Hello from HOLLYWOOD!!! I'm up here for the SCBWI national summer conference.
Guess what I did for the very first time ever?
I MET EDITOR WENDY!!!
Wendy is the cute one on the left. I'm the flat-haired one on the right. My camera is still messing up. Really, we have beautiful skin, not all mottled and reptilian, as this photo would suggest!
We went out for a fabulous sushi dinner. If you look closely, you can see Editor Wendy's hand in the left corner of this photo. She does not have liver spots. My camera is so toast!
Okay. A few notes from the day (only a few because there's a party that just began, and I don't want to be too late):
Sherman Alexie, author of the National-Book-Award winning, young-adult The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (AMAZING book which I read aloud with Child #3): FANTASTIC speaker. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. He talked about his past as a reservation Indian kid, how his book has affected others, etc.
I attended a session on setting. The session was led by the one-and-only, multi-award-winning, incredibly talented Richard Peck (think A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder and many more books). The session was great. Really made me think with gems of writing wisdom like: "The setting is the exterior landscape of our characters' lives" and "The first page of your page is the table of contents." I also loved this quotation from Kurt Vonnegut: "Start your story as near the end as you can get."
I picked up hints about surviving school visits from the prolific and well-loved Betty Birney (think Humphyrey the hamster books and the The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs plus several other books). The hints were practical and down to earth and just what the doctor ordered.
And I met fellow blogger SOLVANG SHERRIE!! She's as delightful in real life as she is in cyberspace!
Thank you Cindy Pon, author of the young-adult The Silver Phoenix, for letting me catch a ride with you. I will not mention that we were so busy chatting (well, Cindy was chatting; you know from this blog that I'm a very quiet person. Ha!!!) that we missed the 405 cutoff and ended up doing a U-turn way north of here in some scary deserted gangish-like area. I was practically scared for my life. However, we did make arrive safe and sound. Phew. Oops. Sorry. I did mention it.
Below is a last photo with Editor Wendy. I still can't believe we finally met. And she truly is marvelous! And I truly am lucky.
This is Editor Wendy with two of her writers. On the left: Georgia Bragg of the newly-released middle-grade Matisse on the Loose. On the right: me, still with flat hair
And about the upcoming My Town Monday: Wendy and I took off this morning and did a little Hollywood/LA exploring. And therein lies the MTM post... Check back. Oooooh.
p.s. If you write picture books, middle grade or young adult, you must must must come next year. We'll hang out; you'll learn tons, very all win-win.