Getting Back Into the Saddle

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Last night, I took a bite of a new sandwich, one I’d been meaning to try for awhile, but had been putting off. I joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The first bite tasted pretty good, so I peeked into the sandwich to check out the meat and toppings. I found that this year’s summer conference in LA is the 40th anniversary and it looks really good. So, I did what any glutton for punishment would do: I shoved the whole damn sandwich in my mouth.

Oh, and I ordered the sandwich with extra toppings.

There are Monday intensive sessions to choose from. Unfortunately, it doesn’t let you mix and match writing and illustration that day, so I’ll miss the Jerry Pinkney demo (*SAD FACE!*), but the sessions for Editing without an Editor and First Pages Read and Critique ought to be really good for me. I’m on the waiting list for Conflict and Character Development in Plot, which had been my first choice over Editing without an Editor. Honestly, I could do with either one, but if a spot comes up for the character dev in plot session, I’ll probably take it.

Now, there are requirements for these special sessions. I’ve got to bring writing samples. So today I came to the studio and fished out the first pages and some middle pages from the book I’d started. The one I’ve been telling family about and gushing to friends and Phil over for the last year, but haven’t touched in forever, save for other development work. I have to tell you what an incredible joy it is to reread one’s work after so long and find that it still stands just fine. Better than fine, if I say so myself. I love it as much today, as I did when I first wrote it. I’ll be nervous about presenting them for critique, but I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be, at least, decently received and that I should get some helpful feedback from the group and the publisher.

And there’s more. I also signed up for the Portfolio Showcase. Someone remind me to bring Bactine for my ass, because this is seriously throwing it into the fire! My work will be seen by agents, publishers, judges, and anyone who attends the conference. There’s even a reception. And prizes. First prize is a trip to New York to meet with 3 art directors. I probably haven’t got a prayer, but I’m happy to shell out extra to get my paintings and drawings in front of the right peepers.

Yes. I’m terrified. Yes. I can hardly wait. Yes. It will be good to see where I stand and learn as much as I can.

It’s time.

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