Monday, October 23, 2006


I really enjoyed the Austin SCBWI conference yesterday! I talked to more people than I think I usually do (I tend to be really quiet...), probably because I was just so happy to be back in the writing world after 8 months of seeming exile! When I was in Florida, the only interaction I had with writers was online, and I really missed the atmosphere. I'd always appreciated the local SCBWI group, but I think I appreciated it even more yesterday.

Anyway, Bruce Coville is an excellent speaker. It was mentioned that he loves theatre, and it's obvious, as he's a real performer! He was a great choice for kicking off the conference. Likewise, Esther Hershenhorn was a great choice for ending it. Her talk was enthusiastic and helpful, as she shared a wealth of information and resources. Those two speakers left me feeling particularly inspired, and during the book signing portion that followed, I sat down & jotted 3 pages of notes and thoughts for my 2 potential NaNoWriMo novel ideas! Since then, the wheels in my mind have been spinning and I've thought of even more to add to each one. For more about this conference, see Cynthia Leitich Smith's blog report on it.

Afterwards, I started feeling a little deflated for being in SCBWI for so long without selling a book! I know I'm not the only one, but sometimes it feels like it. I know it's my fault--not for lack of talent but for lack of trying. I haven't racked up a huge slew of rejections; I've rarely felt I had something polished enough to submit. In his talk yesterday, illustrator Tony Sansevero shared a poster he sends to kids, which says at the bottom, "Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to." I've wanted to write since age 5, so I guess I've always felt destined to, but I've often let life and fear get in the way. And here I am pregnant again, knowing that babies tend to sideline me for about a year, so it's hard to commit to going for it whole hog now, but I have to at least commit to continuing, to working on it, to stopping putting it aside. I have at least had short pieces published, but that wasn't what I was dreaming of at age 10, staring at the children's novels in the bookstore and imagining my own books beside them. But I'm not out yet. And these conferences are really helpful for reminding me what I really want, and what I need to do, and how to go about it! So, thank God for SCBWI!

And speaking of God...last night my husband and I watched part of a Steven Wright comedy special on Comedy Central, in which he pointed out that the New Testament isn't so new anymore, & that maybe we should call it the "Newer Testament" or the "Most Recent Testament." So I completely cracked up in church this morning when the pastor asked us to turn to the "newer Testament" near the back of our Bibles! I'm sure he had seen the same show...very amusing.

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