I'm getting ready for the New England Society for Children's Book Writer's and Illustrator's Regional Conference taking place this weekend in Springfield, MA. I'm leading a writing workshop on Friday titled "Smells Like Teen Spirit!" that focuses on guided sensory writing using prompts and activities and a 2-hour Saturday workshop called "Save My Cat!" based off the screenwriting guide by Blake Snyder about how to pace storytelling for movies, which I find is also very useful when plotting out books. We have a packed house so I'm coming armed with capes, books, craziness and plenty of chocolate! Ought to be fun!
Be sure to pack the essentials!
So this involves a lot of packing, checking and rechecking lists, doing tech checks (which I have managed to fail and therefore am hopeful that the adapter cable I ordered comes in today so I can do a dry run off a projector...darn Mac bias!) and buying a lot of random things that make the cashiers think I must be creating a float for a parade somewhere that they've never heard of. Essentially, I'm getting ready to have some SERIOUS play time! Every time I've gone to a SCBWI function or event, I come back more energized, fulfilled, excited after having met new cool people, making new friends, been inspired by literary heroes, or making plans to meet people who I have only talked to online so: I'm happy! This is basically what an extrovert writer *dreams* of! I only wish I got to do this more often & still have dreams of attending SCBWI-LA which is supposed to be a sweet party!
I still remember being at my first big SCBWI conference and listening to the incredible Lin Oliver say to us sitting wide-eyed in our seats, "The goal is for you to be up here." I turned to the person next to me and said, "That's going to be me." It was one of my secret writerly goals of success to someday be on staff at SCBWI and here I am doing so for the second year and I couldn't be more honored and thrilled to be sharing the company of some of the greatest people in children's literature. Believe me: there's no one kinder, more generous, more helpful and genuinely welcoming than folks in kid's lit. If you haven't been to one of their events, earmark it as a goal for yourself--you'll be glad that you did!
Meanwhile, I'll be gabbing tonight at Thomaston Library about dark YA lit while eating dark chocolate. Life doesn't get much better than this!