. My favorite? He said, "I'm going to open a store for people with OCD. The items on the shelves won't be for sale, but they will all be slightly askew..." Show up and listen! Friday 9:30-11:00
Come to any and all of these events and you're sure to find at least one (or maybe ten) great idea for a poem to get you started on NaPoWriMo way!

And so it begins...

Welcome to my favorite intellectual season of the entire year! The friends, the poems, the papers. Every year, I wish I had done more recording of my experience, a sort of scrapbook. Well, thanks to the prodding of the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention Blogging Contest, it's now or never!

The contest officially begins at 8am tomorrow, but I am too excited not to post NOW!

Here's a little of what I hope to be posting in the next week:
  • Panels/Sessions I'm planning to attend, or can't because of previous commitments to other panels, and therefore feel the need to overcompensate for by posting them in hopes that others can make it.
  • Funny quotes from dinner and around the SigmaTD (proverbial) campfire.
  • Plans for excursions. St. Louis last year involved a dueling piano bar with a guy who did the entire dance from the N'Sync "Pop" video during a medley and let me on sing onstage.
  • Thoughts, musings, inspirations. Every year, I come back with more pages of poetry than I usually write in a month!
  • Shameless promotions for my fellow bloggers/conventionites.
  • THE BAD POEM! No I won't debut it here, but it is EPIC!
That's just a smattering. I'm so excited, can you tell!
Share your comments and link your blog/FB/Twitter to mine. We're all about teamwork, right everyone?