I spent the entire day yesterday thinking about how I could write my first book during the 2010 Baltimore Writers' Conference, held at none other than my forever home away from home -- Towson University. There were many workshops to choose, I went to two about writing book proposals and working with agents. I don't usually attend sessions that deal with the business side of writing but for the first time I think I finally understand how the book industry works.
I also went to a session about environmental writing and, to treat myself, a session about screenwriting. I have no interest in writing for cinema or theater but I have a lot of respect for people that do. The speaker, Marc Lapadula, couldn't have been a better fit. He enthusiastically showed us interesting clips from Sullivan's Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941) to support principles that he introduced. The best part was his passion for the craft and how noticeably proud he was of his former students (which include writers of The Hangover and 500 Days of Summer.)
After spending a day learning and catching up with some friends and former grad school professors, I think I'm one step closer to reaching an answer to the question above.