Monday, February 7, 2011

SCBWI Winter Conference--part 2

What I enjoyed about my first national conference:

1. Meeting Lois Lowry. Meeting Lois Lowry. And meeting Lois Lowry. Now if I can just meet Megan Whalen Turner and Katherine Paterson, that pretty much takes care of all the authors on my top nine list! (I’m not holding my breath for Alison Croggon, since she lives in Australia, and JK Rowling? Yeah, right.)

2. Networking with other SCBWI Members in my region: The luncheon was fun. I wish I had taken a picture because they crammed so many tables into that room and jammed so many chairs around each table that I half expected the NYFD to storm the building at any second for fire code violations. Of course, who knows how they’d have gotten in the room, it being so stuffed with tables and chairs and excellent food and socializing children’s writers and illustrators. I had fun talking with other writers, and I started a business card collection in the back of my plastic name tag holder.

3. Keynotes. I enjoyed the keynotes much more than the breakout sessions. To be clear, it’s not that the sessions were bad; I’m just very good at picking the wrong sessions (for me) to attend. If I ever lose my mind and strike out on the pageant circuit, I have my talent prepackaged and ready to go.

4. Ginger Clark’s talk. She was wry and funny and at the same time, very down to business. There were two things I didn’t enjoy about her session, both completely out of her control. One was being crammed between two women, neither of whom were very large, but both of whom seemed compelled to take up part of my chair (and they didn’t have people encroaching on their other sides.) That was rather bizarre. In retrospect, I’m kicking myself for not glancing around the room for the Candid Camera people. The other frustrating thing was people asking the same questions over and over again. Poor Ginger Clark answered the same one about four times in one session. She was much more gracious about it than I was feeling. Apparently, I need to keep working on patience. (But other people need to work on listening.)

Anyway, back to the keynotes. Most of the speakers were awesome. The closing keynote was my favorite, delivered by Linda Sue Park. I had met her once before, briefly, when my roommate at Chautauqua (Hi, Natisha!) introduced us. I’d never before heard her speak, though. She’s so inspiring. Her basic message was…

DON’T believe in yourself.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Twitter Update

Okay I joined Twitter, but I am not super happy about it. It wouldn’t let me be mirrorsandmagicfrogs. Too many characters. Grrrrrr. I should blog about the evils of an outside entity limiting my verbosity. But anyway, feel free to follow (Who came up with that terminology? It makes me think of follow the leader, which makes me think of that song from the Disney cartoon version of Peter Pan, which is now running through my head. Tee-dum! Tee-dee! A Teedle ee do tee day!) me. I’m mirrors_n_frogs.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

SCBWI Winter Conference

Okay, right off the bat...

Best thing about SCBWI’s Winter Conference: I met Lois Lowry!

Second best thing: I was in NYC for three days!

What I learned (Part 1):

1.) I still appear to be the only member who refers to SCBWI as “Skib-we.” Hey, we all have our quirks.

2.) Apparently, I need a dog. Lois Lowry (and a few of the other authors) showed some letters they received from kids, and nearly every single one ended with “And do you have a dog?” In case you were wondering, Lois does. I wonder if my landlady will accept that as an excuse to violate the “no pets” policy…

3.) I hate my Blackberry’s spelling autocorrect. Also if you correct your Blackberry’s auto spell correct of your facebook status update with a comment on said status update bemoaning your Blackberry’s stinking spelling autocorrect…your facebook friends will still make fun of you.

4.) I am an atypical writer personality. When one of the speakers—Sara Zarr, I think—said something about most of us being introverts, just about every head around me (and we’re talking over a thousand heads) nodded in agreement. I am SO not an introvert. I must have people around me. If there are no people, there had better be a bunch of books so I can get sucked into a story with people. Actually, I think that’s why I started making up stories in the first place. I had brothers—no sisters with whom to play Barbies and My Little Ponies. Although my brothers and I *did* often play GI Joe in the land of the giant women and talking ponies, they didn’t always want to play. Then I was stuck by myself. So I made up stories wherein my Barbies and My Little Ponies and Strawberry Shortcake dolls went on epic adventures that literally spanned weeks if not months. Anyway, if there were no people with whom to interact, I made some up. But I digress…

5.) I really have to join Twitter. :(

(part 2 to come...eventually)