Saturday Stuff

So I just got back from the SCBWI Conference in New York, and it was great being surrounded by other children’s book writers.

Highlights of the conference for me were:

KidLit Night at the Wheeltapper Pub, where I got to visit with Cheryl Klein and (timidly) introduced myself to some fellow blueboarders.  I’m not good at this.  Just not.

Jarrett Krosoczka’s hilarious video about the next great story idea.  Check it out:

Jay Asher’s speech about how you should never give up, even when it takes you TWELVE YEARS to sell your first book.  You rock, Jay!  Kudos to the person in the audience who’s been trying for over thirty years!

The sense of encouragement and hope for children’s books, even in these tough economic times.  I loved Clarion Editor Jennifer Greene’s quote from the NY Times:  “People buy books and lipstick when times are bad.”

Richard Jackson’s talk – “Moon, Crow, Wind.”  It blew me away!  What a visionary!

Bruce Hale and his crooning, plus his wonderful talk:  Grab ’em from the get-go, remind them of beauty, make them laugh, hold up the mirror, make them squirm, tell them the truth, go the extra mile, write from your heart.

The great agent panel – Michael Bourret, Alyssa Eisner, Edward Necarsulmer, and Michael Stearns –  full of honesty, humor, encouragement, and timely advice.

Jack Gantos and his amazing, amazing speech.  His advice:  “Define your humanity to yourself – that’s why you write your book!”

And on another note, I am setting a goal for myself with my current book:  I want to be finished by May 1st.  Finished.  Ready to start on something else during the summer, when I have more time to stew and write. 

And last, I wanted to share what a beautiful day it is here.  Sunny, breezy, almost feels like spring.  Here’s our Jack Russell terrier, Tucker, who thinks he is much bigger than he is, walking down the drive with me to check the mail.