No, this post isn’t about the current season that can’t quite take hold in WI this year. This post is about the awesomeness that is Summer Heacock, aka @fizzygrrl. On multiple levels, she is responsible for one of the most amazing weekends I’ve had in a long time. Possibly ever. So I’m going to gush for a bit, and it’ll make her cry. Somebody get her a Kleenex, because I don’t care.
I spent the past weekend in the hopping metropolis of Muncie, IN at the Midwest Writers Workshop. Ball State University has sponsored this conference for the past 40 years. It was, in a word, incredible. Also exhausting, but that would be two words.
First off, I never would have gone to this conference if it weren’t for Summer. She sang its praises on twitter, and I got swept up in her excitement, checked the finances, and registered. Her enthusiasm is infectious that way.
At the conference, she went out of her way to champion my book to the 2 agents who represent picture books. She did her best to manipulate their competitive natures and got them both trash-talking the other (there may even be drawings involving terrible things done to cats, but I’ll never tell). The end result is I’m frantically revising/rewriting so I have something to send both these agents in the next few weeks.
Why did Summer do it? What was in it for her? Absolutely nothing, except the joy that comes from helping friends. And because she’s an amazing person. As she said, “I know I have no vested interest in this. I just want to squee for you.” Based on the number of writers she helped achieve squee moments, she’s got a metric ton of good karma coming her way. Nearly every time I saw her, she was giving of herself. And asking nothing in return. I strive to do that, but I’m pretty sure I don’t pull it off as graciously as Summer, whom I have dubbed my Fizzy Godmother. And if karma doesn’t pull through, I know she’s at least getting some macarons & beercheese.
As a writer, there are few absolute necessities. The main one being you must write. Just about everything else is optional, a combo of what you can find and what works for you. So a cheerleader like Summer isn’t a necessity. But it’s a damn good thing to have. Even if I never see her again (which I fully intend not to be the case), Summer will always have a place in my heart for how generous she was with her time, enthusiasm and friendship.
Also her kickass skull-cherry dress.