I attended the Western Washington SCBWI conference this past weekend. I spent a lot of time there with [info]mandywriter who has posted some good stuff about what all went on.  

The conference was useful for the networking/marketing aspect of writing.   In that way, I got everything I could have wanted or expected from the event.  (Well, I would have loved to meet some local YA writers around my age, actually.  Not to sound ageist or anything.  I just think it would be cool to make friends whom I can get together with to share and discuss our writing, and also hang out with and go to concerts with or whatever!)

I came away hungry -- starving, even -- for some instruction and focus on craft.  The workshop Liesa Abrams did was a great start for me with her ideas about developing a strong hook and plot.  This information shouldn't be new to me, but it felt new.  Probably because I am at the starting stage right now, which is somewhere I haven't been for over a year and a half.  I'm mulling everything over days later, hoping to come up with something outstanding for my new story.  

I've also been researching today for some writing classes -- online or local will do -- but I'm coming up very little that appeals.  I want more!  I want to learn!  I want someone to teach me something, damnit!

The online MB classes and the online stuff with Lauren Barnholdt a few years ago spoiled me.  I adore working with instructors and writers who are focused on YA and who truly get it.  In years past, I was always the only YA writer in my classes, and it made me feel like I was off in some corner of weird fiction all by myself.  I'm sure I can learn some useful things from general fiction-type class, but I'm so reluctant to do that right now.  Why are YA options so limited?