Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Warning: I Am A Random Hugger

If there's one thing I've learned about myself over the past two weeks, it's that I'm a random hugger. When I'm in a group of people, it's the natural thing to do. When someone comes up to me and says something nice, I get all grateful inside. And what better way to say "Thank you" than hugging?

Um, there isn't a better way. Just sayin'.

So I thought I'd throw this warning out there. I know some of you have moved "Meet Elana" to the bottom of your list now.

I also wanted to give you a couple of highlights from the ANWA conference I just attended. I'm not really sure they're highlights, but maybe some facts and some tips? Yeah, sure, let's go with that.

1. Think before you speak. Not only did I make a fool of myself several times, I'm still thinking of the lame things I said.

2. Agents, editors, and authors are all people. True fact.

3. Barnes & Noble is "drastically changing" how they do business. I sat in on a class by one of their community relations managers and it was fascinating.

4. Writing dialog is really hard.

5. We should be writing what we love, no matter what the current trend is.

6. Common mistake children's authors make: trying to preach/teach a lesson with their books. Also, the whole mustache-twirling villain? Another mistake.

7. Imperfect rhyme in picture books is, well, imperfect. Fix it.

8. You can take what you know emotionally and translate it into your novel.

9. No matter how you get published, you'll have to do some of your own publicity and marketing.

10. I am a random hugger.

What have you learned about yourself recently?

68 comments:

kellyhashway said...

Random hugging is fine. Random kissing? Now that's another story. I don't mind if someone I've never met hugs me, but there's no need to kiss my cheek. Just saying.

Sounds like you learned a lot at the conference. Thanks for passing some info along.

Brenda said...

I agree with Kelly...random kissing is hard to get used to. Everyone here does the cheek kiss thing. And then I'm never sure if it's one cheek or both cheeks and that can get awkward if random kisser goes for both cheeks but you don't... If you ever become a random kisser, stick to the one-cheek kiss.

Sounds like the conference was great and that you learned a lot!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a great conference. I would have loved to have been there to meet you. Hope you'll tell us more about Barnes and Noble changes.

And I hope you get the extra bookmarks out before June so we can give them to the library to hand out for their summer read programs. It'll be great for the teens.

Theresa Milstein said...

You're a random hugger? Me too. We must meet and hug someday.

I don't know if I believe #2.

Like Natalie, I'd love to hear more about the Barnes and Noble changes.

Bish Denham said...

Random hugs are the best. Some might be glad they aren't in Puerto Rico where you not only get a hug, but a kiss on the right check. Every time. That conference sounds like it was a good one. It's nice to know that writing what we love dispite the trends is STILL the way to go.

Marsha Ward said...

Elana, it's wonderful that you're a random hugger. I felt blessed to receive one of your hugs this weekend when I met you at the ANWA Conference. Thank you!

Ted Cross said...

I'm a random acceptor of hugs! All agents are human? Most of them, sure, but ALL?!

Jen Daiker said...

Patience is something that can only be taught and will be forgotten when the answer is reached.

I am more patient than I ever realized.

I enjoy reading online during my breaks at work, less stares then when reading a paperback.

I too am a random hugger.

A. Grey said...

I'm totally a random hugger. The funny part is that I don't like touching people, but somehow random hugging doesn't count because it's, well, random and spontaneously driven by honest emotions. I will so randomly hug you if we ever get to meet. Maybe more than once since you're a fellow dystopian writer :)

Paul Greci said...

Great list. I loved them all, but especially loved #5, #6, #8...When you go to a conference you get re-energized, don't you?

Ishta Mercurio said...

I learned that taking care of four under-sevens is a lot easier than I thought it would be. Then again, it was only for a few hours. :-)

Hannah Kincade said...

I'm not a hugger but I'm not opposed to hugging if that's how you start your relationship. If I'm expected to hug someone that I've never touched before, I get awkward.

Erinn said...

I'm a random hugger too. There's been times when I've hugged a stranger in line because they were having a bad day. I really hope I don't get knifed one day.

Megan said...

True story: When I saw the title of this post, I thought for a moment that you meant Random, as in Random House, and I had this image of you running up to Random House books in stores and squeezing them to your chest.

Emily White said...

Random huggers are wonderful! Well, as long as they know the three second rule. If you're holding on longer than three seconds, chances are, the person you're hugging is uncomfortable.

And I've learned you're never too old to be afraid of the dark. :(

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm with Hannah. I'm not a hugger unless you're my husband (hey, any excuse to tough his amazing bod) and my kids (they're like teddy bears, and who wouldn't to hug that). I do have some exceptions to the rule. And I will hug back if someone hugs me first.

Truth: Hmmm. I just realized I might not be cut out to write romance (beyond my beloved YA). Seems that you should be writing short stories and novellas and have them epublished first. No thanks. I only like to read and write novels. So YA, I'm totally yours. :D

KLo said...

Thank you ... good to know :-)

And there's nothing wrong with being a random hugger, especially since you just gave a fairly public warning ;-)

Kerri Cuev said...

I agree with #4 and #10 makes me LOL! Bring on those random (((HUGS)))!

Laura Howard said...

I'm a moderately random hugger...I love hugs.
But I am a big random lame thing sayer!! And my husband tells me I'm known in some circles for giggling psychotically once I rea;ize my lameness... sigh.

Meredith said...

Great advice and insight! And you're not alone in being a random hugger--I've creeped so many people out with random hugs before. :)

Tracey Neithercott said...

I'm a hesitant hugger. Hugging a stranger, for me, is like a first kiss--totally awkward and full of "which side is my head going to?" and "how hard do I squeeze."

I can't wait to hear B&N's new plan. Hopefully it's amazing enough to keep the store around for a while.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

I've met some random kissers here in NJ (cheek stuff, probably a cultural thing). That feels way more awkward to me than random hugging.

I'm definitely a speak before I think type too...that can be a problem, esp at conferences.

gideon 86 said...

I am so a hugger! I totally agree, there's nothing better.


Michael

Carol Kilgore said...

I've learned I must have structure in my days, even if the structure makes no sense to anyone but me.

I'm a random hugger, too :)

Carolyn Abiad said...

I'm a hugger. I hug people when I say hello and when I say goodbye. My protocol is handshake, hug, kiss on the cheek. I'm not a random hugger, though it sounds perfectly acceptable to me. :)

Miriam S. Forster said...

*hugs Elena*

I'm a complete and total dork in new situations unless someone explains the protocols to me. I knew that, but I relearned it again this week. :)

Miriam S. Forster said...

*hugs Elena*

I'm a complete and total dork in new situations unless someone explains the protocols to me. I knew that, but I relearned it again this week. :)

Carolyn V said...

Random hugger? That is cool.

I learned that I like to clean my house. It's weird. I never guessed myself a cleaner. hum.

Red Boot Pearl said...

Hugs have always been a thing of awkwardness for me, even if I know the person. I think it's a height thing--because hugging someone when your face only comes up to their chest is... well awkward. So maybe what I learned is wear high heels to conferences? Hmmm... well, lets not get crazy.

Michelle Merrill said...

Those are great tips...and there's nothing wrong with being a random hugger. You might want to stay clear of hugging a mustache-twirling villain who's trying to preach a lesson, though. Just sayin' :)

Thanks for sharing. Hug away!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I'm a random hugger too! Sometimes you just gotta hug! And other times when the person you hugged is just standing there, stiff as a board, you just gotta let go.;)
Great tips! I've never had a mustache twirling villain. I may have to try a goatee twirling villain though. That would be awesome.

Valerie Ipson said...

You didn't list this, so I'm guessing it's something you already know: You're a rock star. At the conference you were constantly surrounded by fanpeople.

Shari said...

I learned that it's okay to wait several months before you send a requested ms to an editor or agent. I also learned that even though Elana continually says she's made a fool of herself, she actually hasn't. But I'm not accusing her of lying. Really, I'm not.

Donna Weaver said...

So what is B&N going to do differently? Play nice with Amazon so I can share books? ;)

Corinne O'Flynn said...

*hugs*

Great list. Conferences are such a fabulous way to meet people and learn about everything publishing! I love reading about other people's experiences.

Krispy said...

Hey, hugs are cool! Plus, this tidbit of info now takes the awkwardness out of the meeting. I always hesitate at the end of a meeting with someone new who I got along great with; it's like, to hug or not? Is it too much? :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Whenever I go to a conference, I always relearn #2. Then I go home and forget it, lol

LeishaMaw said...

I'm a lousy waiter. Not the kind that brings you food but actually waiting for stuff to happen. I stink at it and get moody and bother my spouse. He he. Poor guy.

Heather said...

(((hugs))) random huggers unite! I've learned that the main reason I love attending conferences, workshops, ect. is meeting great people.

ali said...

Well the random hugger thing totally makes sense now. Because sometimes you're all like, "let's hug", and other times we stand around with our arms stuck to our sides. Awkward! At least now I know what to call myself: I'm a random hugger too. Not very conducive to repairing those weird, awkward non-hugging pauses, though. Sigh.

I'm super curious to hear what you learned about B&N.

Robert Guthrie said...

Fresh from a meeting, I was told that my work isn't the product - I am the product.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've learned that blogger is being very stubborn today - fifth time I've tried to leave a comment.
Anything else I've learned was lost during that time.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Ha ha ha! I'm a total random hugger, too, Elana! I have gained a lot more weight than I thought. :-)

Angie said...

I love being the recipient of your random hugs.

Kari Marie said...

I want to be a random higher too!

I can relate to #1. I routinely relive conversations in my head where I said something lame.

Sounds like it was a great conference!

Marsha Sigman said...

Yeah, I am a random hugger as well. But I try to respect others if they have a no touchy vibe.

My family also kisses everyone on the mouth. WTH? I wonder if this is a southern thing or a pervy family thing?

I restrict this to family members.

Kristi Helvig said...

I'm a hugger too! If I ever meet you in person, I'm totally hugging you. :)

Liza said...

There are much worse traits! Like liking bacon, or polish sausage over chocolate. Oh, I'm just kidding!

Diana said...

I am not a hugger. My husband's family hugs when we arrive and when we leave. It took sometime to get used to it. at first I kept thinking, you just hugged me a half hour ago, do I have to do this again?

Sierra Gardner said...

I'm not much of a hugger - still working on that. I have however (quite recently) started being much more flirtatious. After 20 odd years of really failing in that department I didn't think it was possible. I still surprise myself each time but I'm having fun so I guess that's all that matters =)

Patty said...

I really think it is a good thing to be a random hugger...it doesn't hurt anyone, does it?

This is what I have learned about myself. I love to lay low in January, February and March. But I like to make big plans during those months. Organizing, trip planning, yard stuff, etc. The minute April 1st hits I am a mover and a shaker...but until then...I am in hibernation but with a notebook full of ideas!!!

Sara B. Larson said...

Random hugging can be highly amusing when watching someone else do the hugging to a "non-hugger." No worries though, I am a hugger, so I wouldn't be offended.

Sounds like a great conference!

Nicole L Rivera said...

Lol. Not a hugger myself. I live in south Florida where greetings are confusing. You never know if its one cheek kiss or two, a hug or a handshake. There are so many cultures it is easy to offend. I do prefer hugs over the air-cheek kiss. Promise I won't avoid you if we should ever meet. :)

Catherine Denton said...

That I only like surprises I'm expecting.
My Blog

Jemi Fraser said...

Random huggers used to scare me a bit - but after a few months of teaching I got very used to it - and now I don't even think twice about hugs - they're all good :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Random hugging is fine, but it does catch me off guard sometimes.

I don't suppose you're going to give us the scoop on Barnes & Noble, are you? Puh-lease?

Lola Sharp said...

I'm a hugger, too. *hugs*

And, when meeting new people, awkward moments are to be expected. We must be patient and kind with ourselves as well with others.

I want to hear about the B&N news.

Hugs,
Lola

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I've turned into a hugger. Haven't always been, but since publishing I'm grateful to anyone who buys my books, talks with me at a signing, or stops by my blog. Yep, hugging is where it's at.

And what's the deal with Barnes and Noble? You've really peaked my interest.

roxy said...

Hugs are awesome! There's something wrong with the person who avoids them. This is a great list.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Random hugging is a good thing. I promise. I'm not much a hugger, myself, but sometimes I am overcome with a wave of need-to-hug-syndrome. Embrace it while you embrace others :D

erica m. chapman said...

I too am a random hugger. The only problem is when you are like that, you can sometimes reach that awkward moment where you're not sure if they'll hug you back. As not everyone is a random hugger... But fear not, if we meet a hug will ensue ;o) maybe two. Hey, that rhymes.

Thanks for the info on the conference!!

Donea Lee said...

I would love to hug more, but I over-think it, "What if I'm invading their personal space?", "What if they don't like to be touched?", "What if they think I'm some touchy-feely weirdo?" *sigh* I've learned (or often remind myself) that I worry too much what other people think of me.

Sounds like a fascinating conference, though! You'll have to (please) let us know more? :)

Megan Oliphant said...

So during all your presentations and various other interactions with us unrepresen--wait, I mean "PRErepresented" and "PREpublished" others, I never once, not once heard you say anything lame. Even when I was lamely offering you hair products. You were a total and complete rock star presenter and we loved every second of it. So no feeling sorry for yourself.

I missed a random hug, though. ;)

Myrna Foster said...

I was born a random hugger, but now I'm a random hugger who sometimes hesitates, especially when the person I'm about to hug is a guy who is married to some chick who might not be okay with my being a random hugger. *sigh* Don't they know we're harmless?

BTW, I found out that my sister-in-law (the best 4th grade teacher in the world) works with your husband (who doesn't teach 4th grade, does he?), and Angie is also looking forward to reading your book. Evidently, your husband says nice things about you behind your back.

Carol Riggs said...

No, no, hugs are great! Random hugging is great too. (Do ya know, hugging reduces stress? haha, although it would depend on how wanted that hug was, eh?). Thanks for the conference run-down! Sounds like a great one. :)

SicileyS said...

Great run-down! Thanks again for your classes, incredibly helpful and encouraging.

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm not so random of a hugger. I might overhug. =]

You learned a lot of cool stuff. Though I'm very curious about the B&N!

A Backwards Story said...

Here's a random hug from a random girl!

*huggles*

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